Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Brexit Begins To Bite: Now What?

EU flag minus Britain
I've got a dog in this fight: my sister in law is married to a French bloke. They've got two daughters and love to visit their parents. How is Brexit going to affect that? As people begin to wake up to the consequences of opting out, it's clear that now that Pandora's Box has been opened, imposing some kind of order on the situation is going to take some work.

Not everyone wanted out


I've already mentioned the petition to re-do the referendum. That's silly. If people have just realised that taking a Brexit McBrexitface attitude was a flippin' stupid thing to do they've made their bed and they can flippin' lie in it. That said, there may be a way to pull ourselves back from the brink.

Devolved legislatures may be able to remain



There's a lot of uncertainty over the future of Northern Ireland. The terrorists simply can't let go of that whole 1916 failed Easter Rising thing and must needs take up arms again. You'd think that devolving authority to the point where Ulster becomes completely autonomous would solve the problem but the Unionists are having none of it. The last thing they want is a united Ireland, which is what all the bombing and killing is about; the people might vote the "wrong" way in the event of a referendum to settle the matter, but then they're as divided on the question of a united Ireland as we are over here on being in Europe. Anyway it seems that the devolved legislatures may be able to remain. Or not, depending on the letter of the law. It could give the McBrexitfaces a way out of their dilemma.

London is being punished


The trouble with Thatcherism is it set off a chain reaction in which all the nation's wealth was drained down to London. When the BBC's programme production moved to the North West (Salford Quays) it was a change in our fortunes and it has brought more jobs to Manchester. However, throughout the rest of the regions that basically aren't London or where banksters' kids go to uni, the drain-down continues. People go where the best jobs are and those are in London — if you can afford to live there. London, and the City of London in particular, stood to benefit the most from staying in the EU. Now that Brexit has happened they're all tearing their hair out. Well tough! As Nick Hanauer says:


Who said the people didn't know what they were doing? Now you could say that ultimately they have cut off their noses to spite their faces but remember we've got austerity in full swing here, cutting services to the bone and privatising them as and when possible. We're not going to notice much of a difference here, but London is going to get a kicking. Is it worth it? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, in Westminster


Our main political parties have fallen apart. Both were riven over the EU and both are going full Brutus on their respective Caesars. In the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn has lost a vote of no confidence, with 172 MPs turning against him for not doing enough to keep Britain in Europe. He was never that keen on it in the first place.

Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, leaving us without a leader and, most importantly, leaving Article 50 un-invoked. Here's the fun part; we stay in the EU for as long as it is not invoked. If public opinion swings to the "Remain, it's too much hassle to leave" camp, we might not invoke it at all. That said, Germany's Angela Merkel seems determined to ignore the growing calls for a U-turn and is holding the door open, gently coaxing Britain outwards.

Brexiteers are facing a backlash


The "Actually, we need to re-think this" campaign has begun, with the Murdoch papers finally admitting to what damage has been done. Today the Sun backpedalled again with the headline "Dodged that bullet: EU has plans for ‘giant superstate’ just days after Britain voted Brexit." Could this be their response to the backlash from their readers over the misinformation peddled to them by The Sun days before the Brexit vote? It certainly looks like it from here. It's not as if a unified superstate hasn't been the endgame all along. It's just that we're so economically and socially tied into Europe, it's a massive inconvenience to leave. Whether The Sun will lose all credibility over its massive miscalculation unless its ill-informed readers are willing to forgive it is worth keeping an eye on. I'd love to see Rupert Murdoch lose all influence in Westminster. His media empire needs breaking up. When that's gone we need an Act of Parliament to ban individuals from owning more than one media outlet. Nobody should have the kind of power Murdoch has. Nobody.

Conclusion


These are interesting times. I will continue to keep an eye on the Brexit situation because it affects my own job, as much as anything else. I will also continue to blame austerity and Thatcherite policies for the Brexit vote. We should have remained and worked towards reform so that the EU became more about being a trading bloc. Ah well, the milk is spilt. Let's wipe it up, pick up the broken glass, and move on.

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