Brexit is not inevitable, says former civil service chief

The Guardian reports: Brexit is not inevitable and Britain could still remain a part of a changed European Union, the former head of the civil service has said.

Gus O’Donnell, who was the cabinet secretary from 2005-11, told the Times (subscription) that he anticipated the UK would retain EU laws and rules regardless of its status in the union.

The crossbench peer said: “Lots of people will say, ‘We’ve had the referendum, we’ve decided to go out, so that’s it, it’s all over’. But it very much depends what happens to public opinion and whether the EU changes before then.

“It might be that the broader, more loosely aligned group is something that the UK is happy being a member of.”

Before the referendum Lord O’Donnell had said that leaving the EU would be complicated and take a long time.

On Saturday, he said leaving would mean “a huge administrative and legislative change” because of the vast amount of EU law that had been implemented over the last 40 years. As a result, he said he believed the UK would keep them in place even if it did officially leave the bloc. [Continue reading…]

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