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The Never-Ending Brexit

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The Never-Ending Brexit

The True—and Mounting—Costs of Leaving the EU

Foreign Affairs,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Brexit’s early days don’t bode well for the United Kingdom’s economy.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Overview


Rather than offering a solution, Brexit is posing a problem for the British economy. Shortages are up, economic activity has stalled and, while the impacts of COVID-19 play a hand in the economic downturn, so, too, does Brexit. Professor Anand Menon explores the idea that Brexit’s much-touted promise to reduce inequality may have proven apocryphal, putting at a disadvantage the very groups that overwhelmingly supported it. Followers of the ongoing Brexit saga will find Menon’s essay an insightful take on the developing situation.


Setbacks in the United Kingdom plague the start of its new relationship with the European Union.

The sanguine outlook for UK–EU relations at the beginning of 2021 proved illusory. While the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, concluded at the end of 2020, avoided a worst-case “no deal” scenario and laid what looked to be the foundation for a new start, its terms lacked heft. The UK government would not agree to EU rules, and so trade between the two decreased markedly.

The eleventh-hour deal caught businesses unprepared. And last-minute British government guidelines confused firms that had to adjust abruptly to the new realities of commerce in the absence of a completed separation agreement...

About the Author

Anand Menon is the director of UK in a Changing Europe and a professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King’s College London.

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