Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Update on the Vote by the United Kingdom to Leave the European Union

           Despite last week’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and popular demands for similar referenda for other E.U. members, there are calls from the E.U. and its supporters for ever-closer union.  Indeed, the E.U. is continuing plans for an army and a coast guard, among other things.  Within the European Monetary Union, which uses the common currency (the euro), there are calls for a banking union, among other measures. 

            The pro-Europe side has apparently not learned the lesson from the British referendum that people prefer the sovereignty and independence of their nation-states over political union with others, especially in a union that is more bureaucratic than democratic, despite the economic benefits of free trade and passport-free travel.  As I noted in one of my posts earlier this month, those who favor the E.U. seek more European economic and political integration as the solution for every problem instead of abandoning altogether the European project or at scaling it back or drastically reforming the E.U. 

            Furthermore, the E.U. continues to try to tell the U.K. what to do.  The E.U. is demanding the British soon begin to negotiate the U.K.’s departure from the E.U., but the U.K. will begin only once a new government is formed after the Conservatives have a leadership election in late summer to replace the outgoing Prime Minister. 

            Already the markets are recovering from their shock, as it becomes clearer that the U.K. will continue to be prosperous, that the U.K.’s bilateral treaties with individual E.U. members will remain intact and that the E.U. is likely to reach a mutually beneficial exit agreement with the British, which is required by 2018 under the rules of the exit from the union.

            Meanwhile, British supporters of remaining in the E.U. continue to try to pursue various methods of avoiding the U.K.’s exit from the union.  These are not likely to succeed, although the U.K. has reached terra incognita.  

           A likely political result of the breakup of the United Kingdom itself, if Scotland and Northern Ireland secede, is that the Conservatives would be more politically dominant in what is left of the U.K. (England and Wales, or at least England), as they also would be in England if there were an English Parliament within the U.K., as there is in each of the Celtic areas.  A more likely scenario is that the U.K. will remain intact as the E.U. soon breaks up.

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