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Uninformative lead term "uncertain"[edit]

The lead contains this uninformative statement:

The size of the "divorce bill", the UK's inheritance of existing EU trade agreements, and relations with the Republic of Ireland remain uncertain.

This is a meaningless sentence. The future of Switzerland is uncertain. The Pope's next encyclica is uncertain. Life is uncertain.

I think what the editor is trying to say is that these three EU negotiation demands/red lines (Ireland, euroclearing, divorce bill) have featured prominently in the negotiations. Can we reformulate accordingly? (talk) 10:14, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

It is informative, and suitably concise for the lead: those are all matters of concern in the UK negotiations with the EU that have yet to be resolved, decided, determined and implemented, and at this time the outcome is uncertain. Qexigator (talk) 11:07, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
As I understand it, the size of the divorce bill has not been discussed at all, by either side. Barnier has requested the UK come up with a calculation mechanism (not a sum), and Davis has politely ignored this demand. In other developments, the UK Treasury has pencilled in 37-39 billion pounds for a potential settlement. So I think the word "uncertain" is not only uninformative but potentially misleading. (talk) 17:14, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
If you wish to add further text in the body to that effect, properly sourced, the single word "uncertain" in the lead would still suffice to cover it. How can it be "potentially misleading" when it is a simple factual description of the state of affairs? Qexigator (talk) 19:05, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
In a narrow sense you are right. The size of the divorce bill is as uncertain as the length of the Pope's nose. However neither the Pope's nose nor the size of the divorce bill have been subject of discussion between the negotiators, as far as I am aware from the Wikipedia article or from published sources. My information is that the negotiations on the divorce bill have become bogged down in technical/legal disagreement, and that the discussion never reached the stage of discussing any "size". That is what I meant when I said the sentence is both meaningless and potentially misleading. How about this alternative: "Three EU demands (regarding Ireland, euroclearing, and a "divorce bill") have featured prominently in the negotiations, without agreement as of June 2018." (talk) 22:10, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
In the current state of uncertainty, the present wording suffices. Qexigator (talk) 23:10, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
Length of the Pope's nose is not uncertain, first because such nose should not change so much as long as the Pope does not change, and also, because a new Pope might have a new nose with a regular size. It looks quite certain next nose will be between zero and twenty centimeters. And people do not care; do you?
NPOV means various point of view could be provided for certainty vs uncertainty.
  • Jeegar Kakkad, chief economist and director of policy at ADS, said he believed a lack of certainty over Brexit "has worried companies and supply chains for the past 12 months".
  • Professional services firms also needed an agreement with the EU which featured "mutual recognition of professional qualifications, products and operating licences; the ability of our providers to fly in-fly out to facilitate advice across the EU27 and trade across Europe; mutual recognition of judgments so deals across EU27 countries can proceed with legal certainty; and continued co-operation in areas that facilitate trade - such as data sharing".
  • “We have advanced on some separation issues for which European businesses need certainty, such as customs, VAT, Euratom and certificates for goods,” Barnier said in a statement accompanying a joint declaration from Brussels and London.
  • Davis rejected such concerns, saying the bill and the powers it will create were designed to ensure legal certainty and that any changes in policy would be carried out through the normal legislative process, during which parliament would have its say.
Source that consider Brexit uncertainty: «The ‘in-out’ nature of the Brexit debate, and the focus on uncertainty about the referendum outcome, obscures another, equally important layer of Brexit uncertainty for business, which is about what a vote to leave the EU would actually mean in practice. There are uncertainties about both the destination – what the future relationship between the UK and the EU would ultimately look like – and the journey to get there. We are unlikely to get clarity about the destination before the referendum as those who want the UK to leave the EU want to avoid this becoming the question. But the alternatives have very different implications for business. There are equally many uncertainties about the journey, in part because the process of leaving the EU is unclear, but also because politics – in the rest of Europe as well as the UK – will trump economics in the negotiation between the UK and the rest of Europe. Most large businesses will want to evaluate the risks created by Brexit uncertainty from a fiduciary, operational, and strategic perspective. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

International context of Brexit[edit]

Commentators propose a wider context for Brexit, given election results in the USA and in several European countries, notably Poland, Hungary, Austria and Italy, prompting French president Macron in May 2018 to refer to Brexit as an "alarm bell".

