Britain Is Finished

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On the 23rd of June, Nigel Farage says we got our country back.

This couldn’t be any further from the truth. The UK’s decision to leave the EU is the UK’s death knell.

I don’t mean to speak in cliches, but goodbye Great Britain, and hello Little England.

Every region in Scotland voted to stay in the EU. If the UK leaves, this is a direct violation of the will of Scottish voters. Scottish independence — and possibly Irish reunification, given that a majority of Northern Irish voted to stay — is only a matter of time.

The case for Brexit was essentially a xenophobic one, built around malcontents simplistically blaming various external groups — foreigners, establishment politicians, unelected Brussels bureaucrats, etc, etc — for large, complex problems like Western deindustrialization, the arrival of cheaper migrant labour, the Syrian refugee crisis.

Now, I don’t think that the European elites have really done themselves any favours. The European economy is in a depression of the Eurocrats’ making, as they forced rounds and rounds of punitive austerity and deflation on depressed economies like Spain, Greece and Portugal that badly needed stimulus and inflation. If their project of ever-closer union is unravelling, it is at least partially their fault for not making a success of the union that they already had.

But two wrongs don’t make a right, and Britain leaving is basically a case of seppuku, with the country carving itself up and cutting itself off from many of its biggest trading partners.

The UK has by no means done badly in the EU. Look at how British disposable incomes have risen compared to the United States during Britain’s membership:

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In truly shocking news, trading with the world and allowing labour to migrate to where it is most productive results in rising living standards! What a surprise!

The market reaction around the world — where the pound has slumped by up to 10 percent at one point — is indicative of just how much the UK has devalued itself through this decision. Nobody knows what will happen now, and markets hate uncertainty. Will EU migrants be forced to leave? When? How about British migrants living in the EU? Will the UK be able to leave given that a majority of MPs are in favour of remaining? How long will Cameron and Osborne last at the top of the British government after campaigning for remaining? Will there be another general election? When? Who will win? How will UK consumers react to this uncertainty? How will UK businesses react? Will they cut investment in fear that exports will be hampered by leaving the EU? How will businesses in Europe and worldwide react? When will Scotland leave? How will Scotland leave? Will Scotland rejoin the EU? Will Ireland reunify? Will the EU begin to unravel altogether as more countries opt to leave?

We don’t really know. These are the things the markets are freaking out about, and we won’t begin to know the answers to these questions until we are further down the road.

It is just disappointing that so little of the debate took these factors into account. Markets couldn’t care less about grandstanding about sovereignty, or the cultural effects of immigration, or “getting our country back”. This kind of stuff doesn’t create jobs, or business opportunities or economic growth. It is entirely self-indulgent and isolationist, like the Ming dynasty’s choice to cut China off from the wider world for cultural reasons.

And that this has come as such a shock to markets suggests the possibility that this may be the straw that breaks the global growth’s back, not just sliding the UK into a recession, but arousing fearful spirits globally.

The tide is going out now, and after an eight year recovery how many banks and hedge funds and pension funds are swimming naked? This kind of extreme and chaotic event is exactly the kind of thing that precipitates financial crises. I don’t know if it will. Nobody — least of all the xenophobes who voted for this mess — really knows. But in the bigger picture, maybe this is our 1937. It certainly is the end of the UK.

