Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Stefani Weiss, Steven Blockmans

Estrangement Day: The implications of Brexit for the EU

Commentary, 27 June 2016

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
8 pages, PDF


Free of charge


Warnings about the negative impacts of a Brexit from Remain campaigners, from leaders of the UK’s strategic partners such as US President Obama and China’s Xi Jinping, from major international organisations like the World Bank, IMF and OECD, and think tanks like ours, were all lost on 52% of the voters. The trending hashtag ‘Bregret’ shows how many of them now feel betrayed by the lies of Leave campaigners who told them not to listen to ‘experts’ but to choose instead for a new UK ‘Independence Day’. As it turns out, the experts were right to warn about the dire consequences of a possible Brexit: markets have nose-dived and sterling has plummeted. Scotland, Northern Ireland and London have voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union and the Scots are now actively contemplating a second independence referendum. Sinn Fein has called for the reunification of the Irish island, and the Leave camp has been exposed for not having a credible alternative to EU membership. The term ‘Estrangement Day’ might therefore be more apt.