Luxufluxo has removed this summary sentence from the lead and is requesting a discussion. The key statement is from President Macron's speech when receiving the Charlemagne Prize in May 2018:[1] I think we need to balance the current UK-only view with a more international view. Comments please. (talk) 12:11, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

"Opinion polls in the fortnight following the referendum suggested that the immediate reaction in the Netherlands and other European countries was a decline in support for Eurosceptic movements.[147]</ref> Eurosceptic parties were indeed defeated in the Netherlands and in France; however, elections in Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy and potentially Slovenia have brought Eurosceptic parties into government. Commentators therefore propose a wider context for Brexit and also for the outcome of the presidential elections in the USA, prompting French president Macron in May 2018 to refer to Brexit as an "alarm bell".[148][149][150]" - The text in question.
I think you are overreaching from what the sources are saying, by interpreting a wider international movement in the manner you are. Brexit, in so far as it was expressing dissatisfaction with the EU, was expressing a uniquely British dissatisfaction, that of intra-EU migration (even if Leave.EU did its best in the last days of the referendum to conflate between it an external migration flows) and British exceptionalism within the context of EU intergration. This is not, and has not ever been to the same extent, a concern on the continent and certainly did not feature in campaigns in Poland, Hungary, Austria or Italy - the ones you cite. Lumping the likes of Douglas Murray, Macron and Behr in as sources referred to here as commentators is also misleading; Macron has a political interest in portraying Brexit as part of a wider movement, as he is trying to gain momentum for his eurozone reforms. Murray is a well known Eurosceptic (or Europhobe) who has long predicted (and encouraged) the downfall of the EU. Behr was if anything, in his piece, cautioning against the wide sweeping generalisations about the context of Brexit. Indeed, latest polls show that 72% of Italians want to stay in the euro[1] - a core project of the EU, yet if you read your paragraph and you had little knowledge of the EU it would seem like there was some wider clambering at the door for EU exit. Luxofluxo (talk) 01:06, 17 June 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Vagnoni, Giselda (31 May 2018). "Polls show most Italians want to stay in euro". Reuters. Retrieved 17 June 2018. 

Good morning Luxofluxo. Your premise is wrong; Euroscepticism in the Wikipedia article is defined thus, and is not necessarily connected to "clambering at the door for EU exit" (or leaving the euro, as JC Juncker has correctly stated in a recent interview):
In a statistical analysis published in April 2016, Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University defined Euroscepticism as the wish to sever or reduce the powers of the EU, and conversely Europhilia as the desire to preserve or increase the powers of the EU. According to this definition, the British Social Attitudes (BSA) surveys show an increase in euroscepticism from 38% (1993) to 65% (2015). Euroscepticism should however not be confused with the wish to leave the EU: the BSA survey for the period July–November 2015 shows that 60% backed the option "continue as an EU member", and only 30% backed the option to "withdraw".[4]
I suggest you add the pro-euro-currency opinion poll to the Italian election paragraph, and that should prevent confusion for the reader. Better still, dig out the Juncker interview (in the past 2 months, he will easily remember) and cite that as the concluding sentence of the Italy paragraph. (talk) 06:17, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but a) I would refrain from telling other editors they are wrong unless you are trying to provoke them and b) I think you are embarking on a tangent from the discussion, providing a quote from John Curtice doesn't add to your argument. I simply don't understand where you are going with that. c) I don't think adding a quote about Italian attitudes to the euro in an article on Brexit is a good idea, rather such a discussion belongs in the Wikipedia article on Euroscepticism, which is also the appropriate place to discuss how Brexit fits in with wider Eurosceptic movements, not here. I would refrain from making any connections between Brexit and nationalist/populist movements in power in Italy, Poland, Hungary and Austria, the latter 3 which have been propelled greatly by the migration crisis, with Brexit pretty much a blip in terms of its salience there. I will be removing that paragraph hence. You've made a great deal of changes to the article, which is fine as per WP:Bold, but I'd appreciate if you don't railroad this through without discussion and time for other editors to add feedback. Luxofluxo (talk) 07:48, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Luxofluxo, I politely explained why you are wrong when you equate Euroscepticism wirh a desire the leave the EU/euro currency. You are wrong according to the Euroscepticism definition in the Wikipedia article, not necessarily wrong in your own context, so please do not take this criticism personally. None of us is perfect.
The bigger picture is that you wish to "refrain from making any connections between Brexit and nationalist/populist movements in power in Italy, Poland, Hungary and Austria". But the fact is President Macron has heard the "alarm bell" and wishes to reform the EU. That is worth a Wikipedia mention, in order to rebalance the UK-lopsided focus. It is irrelevant if you/I/we agree with Macron's assessment. I encourage you to cite the opinion poll or the Juncker interview as a counterargument, rather than deleting Macron. (talk) 08:27, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
OK, I understand Macron currently wants to style himself as the leader of Europe, maybe campaigning to become the next EU President, but for God's sake there is no reason whatsoever we should push this into the Brexit article. As to the risk of conflating Euroscepticism with Brexit I agree with you that it exists, although I think editors of this article do seem to understand the difference. — kashmīrī TALK 11:11, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not debating chamber[edit]

