Contents page 1 — “This is political madness” page 2 — “We are living in a global structural Transformation” On a page to read

Alexander Betts is a Professor at the University of Oxford, and conducts research mainly on the topics of Migration and International relations. Bed has already been reported several times in the Brexit debate. We meet him at the world economic forum in Davos.

Zeit ONLINE: Mr Betts, 2016, just five days after the Referendum, you said in a Ted Talk: The Brexit has led to a meltdown in the British policy. Where do we stand today, two and a half years later?

Alexander Betts: at the Time of the shock was already great. And you can hardly believe it: It’s all got much worse. In retrospect, 2016 was an opportunity missed. The policy would be able to say to the citizen: We respect the outcome of the referendum. We will consider all options for an exit from the EU, but we don’t know how a Brexit at the end might look like. As soon as we know it, we’ll let you re-vote. That would have legitimized a second Referendum, on the we run just much stronger.

Alexander Betts © John Phillips/

TIME ONLINE: Instead, there is a compromise negotiated with the EU, in the British Parliament, no one really wants.

Betts: Yes. Theresa May has negotiated with the European Union two and a half years on the Brexit and the own party, but the Opposition, far too little involved. The result we see now. We landed in a cul-de-SAC.

Zeit ONLINE: Is the British Prime Minister alone responsible for this?

bed: Some say that Theresa May has earned some respect. What’s wrong: she has worked with a high degree of integrity on Brexit, although they are not originally wanted to leave the EU. You tried from your point of view, the best compromise for the UK to negotiate. May had to say much earlier, which wants to have its own party, for what majorities in Parliament exist. This debate has only just started at the beginning of January. This is much too late, if the UK is to leave in March the EU.

TIME ONLINE: Was there any Chance at all on a common line, at least under the Tories? Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson want a hard cut with the EU.

Betts: of Course there was no warranty. But you’d have to at least try. What we are seeing now is political madness.

TIME ONLINE: How to deal with this madness the best?

bed: The circumstances dictate to us the possible Alternatives: We have to decide between a withdrawal without an agreement, a whereabouts in the EU and a kind of soft Brexit, which follows Mays compromise.

TIME ONLINE: not one of the Alternatives there seems to be a majority in the Parliament.

Betts: it would Therefore make sense to extend the deadline for negotiations with the EU.

TIME ONLINE: So, at first time win?

Betts: Exactly. But of course, this is not a solution. We have already wasted in the past, a lot of time to waste and no joint line is found. Therefore, the most likely scenario is currently an exit without any agreement. However, this would be a political, economic and social disaster.

TIME ONLINE: Theresa May says the UK can manage a No Deal.

Betts: I don’t see it. In the case of a withdrawal without an agreement, we must negotiate our future relationship with the EU in each point individually. We need to quickly find working solutions to be. At the same time, the short-term damage to the economy and the policy would be enormous, because we are so closely linked.

TIME ONLINE: How can you avoid such a scenario?

Betts: If the Parliament can’t find a compromise, it just remains for us to ask the citizens again.

TIME ONLINE: what are the Alternatives to the citizens to decide? Remain? Mays Compromise? No Deal?

Betts: The question is a big Problem. As soon as three Alternatives to choose from, it is very complicated. Therefore, we need to work with experts who understand people’s interviews very well. We need a working mechanism for a second Referendum.