One week has passed since British voters came out in favor of withdrawing from the European Union, a vote that sent the entire financial world into days of chaos, and sparked so much speculation about what happens next that it hasn’t left the headlines for a moment.
After a week of talking, there’s less clarity than ever, though a growing number of suggestions that Britain might stay within the European Union irrespective of the referendum, or that failing that they would reach some sort of compromise where they remain part of EU in everything but name.
There are several ways this could happen, including the largely anti-Brexit British government just plain ignoring the referendum, or Scotland “vetoing” it. Even negotiations with the EU could lead to a second referendum, which itself could amount to another chance to foil the actual departure.
Even Brexit advocates have talked about the need for major negotiations with the EU, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage suggesting a deal could be reached in which Britain retains membership in the European Economic Area and contributes taxes to the EU budget, despite “leaving” the union.
European officials right now are trying to downplay the chances of cutting a deal with Britain, an attempt to dissuade other nations from holding their own votes on leaving the union. At the same time, the actual Brexit is expected to take years on end, and that’s an awful lot of time for such sentiments to shift.