Thie purpose of this talk page is determine how best to improve the article. It is not to be used for opinion pieces and silly assertions like those above: see WP:NOTFORUM. Any further material in this vein will be deleted. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 20:30, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

You cannot be the only arbiter. "Definition of arbiter by Oxford Dictionaries- a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter." (talk) 18:31, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Unless it's been removed I can't see anything above that isn't specifically discussing issues with the article. (talk) 18:38, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Economist reference requested by Friedman and Luxofluxo[edit]

Friedman and Luxofluxo, this well-written Economist analysis[2] is specifically for you (see your deletion and comments above). I would be grateful if you could resurrect the deleted "international Brexit context" statement, and cite this Economist reference in support. Thank you. (talk) 17:31, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

That's an opinion piece, an essay, about liberalism and should not be used as a reference in this article.Smeat75 (talk) 17:41, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

Dubious coalition[edit]

I have tagged this although a cross-party "Remainer" coalition aims to defeat Brexit entirely.[1] as dubious because I have not come across any such coalition and as the Times is paywalled, I can't check the source. Would someone please verify and clarify? Is it an opinion piece or a factual report? [because some commentators regard anything other than "hard" as a defeat. If so, it adds nothing to the first part of the sentence]. Where is this in the body? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 22:56, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

As no-one has defended this and it has all the signs of being opinion and does not summarise body content, I am deleting it. [I have also changed the name of this section because template:dubious directs to Talk#Dubious and it may be needed elsewhere at a later date]. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 22:40, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
I see someone had already done it! --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 22:42, 20 June 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Matt Ridley in "The Times", 18 June 2018, page 25
I see nothing to support, verbatim or otherwise, 'although a cross-party "Remainer" coalition aims to defeat Brexit entirely' in Matt Ridley's Times article of: Monday, 18 June, 2018.[3] Qexigator (talk) 18:52, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

UK employment and foreign investment increase to record levels since Brexit referendum. Request by Luxofluxo[edit]

[Since the referendum] Immigration has slowed, foreign investment has increased, and unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 1975.

Luxofluxo has deleted the above sentence from the lead, and is doubting whether the Guardian source sees a causal effect regarding the Brexit vote and employment.

