My Brexit Solution
Here’s a thought. The EU moghuls want the UK to pay a €60b Brexit bill. That would be about €2000 per working UK citizen. Some people don’t want to pay that and want a hard Brexit, some are happy for us to pay and hopefully enjoy the benefits of market freedoms in the future.
Why does this have to be a one size fits all approach? Would it not be better (I know this is an alien concept to the EU and politicians/lawmakers in general, but…) to democratise it? Let those British people who want to have a permanent set of personal rights in the EU as they do now pay for an additional ID card like a superpassport (could be the prototype of a real EU passport) at €2000 per head or €5000 for a couple and their dependent children, with subsequent top up payments of say a quarter of the entry sum annually (collected say every four years) and the same for EU nationals wishing to work in the UK. Likewise companies wishing to import or export goods and services under the four freedoms would pay based on their employee numbers not having the card. If all their employees including subbies had the card then the company could trade up to a certain volume per head of employee based on what appears normal in databases like Amadeus. If they wanted to import unusual amounts for the size of the workforce in their sector then even if all their workforce are paid up Europeans they could make top-up payments for higher export and again that would work in both directions.
Then people, and private companies, can actually decide to be European or not. Their contributions would among other things fund their own representation as a constituency of UK Europeans in the European Government at all levels and they would also vote for their representatives. EU nation states citizens wishing to do border and tariff-free trade in the UK and buying the card in that direction could also vote for their own MP in the UK parliament, their own representation even in the House of Lords and representation at other levels of government as relevant to them. If living in the UK, they would remain entitled to vote in local elections.
In other words, the EU as far as the UK is concerned and vice versa would be an individual driven, opt-in system with complete respect for the individual and whether they identify as European or not.
If it works then it could after some years become a blueprint for further EU expansion or for those nations in the EU today potentially, for all we know as most are afraid to have a referendum, against the will of the majority of their people.