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The Big Picture

Brexit Brass Tacks

Since unveiling her plan for taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May has been fending off challenges from "Remainers" and "Brexiteers" alike. But even if May can hold on politically, will her “soft Brexit" plan actually work?

In this Big PictureRobert Skidelsky suspects not, but he also pushes back against those who assume that a “hard Brexit” would mean economic calamity for the UK. Mark Malloch-Brown, however, looks beyond the economic to the political, noting that a Brexit of any kind will diminish the UK's international stature. 

  Meanwhile, Jacek Rostowski also regards May's plan as unworkable, but thinks a hard Brexit will either be forestalled by a series of transition agreements, or reversed altogether. Anatole Kaletsky would support the latter outcome, and argues that it is becoming more likely as the British public wakes up to the unavoidable tradeoffs that Brexit entails.

 US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
British Prime Minister Theresa May attends a press conference at 10 Downing Street Simon Dawson/ WPA Pool/Getty Images

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