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Luis BARRUETO is a journalist from Guatemala, currently working in trade policy at the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA). Studied business and finance journalism at Aarhus University in Denmark and City University London.
Over the past week, British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament and faced a rebellion within her party. But rather than focus on the political calculus of May and other political forces, this conversation delves into the bigger picture of Brexit, its causes, and the potential risks for the British people.
People voted on the Brexit deal, more often than not, because they were reacting to "years of lost opportunity, especially in regions outside of London", Eloise Todd says in this episode of Foreign Policy's First Person podcast. Todd heads the group Best for Britain, which opposes Brexit.
No one could have foreseen that all possible options for an exit from the European Union (EU) would leave Britain poorer and would undermine the National Health Service, Todd explains. And precisely that centerpiece of the British political system is now at risk by trends drawn from the uncertainty around what the country will ultimately do.
This is why the "will of the people" does not necessarily still mean leaving the EU no matter what. As the reality of Brexit has played out, more and more people understand the dire complexity of leaving the EU, and it is increasingly hard to conceive of a scenario where no substantial damage is inflicted on the country.
Todd imagines a scenario in which Britain's leaders fail to come up with and approve a deal before the March 2019 deadline. But even in this case, responsible MPs and the general public can make pressure to call off the mandate, and thus prevent the country from falling off a cliff. As Todd says, "We have the absolute right as a nation to revoke article 50, to withdraw the letter that sparked the [Brexit] negotiations".