Britain’s Brexit Deal Debacle

Manchester Journal of International Economic Law Volume 18, Issue 1: 4-49, 2021

46 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2021

See all articles by Raj Bhala

Raj Bhala

University of Kansas - School of Law; International Bar Association; Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); Royal Society for Asian Affairs; Indian Society of International Law

Date Written: April 1, 2021


The Brexit Deal marks an historic debacle for the United Kingdom. The UK failed to protect its core economic, political, strategic, and legal interests. Economically, while the UK overemphasized, and ultimately sold out, a tiny sector, fishing, it achieved little in the way of reliable market access for its most important goods and services sectors, electric vehicles and finance. Politically, the UK set itself for a double partition, with Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, and possibly a triple one, adding Scotland. Strategically, the UK deluded itself about holding an equal bargaining position with the EU, and in a tripolar world in which the EU, China, and United States dominate, the UK isolated itself. Legally, the UK diminished its appeal as a legal model on substantive sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical standards, and on procedural enforcement matters. These four failures were prompted by a fifth fiasco, namely, the UK dimming its status as a multicultural beacon for global human capital talent in its effort to control immigration.

Keywords: Brexit, United Kingdom, UK, Market Access, Immigration

Suggested Citation

Bhala, Raj, Britain’s Brexit Deal Debacle (April 1, 2021). Manchester Journal of International Economic Law Volume 18, Issue 1: 4-49, 2021, Available at SSRN:

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