The causal effect is given in the cited Guardian article as follows: The number of people in work also reached a record high of 32.2 million as 55,000 more people started a job, giving an employment rate of 75.4%. The number of job vacancies remained close to the record high reached in December, hovering at 815,000, amid fears of labour shortages triggered by Brexit.[4]

Pretty straightforward really. This should be reinstated in the lead, otherwise the reader will have the impression that the referendum had only negative economic effects. Over to you, Luxofluxo. (talk) 19:59, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Are there any refs saying that this was due to the referendum? How does that compare to employment growth pre-referendum? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 20:12, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia editors following the BBC narrative of anything positive that happens is despite of Brexit, whilst anything negative is because of Brexit.
The Brexit content/coverage on Wikipedia is a biased shambles. Sumorsǣte (talk) 15:45, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Seems like cherry-picking to me. Every reliable authority on economics attributes substantial detriments to Brexit and few benefits other than to those who bet against the pound around the time of the referendum. And incidentally funded Leave. Almost as if they are evil profiteers or something. Guy (Help!) 18:57, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

The previous commentator's attempt at impartiality disintegrated with his last remarks. The truth is that no-one knows whether Brexit will be economically harmful or not. In the short term, certainly, there will be disruption and difficulty (and doubtless a dip in economic output), but in the longer term Britain might conceivably grow faster than a slow-growing EU, just as Canada, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, the USA and New Zealand are managing to do now. What cannot be disputed, however, is that the abandonment of Brexit would be extremely dangerous and would lead to an absolute loss of trust in the institutions of British democracy with consequences that are hard to predict but which would certainly include political extremism, probably include civil disobedience and mass protest, and possibly include violence and civil war. Anyone who imagines that this would be "highly unlikely" or a "minor inconvenience" is being every bit as complacent as the most starry-eyed Brexiteer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:04, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

All, please read Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. I have crossed out contributions that are opinions about the topic rather than about improving the article through reliable sources. Further contributions that are editorial Ising will be deleted. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:24, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

TEU name[edit]

Someone please change this in the title summary. It's the Treaty on European Union, not the Treaty on the European Union. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit-request[edit]

can we add another entry to Brexit in Literature?

The earliest book on the subject is '51st State' by Peter Preston, Editor of The Guardian from 1975 until 1995.

the following taken from 51st state Author: Peter Preston Publisher: London ; New York : Viking, 1998. Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats Summary: Inspired by the patriotism of his dying father, Rupert Warner uses his position to lead England out of the EC, and almost accidentally into the United States. Even more accidentally, he finds himself running for the Vice-Presidency, and who knows where that might lead.

--GovernmentBoffin (talk) 12:48, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template.  LeoFrank  Talk 16:49, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

July 2018 UK gov Brexit policy paper[edit]

Please can the publication of the policy be added to the article, see policy section here: John a s (talk) 07:15, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

I see this gets a mention under 'Three-option referendum' so thanks! John a s (talk) 06:25, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Semi-Protected Edit Request - Electoral Commission finds Vote Leave broke electoral law & People's Vote[edit]

The article has not been updated to include the latest developments in the Electoral Commission's findings that Vote Leave broke electoral law and its subsequent fine and suggestion of a criminal investigation by the police, with only Leave.EU mentioned in such a regard so far.. [1]. In addition, both of these findings should not be in a section entitled "potential irregulaties." They are certainly not "potential", and are more than irregulaties. The Electoral Commission is the statutory body with the power to interpret where electoral law has been broken, and it has found against them both. This is a pretty major misrepresentation as to how serious these findings are.

In addition, the People's Vote should be added to the terminology section and described in further detail under a new section, 4.3 "People's Vote". [2] [3] [4] (talk) 19:06, 19 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Vote Leave campaign broke electoral law". BBC News. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  2. ^ Dickie, Mure (18 August 2018). "Scottish rally highlights support for second Brexit vote". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  3. ^ Savage, Michael (12 August 2018). "More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  4. ^ Payne, Adam. "Support for a People's Vote on Brexit surges as UK heads closer to a no-deal Brexit". Business Insider. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. — Newslinger talk 10:13, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

Semi-Protected Edit Request - Unnecessary Comma[edit]

Under "Domestic Impact on the United Kingdom"->"Immigration"->"Long Term", the sentence "KPMG, based on a survey of 2,000 EU workers in UK, estimates that about a million EU citizens working in the UK, see their future in Britain as over or hanging in the balance.", should be changed to "KPMG, based on a survey of 2,000 EU workers in UK, estimates that about a million EU citizens working in the UK see their future in Britain as over or hanging in the balance." The comma is unnecessary and incorrect.

