The very first Brexit?

by on June 26, 2016 at 12:18 am in Current Affairs, History, Law, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

In 383, the usurper Magnus Maximus withdrew troops from northern and western Britain, probably leaving local warlords in charge. Around 410, the Romano-British expelled the magistrates of the usurper Constantine III, ostensibly in response to his failures to use the Roman garrison he had stripped from Britain to protect the island. Roman Emperor Honorius replied to a request for assistance with the Rescript of Honorius, telling the Roman cities to see to their own defence, a tacit acceptance of temporary British self-government. Honorius was fighting a large-scale war in Italy against the Visigoths under their leader Alaric, with Rome itself under siege. No forces could be spared to protect distant Britain. Though it is likely that Honorius expected to regain control over the provinces soon, by the mid-500s Procopius recognised that Britannia was entirely lost to the Romans.

That is from Wikipedia on the end of Roman rule in Britain.  I smiled at this sentence, though it does not exactly reflect my view of the current situation:

The Empire’s historical relationship with Germanic tribes was sometimes hostile, at other times cooperative, but ultimately fatal, as it was unable to prevent those tribes from assuming a dominant role in the relationship.

I still think there is a twenty percent chance that the contemporary Brits reverse themselves, starting with inaction and culminating in a new election and referendum.  The EU has to “play nasty” in the meantime, but perhaps they too have heard of the Coase theorem.  Imagine an equilibrium where each EU nation “leaves,” for purposes of expressive voting, and then shortly thereafter re-enters.

British Parliamentarians and Republican Party delegates need to study up on their coordination games quite soon!

1 Colin June 26, 2016 at 12:25 am

“Imagine an equilibrium where each EU nation “leaves,” for purposes of expressive voting, and then shortly thereafter re-enters.”

Volatility traders love that idea.

2 Ray Lopez June 26, 2016 at 8:11 am

TC, a chess master, uses a ‘jujitsu’ type move to gain advantage, using the very same idea used by his opponents (that predicted BrExit when TC did not) against his opponents! It’s like voluntarily accepting a dangerous sacrifice, knowing your opponent will fail to find the right continuation…

TC: “I still think there is a twenty percent chance that the contemporary Brits reverse themselves, starting with inaction and culminating in a new election and referendum. The EU has to “play nasty” in the meantime, but perhaps they too have heard of the Coase theorem. Imagine an equilibrium where each EU nation “leaves,” for purposes of expressive voting, and then shortly thereafter re-enters.”

3 stephan June 26, 2016 at 12:42 am

Brexit will bring about an unintended (perhaps ironic) consequence. If the Touquet accords are rescinded which is likely, the French English border will be moved to the the English side. This means the French won’t stop the Calais migrants getting on the ferries or trying to cross the channel by dinghy. All these migrants are non EU ( afghans, Iraqis, Sudanese etc..). After Brexit I believe also other countries will want to modify the current EU treaties especially Schengen ( but not necessarily leave the EU outright)

4 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 1:13 am

‘If the Touquet accords are rescinded which is likely’

According to the French, that treaty still stands, as it has nothing to do with the EU.

Admittedly, the far right in France would like to see the end of that treaty.

5 stephan June 26, 2016 at 1:17 am
6 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 1:20 am

Not sure, but we can all agree that Art Deco is one sexy individual 😉

7 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 2:14 am

Obviously, you just aren’t capable of putting even a bit more effort into this – clever antics can be amusing, after all.

For example, include a German wikipedia link – https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexappeal to provide that extra touch of veracity.

But at least you figured out that authentic was a clumsy tip off, so at least it is possible to look forward to your taking small steps to much better attempts.

8 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 2:20 am

An article from March? Try one from the last few hours – ‘The French deal with Britain that keeps border checks, and thousands of refugees and migrants, on the French side of the Channel will remain in place and won’t be affected by the Brexit vote, the Paris government has said.

Under a bilateral treaty signed in 2003 known as the Le Touquet accord, British officials can check passports in France and vice-versa. This means the English border is effectively pushed back to France and migrants and refugees trying to reach Britain remain stuck in a no-man’s land at make-shift camps in Calais and on France’s northern coast.

The French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, dismissed outright calls from politicians on the French right for a post-Brexit renegotiation of the Le Touquet accord that could push the border back to the Kent coast. “Would that also mean putting in place boats for people who otherwise risk drowning? I think we should be serious,” he said in a TV interview.

“On the question of immigration, to be clear, British exit from the European Union will not lead to changes in terms of immigration treaties with United Kingdom … These are bilateral treaties,” said the government spokesman and agriculture minister, Stéphane Le Foll.

Since the Brexit vote, the French government has stressed that there would be no change to the border deal with Britain. Because the Le Touquet accord is between France and Britain directly, and not linked to the European Union, there is no automatic need to renegotiate the deal.’

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/25/french-border-deal-wont-be-affected-by-brexit-paris

Nothing lasts forever, of course, but that treaty is likely to remain in place for a while.

9 stephan June 26, 2016 at 12:47 am

The losers ( and a lot of them did not bother to vote in the first place) are petitioning for a re-vote. Ha ha keep voting until you get the correct result

10 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 1:12 am

The losers lost, as the EU is making abundantly clear at this point.

