January 31, 2020
The Remain cause is lost. Brexit is happening. The UK will leave the EU at 11pm on Friday evening.
Could The UK Still Rejoin The EU After Brexit?
While Brexiteers will spend the evening rejoicing after their long battle to extract the UK from the European Union, the future appears more bleak for die hard Remainers.  
“Face up to one simple point: we lost,” Tony Blair conceded this week. Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Lib Dems, the most pro-EU party, said on Thursday: “Our campaign to stop Brexit is over.”
But is it all over?  We take a look at the options. Is the door closed forever?Simply put - no.
EU leaders have made clear they would be open to Britain applying to rejoin the bloc in the future. 
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, yesterday said he hoped it would be “not a farewell” but “hopefully a temporary goodbye”.
Yet rejoining the EU would be very different than remaining on the current terms. Make sense of politics. Sign up to the Waugh Zone and get the political day in a nutshell.
Britain currently has a series of opt-outs not given to other member states. There are no guarantees they would be offered again. As the Brexit talks showed, the EU drives a hard bargain. 
For example, all EU member states, except Denmark and the UK, are required to adopt the euro and join the euro area. How does this happen?Countries wishing to join the EU have to meet the so-called Copenhagen criteria.
These are a collection of political, economic and administrative criteria including stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities. 
The UK would likely easily meet the tests. 
But any new member has to have its entry approved by all EU governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Each member state also has to ratify the treaty.
And Britain’s application to join in 1963 and 1967 were both vetoed by France.
Anand Menon, the director of the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, warns there is “no guarantee that they will want us back”.
“It’s possible, but politically very difficult and not a foregone conclusion on their side,” he said.
The Brexit expert said the explained EU members states could wield the veto in order to get their way in “another fight” internally which was “not for any reason to do with us”.
“The EU is divided on so many issues at the moment that we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of tactical vetos to achieve other objectives,” he added.When could this happen?After years of divisions over Brexit, there is almost zero political will right now in Westminster to even contemplate campaigning to reverse the 2016 vote.
And as Menon argued, it would likely now be “inconceivable we rejoin without a referendum”.
The Conservative Party, which under Edward Heath took the UK into Europe in 1972, is now an avowedly pro-Brexit party. Many of its most europhile voices have left parliament.
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn sought to straddle the divide at the 2019 election by offering a second referendum. But it was comprehensively defeated at the a ballot box.
Whether this was due to its position on Brexit is the source of intense arguments within the party.
But none of the leadership candidates, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry, are advocating the party adopt a rejoin platform.
Starmer, who as shadow Brexit secretary played a leading role in pushing the party to commit to another referendum, has said Labour needs to “move on”.
The Lib Dems campaigned on a platform of unilaterally revoking Article 50, but failed to capitalise on pro-Remain sentiment in the country and actually lost MPs.
Ed Davey, the party’s acting leader, used a speech on Thursday to concede the immediate fight had been lost. “I accept that tomorrow at 11pm our campaign to stop Brexit is over,” he told an audience in Manchester.And will the UK even still exist?The SNP are avowedly pro-Remain. But the party’s focus is on securing an independent Scotland’s entry into the EU - not on taking the UK back in as a whole.
A YouGov poll released on Thursday showed Scots now back independence by 51% to 49%. It is the first “yes” lead since 2015. One reason for this shift is that Remainers are increasingly moving towards favouring independence.
Pro-EU campaigners are probably going to have to play the long game if their dream of renewed membership is to come true. But by then, the EU and the UK may not look anything like they do today.Related... 'Put Your Flags Away': Nigel Farage Makes One Final Cringeworthy Scene In Brussels
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