 Done SemiHypercube 23:38, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Brexit Date[edit]

The question of when Britain leaves the UK is not determined by an act of the UK parliament but by the EU treaties. It is not an argument about which we need to give both sides. It is a fairly simple fact. Compare:

Earth is the third planet from the Sun.


The World (Withdrawal) Act 2018 defines "the Earth" as the third planet from the Sun.

Moreover Article 50 allows two ways for the the date to changed by agreement between the EU and the UK. It is not set in in stone. This is why it's important to say "Absent agreement to the contrary". — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 16:09, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

The EU Treaties determine what the latest date exit can be - the Act of Parliament determines that exit will take place on that date under UK law. They are different actions. I also think the section should be quoted in full as a legal definition. --Mervyn (talk) 11:25, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Mervyn's comment makes better sense than BHS's straw man, not much improved by edsum "the exit date could be before or after the 30 March - the withdrawal agreement could set a date before March 2019" which will happen only if both parties agree, for which there is no current factual basis. The previous version is clearer and reads better than BHS's[5] Qexigator (talk) 13:43, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Scope for some length reduction[edit]

The article is already lengthy, and sections 5-Negotiations and 6-Post-Article 50 British legislation will expand with updates as the current negotiations continue or terminate, whether on 29 March 2019 GMT (or some other time, if so agreed). Some account of the background leading to the 2016 referendum, as in section 2 and in section 3, and of Procedure for leaving as in section 4 is needed to give informative context. But there looks like some scope for avoiding duplication by reducing the details set out in subsection 3.6-Irregularties, given that section 3 opens with a link to United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 as "Main article" (created in November 2016) , and subsection on 3.6 opens with a See also link to Russian interference in the Brexit referendum, created in January 2018, where such details would more suitably be placed. Thus, a shorter version could be:

  • In July 2018, Vote Leave was found to have broken electoral law, spending over its limit, by the UK Electoral Commission.[1] Also, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, released an interim report on 'Disinformation and ‘fake news’', stating that the largest donor in the Brexit campaign, Arron Banks, used money from UK sources, and may have been financed by the Russian government.[2]

Current section 3.6 has expanded from Explanations for the referendum outcome, 28 March 2018.[6] Qexigator (talk) 20:45, 25 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Electoral Commission, 'Report of an investigation' (July 2018)
  2. ^ House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, 'Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Interim Report' (July 2018) ch 5, Russian influence in political campaigns.

Legal issues[edit]

Information from this newspaper article Now the judges agree – the vote for Brexit was clearly tainted ought to be worked into the wikipedia article. It is a judgement from the high court. --VanBuren (talk) 17:33, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

The opinion piece offers a fairly weak argument. What would we add from it? PackMecEng (talk) 17:54, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Unreliable sources tag[edit]

The Express is not a reliable source for pretty much any article on UK politics, never mind about Brexit. If the content is accurate and notable, it will have been covered in other more reliable sources, which should be used on this page instead. --Bangalamania (talk) 00:01, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

Neutral balance for the lead section[edit]

What will be the full impact of Brexit? I don't know and of course my own view is not important or relevant. But balance is important for the lead section. It is right that in the final paragraph of the lead section the broad consensus in existing economic research is included. There are three sentences in this paragraph about negative economic consequences of Brexit. I feel that to include at least one sentence in the paragraph about what Brexit supporters believe are future advantages of Brexit should be included to provide a balance. So that's what I've done today by adding one sentence to this paragraph with a reference from The Guardian. Regards, Kind Tennis Fan (talk) 01:37, 22 September 2018 (UTC)