Brexit Lessons

A Wake-Up Call for the E.U.

London Big Ben and traffic on Westminster Bridge
Now that the U.K. is leaving Europe, it's time to take a look at what went wrong. Photo: Getty Images
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The European Union is facing a series of political and economic crises, and needs to re-examine its core values if it is to succeed, the author argues.

  • Facts


    • Germany exports goods worth €90 billion to the United Kingdom.
    • Its exports to Germany amount to €40 billion, meaning Germany runs a trade surplus of €50 billion with the U.K.
    • The European Union has not yet opened formal negotiations with the United Kingdom over the terms of its exit, which puts economic relations in limbo.
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Let’s take another look at Brexit. But this time, let’s treat it as though we’re looking at a company trying to extract itself from a merger that didn’t work out. In this scenario, the company (the United Kingdom) wants to make sure that lucrative relationships with old partners (European Union members) aren’t destroyed in the process.

We can think of Germany as one of these old partners, exporting goods worth €90 billion to the United Kingdom. Its exports to Germany amount to €40 billion – and that means Germany runs a trade surplus of €50 billion with the U.K.  With figures like that, any businessman worth his salt would want to make sure proper trade contracts are signed to ensure that business continues on a stable basis post-Brexit.

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