Brexit!

Jun. 25th, 2016 09:08 am
danalwyn: (Default)
[personal profile] danalwyn
So now the post-Brexit stuff is going down. It's still very murky and unclear and about the only thing I can see a consensus on is that Cameron is a terrible politician. I mean, really. This is the second referendum he's mismanaged, and he can't even keep his own party in check. They may deserve their just desserts. The rest of the UK probably doesn't.

Presuming that Brexit doesn't simply die in committee or get set on fire or spontaneously combust in a second "Are-you-really-sure" referendum, the situation has become interesting to watch - from a distance. Things that were unthinkable a few weeks ago are now not only thinkable, but possible. That should worry the hell out of a lot of people, although everything is so far off that there's no point in worrying now. Still, for the sake of speculation, here's some ideas that have come up, which are fascinating in the 'unfolding trainwreck' way of things:

1) The Dissolution of the United Kingdom: One big argument for Scotland staying with the UK is that it would remain part of the EU (a new nation would not get that effect). But if the UK leaves, Scotland might choose to stay behind. That seems a reasonable outcome. Additionally, Northern Ireland is economically dependent on an open border with the Republic of Ireland. The Unification of Ireland would be interesting (and would hand an unprepared Republic of Ireland a smoldering fuse to put out). Wales might also do a bit better out of the UK, although it's unclear whether they'll make the jump.

2) The Disposition of the Expats: There are always a surprising number of British expats looking to spend their days in more southern and sunnier climes, often under the auspices of post-Schengen open border agreements. What happens to them post-Brexit? If the EU is feeling mean, they'll say that British citizens no longer have the right to live in Europe without a lot more paperwork, but the houses have to be taxed anyway. It's a good way to make some money for the countries involved, and it's not like the situation vis-a-vis Britain could be much worse.

3) The Free City of London: While we're carving up the British Empire, let's take it's most valuable part. London was definitely on the Remain side of the ledger. Its multi-ethnic, multi-cultural nature, its immigrant past, and the ties of its main financial industries to international markets make it a perfect candidate to be in the EU. If the departure descends into plebiscite hell, it would be interesting to see if London makes a break for city-state status. Southeastern England wouldn't be a huge country, but it would be bigger and richer than some similarly sized nations, like Austria. This is a catastrophic idea, but the fact that people are talking about it even in jest is an "interesting" development (as in the Chinese curse).

4) Learning to spell things without a u: The UK is no longer the world power it was last week. One of the UK's natural strengths was in its position in a series of alliances. Now its ties with the rest of Europe seem in tatters. The UK isn't on that good of speaking terms with most of its former (non-white) colonies. The only thing left to them is their "Special Relationship" with the US - which just got a lot less special because there's a lot less they can offer. This may look a lot more like a client relationship than an alliance if the UK can't recover some European ground, just due to the hostile climate they have created locally and the dependence that fosters on her remaining friends. That's okay. The US is always willing to step up. We'll soon teach the British not to stick 'u' in every possible word, and not to use words like 'lorry' that aren't in real English (American English), and how to provide soldiers for American interventions. Hey, maybe you'll even get to become a US state once London is gone!


Overall though, there are a few years left to shape this conversation. Don't worry about the catastrophes. The damage can still be contained. Or reversed. Or we get a do-over. This isn't just politics, this is history and history is never over.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-06-26 04:58 pm (UTC)
silverjackal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverjackal
I try to envisage the potential outfall from this and I can't. The ripples stretch too far and reach too many other things. :( Not that I think the EU is perfect -- far from it! -- but globally things just keep getting murkier and murkier.

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November 2016

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