What’s being negotiated?
Britain voted last year to leave the European Union and will be out on March 29, 2019. Before then, it must agree on divorce terms and the basics of a new relationship.
Who could win?
Who could lose?
The British economy will suffer for a time; so will tax receipts. Young Britons, who mostly opposed “Brexit,” will lose the right to live and work freely in Europe; export and finance industries face new costs; labs will lose funding and talent.
What motivates Britain?
Full sovereignty, especially in legal matters, and preferential trade relations. But lawmakers are still arguing about what matters most.
What motivates Europe?
Preserving unity among the other 27 members. Europe would prefer Britain to stay, but if not, wants the exit over with.
How will it affect British identity?
Hard to say. Britain has always been an island power, off the coast, but European by geography. Many think Britain is more important as part of Europe. But “Brexit” supporters see a world of opportunity free from the “shackles” of Brussels, with opportunities for new global influence and trade.
This article has been republished from www.nytimes.com