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What If…Great Britain Decided to Rejoin the EU?

Collage: private / based on images from Canva

Can you believe it’s already been more than five years since the Brits decided to leave the EU? After political wrangling, back and forth negotiations, mutual accusations and hopes for an acceptable deal, the Brexit was ratified in January 2020. Some felt jubilation and relief, others anger, regret and even fear of a possible „domino effect“ in Europe. Five years after the referendum, a soon comeback of Great Britain to the EU is not very likely.



But what if they would like to return? We asked people from Europe and beyond: „What if…Brits decided to rejoin the EU?

Lorenzo, 25


“Well, I think that would be great. I don’t think it’s entirely their responsibility at the moment, but yeah, cool. It’s what we all hope for. It was a disgrace for Europe just as much as it was a disgrace for the UK, so bring it on.”



Milograd, 24 &
Milica, 20


“The EU shouldn’t accept them back. With Germany and France acting like the economic and political pillars, they already have two strong countries, so the UK is not needed in the EU. They are better off alone, outside of the Union.”

“Honestly, I don‘t like the idea. If they have decided to leave, why would they want to come back? They are a very strong and independent country, so if they asked to rejoin, I would
suspect them to have serious problems, which they would
then bring back to the EU.”

Jose, 27


“I’d understand why. Old people have a more conservative or proto-nationalist way of thinking, whereas young people are more globalised and more open to the world, want to move freely. That’s why they take into consideration the lost opportunities.”



Dani, 24


“I think that I would agree with them rejoining, but we’d also have to set some conditions in order for this to not happen again with any other countries of the Union. Not in order to punish them, but in the end of the day, what we need to strive to achieve, is the stability of the Union as a whole.”


Tsvetelina, 24


“It took them so long to establish the contracts, paragraphs and rules and  leave in such way that would allow the economy to keep working. If they suddenly want to come back, it would seem very frivolous in my eyes. I do not have any serious opinion – it is good that we could travel there more easily, but I do not think that a country, which once upon a time used to be a great empire, can change its mind every few years.”

Sybrandt, 24

South Africa

“Unlucky. They made their choice and maybe there were mainly (pro-Brexit) older people involved in the decision-making process but at the end that’s what you subscribed for, what is called democracy, and what everybody has to live with for the next few years until maybe another referendum passes. They were in the EU, had the benefits and could have stayed. Now that they leave, I can only say: Deal with it.”

Nathalie, 39


“I am not sure that they wanted to leave the EU in the first place. Maybe they’ll tell themselves it was all a dream. From my perspective, even back in 2016, when the referendum took place, some wanted to leave, others didn’t. The majority didn’t really know what they wanted. So it would not surprise me if they woke up wanting something completely new. Well, we will welcome them!”

Katerina, 25


“I recently spent a year in the UK. Amidst all the talks and discussions around the Brexit, I feel like this ended up being a huge farce, even amongst the Brits. Young people, especially in the more liberal and urban regions, such as London and Cambridge, where I was staying, would never want to leave the EU. However, I would find it really funny if they decided to return. A friend of mine from the UK just visited me and going through the passport control, seeing
people getting their passports stamped, he felt as if this was
the ultimate failure of the project called European Union.”

Diana, 25


“I wouldn’t really care. They should not be given that much attention. There are twenty-seven other member states and although some of them are not nearly as rich as the UK, they are dealing with their own problems.”