Friday 24 June 2016

So what happens now?

It's done.

The UK voted to leave the EU, and I don't think that parliament will ignore the result.

Cameron has resigned, and good riddance - it was him that got us into this mess. He did it to A) fend off a split in the Tory party, and B) fend off the encroachment of UKIP.

So what happens now?

There won't be a general election. The Conservative party will appoint a new PM from within their ranks. It won't be Boris - it can't be, he's not an MP. So who? George Osborne, our unpopular Chancellor? Or will one MP be commanded to fall on his sword so that there can be a by-election at which Boris will stand? I don't know, but it'll have to be someone, and pretty soon. Because someone will have to negotiate this Brexit.

 ... update ...

I've just been reminded that Boris is the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.  So probably it will be Boris.

... end of correction ...

Then parliament has to vote to leave the EU, and if they don't, what was the referendum for? So they will. This invokes Article 50. No-one knows how that works, because this has never happened before (unless you could Greenland and Algeria).

It's like a divorce. No, it *is* a divorce, with all the concomitant wrangling over who gets the record player. And it's going to be messy. And there will be many politicians who blame all the bad things that will happen over the next 20 years, on the EU, because Johnny Foreigner.

Here's what we want. We want access to the 500 million-strong market of the EU without having to pay the financial contributions, without having free movement of labour and without having to conform to EU regulations. Here's what we'll be offered. You can have the same access that China and the USA has (which means tariffs and quotas) or you can join the Free Trade Area but only if you pay the financial contributions, have free movement of labour and conform to EU regulations. The free movement and the regulations won't be negotiable; the amount of the contribution is something that can be discussed. I'd guess that the opening bid will be £350 million per week.

So what will our politicians respond? A) they'll call it "punishment for leaving", B) they'll call it "blackmail" and C) they'll say it's all the fault of Johnny Foreigner. So will we agree to those terms? Probably not, because agreeing to them makes a nonsense of Brexit.

Meanwhile, the Scots want independence. The Scots voted unanimously for Remain, and now they'll want to split off from the UK and join the EC. There will be similar mutterings from Northern Ireland, but probably that won't happen. Although it might. We'll probably keep Wales.

The pound just fell 8%, the stock market 4%. This means that people around the world think that the UK economy will suffer from Brexit. They're right. We're a trading nation - we import 50% of our food, and we can't change that easily.

So - at least we "have our country back"? No, we don't. For example, if anyone invades Poland, we're committed to go to war in their defence; leaving the EU doesn't change that. For example, Brexit won't have any effect on immigration from outside the EU, which is about half UK immigration. And we don't even have democracy - the unelected House of Lords can veto most legislation passed by the elected House of Commons.

Will leaving the EU ease the pressure on the NHS? No, because the pressure on the NHS is caused by our not spending as much as we could on it, and the presence of EU people working in the NHS used to ease that pressure - but in future, we won't have free movement of labour.

Will leaving the EU ease the pressure onhousing? No, because the pressure on housing is caused partly by our planning permission system, partly by lack of investment in housing and partly by the large number of UK folks who see a house as their main capital asset, and not as a thing for living in.

Will leaving the EU reduce immigration? Maybe it will cut back on the number of Polish bricklayers and Irish programmers, but it isn't going to have any impact on immigration from non-EU countries.

This isn't going to affect me much; I bill in US dollars and the fall in the pound means I get more pounds for those dollars.

The main impact of this is going to be on my children and grandchildren, and I apologise to them that, despite everything I tried to do, the majority of UK voters have made the wrong decision.


  1. Janet Daley, ex Berkley socialist, now commentator for London Telegraph, today:

    "But the most startling revelation of the night was the national character. I have said it before about my adopted country but I must say it again: the British are the sanest, bravest people in the world. I am stunned with admiration."

  2. Oh dear don't worry we will be OK, apart from Scotland all areas that voted to stay you might have noted are all wealthy areas where they don't live next door to a rented house crammed full of Eastern European's, being wealthy they probably own it and rake in the high rents. So why would they want to leave?
    Quote ... The main impact of this is going to be on my children and grandchildren, and I apologise to them that, despite everything I tried to do, the majority of UK voters have made the wrong decision Is THEIR SILVERSPOON going to melt ? Dr Solly The UK public have voted tough luck, go count your money

  3. I have a team of accountants whose sole task is to count my money.