Today is the 5th anniversary of the UK’s decision to pull out the EU. I remain convinced that in the long run this will clearly be seen as one of the dumbest decisions a democracy ever made. Maybe not quite as dumb as electing Donald Trump, but one with much greater long-run consequences.
Meanwhile, however, views on the ground still differ: BoJo is still gung-ho — while many pro-Brexit voters say even if it did hurt them, it was worth it. Analysts and interest groups say it has harmed the UK, including importers, exporters, exporters again, UK expats in the EU, UK TV and filmakers, UK touring bands, pigeon fanciers, you name it; yes it’s all very complicated. Meanwhile the EU view is somewhere between ‘meh‘ and ‘good riddance’, although Timothy Garton Ash argues that the EU is worse off without the UK. (FWIW, I half agree, but note that the EU also reaped great benefits, in that the disaster in the UK destroyed all the nascent EU separatist movements in other EU members.) Lurking in the future is the unresolved status of Northern Ireland — will it be in the EU economic zone and hence outside the UK (as agreed in the Brexit deal), or outside the EU thus avoiding a border with the rest of the UK…but creating one with the Republic of Ireland in violation of the so-called Good Friday agreement.
For the UK this anniversary also raises the specter of divorce — or divorces: If the UK can’t sort out the Northern Irish trade issue, there’s a chance that re-unification with the Republic might become more popular. Meanwhile, Scotland likely will have another referendum on independence in the next few years, and the argument that leaving the UK would allow Scotland to rejoin Europe might well carry the day. In the end all that would be left of the UK would be England and Wales.
In local news, today is also my 32nd wedding anniversary. Still going strong.
First, congrats on the Anniversary. I’m not for behind you on that. It’s nice to see it all work out for some of us.
On the Brexit thing, your links suggest not that these are problems actually caused by the decision, but by the EU. “C’mon, UK, put your sunglasses on, put on a smile, and look pretty for the guests – oh, and don’t make me do that to you again, you know I hate being mad.”
Was the juxtaposition an intended irony?
Every one of those problems is a natural, obvious, and predictable consequence of Brexit. Pretty much every one was in fact predicted beforehand (the touring bands issue was new to me).
Suggesting that one should blame the EU for treating a non-member like a non-member is very odd. If the EU didn’t do that, what incentive would countries have to be members? The Tory party’s so-called “cakeist” faction seemed oblivious to this reality: they seemed, in BoJo’s words, to think they could have their cake (independence from Europe) and eat it too (retain all the benefits but none of the burdens of the single market). No one with any brains ever believed that for a minute, and the failure of the Tories to understand this, even if traditionally called ‘the stupid party’ by their enemies, was and remains breathtaking. Somehow they seemed to think that if they huffed and puffed enough the EU would at the last second back down because British trade was so … something. But of course the EU couldn’t do that: backing down on core features of the EU deal would be an existential disaster, and all the EU leadership, and the leaders of the Member States, well understood that. Weirdly, however, even the UK’s negotiators did not seem to get it.
(And, well, yes.)
I’m not suggesting anything except that all of this is funny and a predictable inevitability of the globalist elites wanting to reorganize the world to their benefit despite it having people in it already. Nice country you got there, it’d be too bad if something happened to it.