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"As long as you keep the conversation going there's the possibility you can be more optimistic," says Fitzgerald, a research director with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a think-tank based in Waterloo, Ont. "The conversation's still open and you're not dealing with the fallout of an abrupt decision that has huge implications."

"I think the example of Brexit is apposite right now," Fitzgerald says. "Because you can see that once [you've made] that kind of decision that you're going to move out of an agreement ... you're set on a path and you have to deal with all those consequences."

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