Alison Johnston, an associate professor of political science at Oregon State University and EU expert, had these thoughts on the Brexit turmoil:

“Basically, there were only three options on the table for Brexit – no Brexit, soft Brexit (where the UK would adhere to a lot of EU rules, but leave its institutions, and gain some policy competencies back), and hard Brexit (completely falling out of the EU with no special arrangement and relegation to WTO status, which the most minimalist trade relationship it can have with the EU, and would cause serious economic disruption to the UK).

“The vote yesterday took soft Brexit off the table.  Theresa May wants to go back to Brussels and negotiate a better deal (without the Irish backstop), but the EU has made clear that no other deal is possible.  Theresa May has also established “red lines” that would prohibit the UK from participating in the customs union, which again, removes more soft Brexit options.

“I find it doubtful that she would call a second referendum asking the Brits as to whether they want to leave the EU.  So at this point, my money would be on hard Brexit.”

Johnston is an expert on EU politics who studies the political dynamics on Brexit and the institutional constraints that the UK and the EU face in negotiating a deal. More information about her:

Johnston is available for print, radio and tv interviews. Oregon State University has on-campus tv and radio studios. She can be reached at [email protected].