Although the Brexit process has for a long time been much slower than expected by British voters, with Boris Johnson entering the scene the situation has fundamentally changed: the process has been accelerated and deadlines have been shortened. The narrative is also changing: Brexit itself is no longer necessarily bound to lead the United Kingdom to a catastrophic economic downturn, and not even a relatively peaceful exit can be ruled out. In such a scenario, Member States in a similar position to the British – especially France and Italy, being large net contributors, but also less able than Germany to reap the benefits the EU periphery can provide in the form of either (cheap) labour or markets – may tend to reconsider their situation within the integration. This paper, by presenting the background of and the path to the referendum, as well as the changes in the dynamics of the exit negotiations, could provide lessons for the remaining countries.
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