It’s more than 100 days since the UK voted to leave the EU, and finally some information is starting to emerge about how the government envisages such a process.
For NHS workers, car companies, financial services groups, telecoms companies, millions of Europeans in Britain, millions of Brits in Europe, scientists, farmers and more, it is a bleak situation. The government appears committed and “hard Brexit” looks an increasingly probably solution. But as is usual in politics, not everything is as it seems, and there are plenty of reasons for the 73% of the UK population that didn’t vote to leave to remain hopeful. This post outlines some of what is going on, and some reasons for optimism. Continue reading
It comes to my attention that the media is reporting that the UK economy is doing well post Brexit. I’d like to address this point, because misunderstanding the economic situation tips the scales against the urgent need to block the UK’s departure from the world’s largest trading block.
Is the economy doing fine? In short, no. The Bank of England has cut rates to a new record low and resumed quantitative easing. Mark Carney has forecast at least 250k job losses.
So what’s the beef? Continue reading
Dear Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom
As you well know, last month 17.4 million British citizens, 52% of those registered, voted to leave the EU. At the same time, however, 29 million registered voters didn’t choose to leave. The UK is said to be the mother of all democracies, so the rules of the referendum must hold, and one of you, as the future prime minister, will be charged with taking the UK out of the EU.
For some this is a great relief, for others an equally great tragedy. Opinion is sharply divided. But more than that, the path forward Continue reading
Leave will lead you out the door, and over a cliff. It is incredulous that the leadership of the Leave campaign doesn’t grasp the most basic lessons of the Greek crisis.
And it’s not as if they haven’t been studying it. Throughout the referendum campaign, Leave repeatedly pointed to Greece as an example of how twisted the EU is. Citing the maltreatment of the Greek population through austerity as an example of how the EU doesn’t take care of its citizens.
But when the discussion switches to the UK, they imagine an entirely different circumstance. Continue reading
Over the weekend, whilst reeling from the shock news that the UK has voted to leave the EU, I was monitoring and consistently promoting an online petition to call for a repeat vote. Many people have signed it, but most insist that change is not on the cards. I disagree, and here I will explain why I believe the UK should reconsider its decision to leave the EU. Continue reading
Dear Fellow Brits
The night of 23 June, I went to bed confident that I would wake up the next day as a member of the EU. For months the polls had been close, but I rested confident that polls are entirely unreliable. I had talked to many people and saw most of them grappling with the responsibility of their decision to vote on whether or not to leave the EU. I am sure most people I spoke to worked out that there was only one safe and sensible choice, to remain.
But now it seems that a large part of the Remain campaign brushed off the risk of a Leave vote, and with typical apathy left it up to others to take care of going to the polls. As a result, on 24 June, it was declared that the UK will leave the EU, thanks to a plebiscite that gained the support of less than 35% of the nation.
Shocking as this result was, it doesn’t seem to have overly troubled too many people at this early stage. But I would like to take a minute to explain what’s going on. Continue reading
OK, at the risk of alienating myself from all sides, I’m going to take a crack at the referendum nut. I don’t get to vote because I’ve lived outside the UK for too long. If I did, I’d vote “Remain” and then everyone would tell me that I’m just expressing my self-interest, because I live in continental Europe. And that’s an interesting place to start thinking about how to vote. Continue reading
Europeans seem to view Brits as an irascible nuisance. Proud but pragmatic individuals ready to do whatever it takes to get their own way, and doggedly resistant to the common interest. Perhaps even a modern-day Trojan horse within the EU for the purpose of destroying it. For their part Brits see Europeans as obsessed with imposing their definition of common interest, unwilling to accept dissent or disagreement. Both sides are probably wrong, the European view of Britain certainly is.
The UK population today is less proud of its colonial history than of its 20th century actions, where it sacrificed its global dominance to twice save Europe from utter catastrophe. The UK is far more affectionate toward Europe than Continue reading