22 thoughts on “Britain Is Finished

  1. Sorry you seem to have so little faith in the UK Aziz .Do you realise you just insulted the majority who voted in the referendum?
    I was surprised by the result too but am actually feeling rather pleased with the bigger picture. I voted for disentanglement from the EU, and it was nothing to do with xenophobia and everything to do with the current direction of the EU project
    I felt apprehension at the prospect of the ever increasing massive UK contribution being used to prop up an entirely artificial edifice, sold to the people of the UK in the ’70’s as a trade deal between a handful of countries.
    This has mow morphed into an ever increasing geographic area with ambitions far beyond a European trade deal. I feared in the future the loss of the pound sterling. The loss of the Drachma has hardly helped Greece with circa 50% youth unemployment.
    In the last budget, George Osbourne was scratching around to find £1billion of savings by hitting the most vulnerable in our society with benefit cuts, and yet we’re told the £10billion EU cartel membership fee is just 1% of our GNP so it doesn’t matter.
    I look at the Eu and see capital misallocation on a grand scale.
    The EU books have never been successfully audited. Much of the money spend is opaque. Any Limited Company trying to use EU accounting with HMRC would see the directors arrested fairly swiftly.
    Politicians across Europe are so out of touch with voting sentiment. And when the ‘little people’ protest they are told they are wrong and ‘we know best’.
    I have huge respect for the campaign fought by David Cameron, and was greatly impressed with his dignified and excellent resignation speech…a true statesman. I hope a new leader emerges for the task in hand of equivalent integrity.
    The UK can now begin direct trade negotiations with all of the non-EU countries including the 40 plus ex- commonwealth countries we so disgracefully abandoned back in the 70’s.
    Trade deals have to be a win-win and should never demand huge sums in advance for the privilege of dealing. If UK firms pay oligarchs for deals it’s called bribery and corruption.
    Most of the current problems coming to a head in the world are caused by ‘too big to fail’ financial erngineering of which the EU is a prime example. Far too much money being mis-allocated with great good intentions on the road to hell.

  2. Yes, I can hear the Atlantic waters seeping in as the whole island slowly sinks below the waves after our ship of state has finally ended!

  3. I agree. The leave decision was the best possible outcome. Britain will continue to do business with the EU in various forms. The EU can not afford to ignore such a large market. What it all means is that the EU aristocracy will have more effective opposition. The trend to globalization and centralization has been broken and that is the way of the future. Large structures are not more efficient than small ones. Large structures can cheat more efficiently. Brussels has overstepped its limits and Brexit is the first effective opposition to that arrogance from European elites. Thank you Britain!

  4. Martin Edwards has covered most of the points I had intended to raise. Well said! I would just expand on his comments that trade deals are win-win. Whatever made trade beneficial to both sides is still true. There will be re-negotiations and talk of tariffs, not because they are necessary but because opportunity makes them possible, but there will still be trade.

    Aziz, your attempt to equate immigration with a rise in income falls flat when you consider that it has had the opposite effect in the US.

  5. Brits wanted their lives and sovereignty back, what a concept! Mr. Aziz is very off base on this diatribe. Let us hope other countries exit the EU and the U.S. gets rid of the EU types that have taken the joint over.

  6. The EU institution is a relic of the past. My feeling is it will be gone in five years. It’s going the way of the former Soviet Union. Globalization is not working for anyone, but the elites.

  7. Change is never easy, but sometimes dramatic change is needed to weed out the bad guys. I’m proud of the UK. Every voter realizes that with change will come potential backlash especially by those in power. Those that voted for change are good, strong people looking ahead to future generations.

    The media tried to play it up to total destruction – but it wasn’t and it won’t be because the UK is a powerful nation. We all need to stand together – because neither the UK, nor America, can continue long the same path. It’s a path to total destruction by the banking industry.

  8. Marge Holt was the only member of Congress as a Congressional Rep. to stand up and fight against the one world globalism proposed to the US in the 1970s. I happened to have had the honor of knowing her when I was a teen.

    Congressional Record (1/19/1976), p. 240, “Extensions of Remarks, World Affairs Council”

    Hon. Marjorie S. Holt (MD), in the House of Representatives: “Mr. Speaker, many of us recently received a letter from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, inviting members of Congress to participate in a ceremonial signing of “A Declaration of Interdependence” on January 30 in Congress Hall, adjacent to Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

    A number of Members of Congress have been invited to sign this document, lending their prestige to its theme, but I want the record to show my strong opposition to this declaration.

    Mr. Speaker, this is an obscenity that defiles our Declaration of Independence, signed 200 years ago in Philadelphia. We fought a great Revolution for independence and individual liberty, but now it is proposed that we participate in a world socialist order.

    Are we a proud and free people, or are we a carcass to be picked by the jackals of the world, who want to destroy us?

    When one cuts through the high-flown rhetoric of this “Declaration of Interdependence,” one finds key phrases that tell the story.

    For example, it states that, “The economy of all nations is a seamless web, and that no one nation can any longer effectively maintain its processes of production and monetary systems without recognizing the necessity for collaborative regulation by international authorities.”

    How do you like the idea of “international authorities” controlling our production and our monetary system, Mr. Speaker? How could any American dedicated to our national independence and freedom tolerate such an idea?

