“But what does this mean for London? Financial pundits have repeatedly warned of serious problems for the U.K.’s financial services industry unless London has access to the EU’s single market. At present, this seems like a pipe dream: none of the proposals from the U.K.’s main political parties would give the financial industry what it wants. The hemorrhage of assets and staff from London seems set to continue.”
Or perhaps, more ominously: “Farage and his supporters see Brexit as the cloak to disguise their real ambitions to change our country, our culture and our future. He has aligned himself to people at the heart of the populist movements in the US and across Europe, which are set on putting a torch to the old order and its institutions, infrastructure and politics. Out of that chaos he wants to see nothing less than a survivalist economy, a world of rich asset-strippers, rights and equality opposers and climate deniers.”
Keep the popcorn popping. (And ignore the “Are you a Robot?” The link leads to an hour-by-hour update of the latest on Brexit.)
France’s concern is valid but until UK actually Brexits, it presumably remains a full member of the EU with all the rights and privileges thereof.
But do they really want to? They’re acting like lemmings with a fetish for cliffs. In any case, everyone should stock up on popcorn.
Bloomberg: “The best way out of this mess hasn’t changed. The U.K. needs to reflect on what it has learned since it voted to leave the EU in 2016, revisit that decision, and legitimize a new policy through a second popular vote. …
“The great majority of MPs understand that May’s deal will satisfy nobody. Not merely imperfect, it isn’t even a defensible compromise, because it would deny Britain many of the economic benefits of EU membership while delivering less political autonomy, not more. Many of the MPs who’ve supported it, or might switch to support it, understand this too — but they cling to the idea that, in the fullness of time, they can take a bad Brexit and make it better. This is a delusion. …
“With time almost up, Britain teeters between making a disastrous mistake and admitting what most MPs, ministers and the prime minister herself now surely understand — that the Brexit project has gone irretrievably wrong. The country’s politicians can still call a halt. If they refuse, history’s verdict will be brutal.”
Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post: “Britain’s Euroskeptics generally want to leave the E.U. because they see it as a statist juggernaut. In virtually every other member country, Euroskeptics dislike the E.U. because they see it as a free-market juggernaut. So either all of those other countries have it backward, or Britain’s Conservatives have gone nuts. …
“The foreign policy consequences of Brexit are being discussed least but might prove to be the most consequential. If Brexit does occur, within a few years, Scotland and Northern Ireland would probably loosen their ties to Britain to maintain their association with Europe. The United Kingdom would then be reduced to just England and tiny Wales, not really fitting into any of the three economic blocs of the 21st century — North America, Europe and China. London, a city that has shaped global affairs for 250 years, would become the West’s Dubai, a place where lots of money sloshes around but of no great geopolitical consequence.”
A new referendum, ideally binding this time, with three choices: 1) the deal PM May negotiated; 2) leave without a deal; or 3) remain. Whichever choice commands a majority with instant-runoff voting would rule.
And here’s another solution:
Finally, we can just sit back and watch (with lots of popcorn).