What is Breentry

Breentry refers to the campaign to convince U.K. lawmakers to reverse the process of separating from the European Union (EU). It is a combination of “British” and “reentry” that came into use after the British exit was confirmed in a 2016 referendum. Prior to the referendum, the British exit was dubbed Brexit in the style of the threatened Greece exit (Grexit) in 2012. Breentry has also been used to referred to the likelihood that the U.K. will need to comply with many of the trade policies that were cited as a reason to separate by the UK Independence Party in order to gain market access to the eurozone. Bremain and Breversal are less common derivatives of Breentry.


The process of separating the U.K. from the EU is expected to take two years. Following that, the U.K. will need to negotiate trade deals with EU member nations, which could take years to work out. Rather than risking its access to the EU market, the U.K. will attempt to retain some access to the eurozone. London is, of course, particularly worried about its investment banking sector's ability to sell financial services across the EU. This will need to be renegotiated as a result of the Brexit.    

Swiss Option for Breentry?

Switzerland doesn't belong to the EU either, but it has an arm's-length arrangement with the union which may become a model for the U.K. going forward. The Swiss need to ensure that they adhere to regulations, but they have free access to the EU for many goods. Areas not covered in the broad agreement need to be negotiated and renegotiated on an as-needed basis. For example, Switzerland has been unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate to access the EU market for financial services. The Brexit may have scrapped these talks as many EU members don’t want to set a precedent that benefits Britain.

That said, Switzerland’s arrangement with the EU was already on rocky ground prior to Brexit putting additional scrutiny on it. Switzerland plans to restrict immigration, going against the EU policy of free movement. This is a sore point with the EU as they are internally dealing with member states balking at the inflow of migrants.

The Bottom Line

A Breentry in the sense of entirely ignoring the results of the referendum is unlikely given that the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has stated she will carry through with a separation from the EU. Breentry in the sense of a Swiss arrangement is also unlikely, as the Swiss arrangement may itself become less generous in the near future. So Brexit will remain prominent in the financial world’s vocabulary, as Breentry fades along with its prospects.