The original Brexit referendum that passed in June 2016 pitted populists against the establishment, with banks funneling huge amounts of money to oppose the referendum, which was cast as a measure to return taxes and power to local British citizens, while restoring the sovereignty of the U.K.’s borders against what was cast as unfair trade and uncontrolled migration.
But the politics of the deal have shifted over time, with hard-liners gaining power within Tory leadership and demanding a radical break from the EU. Corporate lobbyists now see an opportunity to use Johnson’s proposed swift exit from the EU as a way to forge bilateral trade deals, including one between the U.S. and the U.K, that would outsource local authority to rules set by an array of international business interests. A wide range of industries are primed to take advantage of the deal to evade EU consumer safeguards and drug pricing rules. Representatives from American pork to Silicon Valley and everything in between are trying to influence the negotiations.