    The declaration goes on to urge a strengthening of the United Nations and a broadening of the jurisdiction of the World Court, “that these may preside over a reign of law that will not only end wars but will end as well the mindless violence which terrorizes our society even in times of peace.”

    Mr. Speaker, we have lately witnessed the United Nations organization in full cry against America and her allies of the Free World. We have watched the U.N. become an instrument of the Soviet Union and its shabby following of despots large and small.

    America should never subject her fate to decisions by such an assembly, unless we long for national suicide. Instead, let us have independence and freedom.

    See more: https://deadlyclear.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/republicans-reflect-where-did-your-gop-go/

    • Thank you Deadly Clear for sharing that speech. She was ahead of the curve. World government sounds like a terrible idea at this juncture to me, but it was definitely the direction of the EU. So pleased we had a Brexit majority. World financial engineering is getting very scary. Now we need to try to slowly return to sound money.

  9. “It is just disappointing that so little of the debate took these factors into account. Markets couldn’t care less about grandstanding about sovereignty, or the cultural effects of immigration, or “getting our country back”. This kind of stuff doesn’t create jobs, or business opportunities or economic growth. It is entirely self-indulgent and isolationist, like the Ming dynasty’s choice to cut China off from the wider world for cultural reasons.”
    While I agree with the ‘leave’ side about the need for the EU to change its modus operandi, actually leaving, specially after reaching a deal about some meaningful modifications, is a behavior close to that of a spoiled brat.
    One that is impervious to history’s lessons.

  10. I want to add that the USA fought a 4 year civil and it wasn’t finished. Germany lost two world wars and was bombed to gravel and it wasn’t finished. Over the long run a country is as wealthy as it is productive. If the UK becomes more productive it will become wealthier. If it becomes less productive it will become poorer. The world is exactly that simple.

  11. So sorry for you Brits who cannot come to terms with the loss of your “Empire” financed by Rotschild.
    It is back to square one with you Englanders. “the sins of the fathers are visited on their children”.
    Mark Carney is trying to explain just how bankrupt you really are.

  12. Ms Fuchs, you greatly overestimate the economic benefit of the EU and underestimate the resilience of the UK. Because we are over £1.5trillion in debt, not counting unfunded liabilities and Gordon Brown’s other infamous ‘off the books’ accounting PFI’s…… that’s exactly why we’re right to leave the EU. This is not Brexit. This is Brennaisance ( with apologies to Merynn Somerset Webb ). Mayer Amschel Rothschild and many of his descendents understood and understand the importance of control. Leaving the EU gives the UK back more control. We are certainly not back to ‘square one’, simply moving to a different and better square.

  13. I agree that England is finished.The first Brexit in Henry Vlll’s reign went brilliantly. This one will be a disaster unless people are happy to see England as an Islamic Republic within 100 years and become a western Syria or Iraq.

  14. I love the misplaced arrogance of the Brextards. Just to remind you… The British Empire, a barbaric and backward regime, finished long ago.

    With Brexit, Britain has lost the only thing that made it great – a liberal, tolerant attitude towards newcomers. Those newcomers are the ones who create the change and energy in our society, stimulating the economy and enriching our culture.

    There is only one way for Britain now and that is down.

    I just hope that London can jump this sinking ship and become a dynamic principality that stays in the EU. Good luck to Scotland and Northern Ireland too.

    • Good job that Britain has adopted a number of other names. When Britain is no longer viable we will still have Albion, the U.K., Great Britain, “there always be an England”, and the rightful claim of not becoming slaves, to choose from.

    • Rejecting the EU is not the same as becoming intolerant. The decline of the British Empire and indeed all empires should be welcomed. The EU is attempting to copy the American Empire, with much less success.
      I suppose if the membership fees had been lower I might have voted remain, but a small country like the UK with generous social programmes can’t afford a money parasite sucking £12billion a year out of the economy.
      Even worse would be to give up the ability to issue and control our own currency as Greece has now discovered. As to London leaving the rest of the UK behind, it always has been a dynamic principality. The arrogance is that the EU could improve it. The newcomers will continue to come to the UK as they always have and trade will continue in the best interests of the trading parties. Not heard the term ‘Brextard’ before. Sounds pretty arrogant though.

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