George Soros suggests the U.K. may never leave the European Union if the bloc reforms itself while Brexit negotiations are taking place.
If, during the divorce negotiations, the EU manages to successfully reform itself and attract wider support from its citizens, the U.K. will want to keep its European membership, Soros told an audience in Brussels.
"The divorce will be a long process taking as long as five years. Five years are a very long time in politics, especially in revolutionary times like the present," Soros noted.
"During that time, the European Union could transform itself into an organization that other countries like Britain would want to join. If that happened, the two sides may want to be reunited even before the divorced was completed," Soros said.
In fact, the European Commission has revamped on Wednesday talks for deeper euro zone integration. The recent election of the pro-European Emmanuel Macron as France's new president has given a boost to European officials to focus on how to take the European project further. But in the U.K., the government proclaims that Brexit is an irreversible decision.
Soros, nonetheless, is convinced that by the time the divorce talks will end, there will be a new government in the U.K. willing to retain European membership.
"This seems practically inconceivable right now, but in reality, it is quite attainable. Britain is a parliamentary democracy. Within five years it has to hold another general election and the next parliament may want to vote for being reunited with Europe," he said.
Brexit negotiations are due to start on June 19, after the U.K. has elected a new government. According to EU treaties the talks should not extend beyond March 2019, but political analysts believe technical discussion could drag the process out.