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Expert - Brexit - what comes next?

Published: 3 February 2020

Boris Johnson has set out his vision for a trade deal with the EU, saying there is "no need" for the UK to follow Brussels' rules. The PM called for a Canada-style free trade deal, saying the UK would return to the Withdrawal Agreement if such a deal was not reached. (BBC)

The McGill experts who can talk about this subject are:

Brian Cowan, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Early Modern British History, Department of History and Classical Studies 

"Now that the UK has left the EU, the question of whether Britain will leave has been settled. The precise nature of British departure from EU law, trade relationships, and diplomacy with the UK's European neighbours however remains to be seen and will be the focus of negotiations throughout the rest of the year. It seems likely that negotiations will continue in bad faith and may well result in the 'no-deal' catastrophe that the previous parliament worked so assiduously to avoid in 2019. The failure of Brexit to deliver anything positive will simply encourage the government to look for scapegoats to blame for their misfortunes. The xenophobia and racism that has been licensed by post-2016 politics will become more toxic in the 2020s."

brian.cowan [at] (English)


Armand de Mestral, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Can talk about both the difficulties for the UK of framing a new relationship with the European Union and about the future of trade between the UK and Canada.

Emeritus Professor de Mestral has taught among other things constitutional law, public international law, international trade law, international arbitration, and the law of the European Community. His current research interest is the law of international economic integration. He has drafted books, articles and reports in English and French on international trade law, Canadian comparative and constitutional law, and international law. He has served on WTO and NAFTA dispute settlement and arbitration tribunals. [at], (English, French)


Brian Lewis, Full professor, Department of History and Classical Studies

"So, we're out. After 47 years' membership in the European club, and after years of dithering, Britain has finally pulled the plug. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers want us to celebrate our 'liberation'. But for an ex-pat Brit like myself who maintains an affection for his mother country and a commitment to the European ideal, this is a time of deep mourning."

brian.lewis [at] (English)


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