The leave voters decided to leave the EU, and the EU no longer need even pretend to care about what the British think.

11 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 2:29 am

Though as this article makes clear, some leave advocates still haven’t figured out that they no longer have any leverage with the EU, apart from what the EU wishes to provide – ‘Britain was heading into a period of unprecedented political, constitutional and economic crisis on Saturday night as European leaders stepped up demands for it to quit the EU as soon as possible.

However, prominent Leave campaigner and cabinet minister Theresa Villiers, writing in the Observer, dismissed the calls. “There is no need to plunge into tabling article 50 now, whatever [European commission president] Mr Juncker may want,” she writes, referring to the trigger for formal Brexit negotiations. “The period of informal negotiation prior to an article 50 process will be crucial and should not be rushed.”’ http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/uk-faces-brexit-crisis

Nobody in the EU cares about British concerns at this point, and as leave voters are likely to discover, rules that apply to members are irrelevant for members that have voted to leave.

Almost as if the leave voters thought the EU would want to keep the UK in the EU, due to the UK’s extreme importance. Now they are discovering that the EU is happy to no longer even pretend to care about what the UK wants.

And really, what are the British to do – appeal to the EU to treat it as if it hadn’t just voted to leave? If the British had previously thought that Brussels/Strasbourg was too controlling, wait until they discover how the EU treats non-EU members.

12 derek June 26, 2016 at 8:26 am

So the EU has adopted the Black Knight strategy; It is only a flesh wound.

13 jim jones June 26, 2016 at 3:03 am
14 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 3:33 am

Piossibly, but the roughly 1.3 million British citizens living in the EU do not have British IP addresses, and as a group, have a large interest in remaining able to retain their legal residency. Further, a number of Britons also live in the U.S. (Florida comes to mind in the same sense that Spain does in terms of British retirees) and Australia.

In other words, it is fairly easy to imagine several hundred thousand British citizens not currently residing in the UK wanting a new vote.

Which won’t matter, because the EU at this point has no interest in keeping the UK in the EU, as the leave voters are starting to actually realize. Little England just isn’t that relevant, it seems, regardless of the apparent fantasies of many leave voters.

15 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:46 am

Spanish law as it stands now allows foreign residents of all sorts to remain if they’ve been there five years. The impediment to mass expulsions of Brits living in Spain or France (who constitute 70% of the Brits on the continent) would be the 200,000 Spanish and French citizens living in Britain.

16 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:57 am

OK, I will ask – how do you get from non-UK IP addresses and retaining legal residency to talking about ‘mass expulsions’?

Why would the Spanish, when following Spanish law, be considered to be engaging in ‘mass expulsion’? This is how non-EU citizens are treated, after all, and what the leave voters apparently desire. To put it a bit dryly, why not call this upcoming need to comply with local Spanish law through a fully British decision ‘self-deportation’ instead?

17 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:47 am

I wouldn’t take Sundance seriously. (Though the petition may be fictional).

18 John June 27, 2016 at 4:18 am

What this blogger fails to notice is that: (a) even on the figures he gives, the petition has already passed the 100,000 threshold that requires parliament to consider a debate and the smaller 10,000 that requires the government to issue a response; (b) many of the original signatures will have been from Leave campaigners who feared they were going to lose. In any event, the petition now stands at 3.5m+ and rising.

19 Jan June 26, 2016 at 5:54 am

Don’t you think there is a very good chance that they would vote Remain now? The politicians have to actually implement the whole leaving thing anyway, which they could simply decide not to do. This is going to get interesting!

20 PD Shaw June 26, 2016 at 10:58 am

Sure, the vote was close enough that if you redo it enough times, you will get a variety of results. The main restrictions on a revote is that “Leave” got more votes than any British government in living memory, and the issue is a wedge issue for both Tories and Labour. If the Conservatives call for a re-vote, they may never participate in another government for a generation, as half of their voters peal off to UKIP. The best path to a revote is probably:

1. Renegotiated terms with the EU on length of stay before welfare benefits kick-in. Give the re-vote a substantively different context than not liking the result. Problem is EU already negotiated the extent they would compromise under the threat of exit, and will not like negotiating against themselves, bad precedent, etc. Solution is understanding sunk-cost fallacy: Outcome for Poland now worse if exit finalizes.

2. Conservatives and Labour join in calling for a revote, so neither can be punished for doing this.

21 Jan June 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

I am just saying that I don’t think Leave is actually the majority view, and maybe it wasn’t even at the time of the vote. If they had the exact vote one more time, now that people have some sense of the actual impact Leave is likely to have, I believe the outcome would be the opposite. I don’t think they will actually would do it again, in part for the reasons you state. More likely is they simply don’t invoke Article 50, for which they could take a variety of paths.

22 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 1:11 am

‘The Empire’s historical relationship with Germanic tribes was sometimes hostile, at other times cooperative, but ultimately fatal, as it was unable to prevent those tribes from assuming a dominant role in the relationship.’

The Western Empire, one should note – the Eastern Empire continued for centuries, untroubled by a bunch of semi-barbaric Germanic tribes. However, its problems with the Aryans was long running.

23 AlexR June 26, 2016 at 1:16 am

The first Brexit was in the 16th century when Henry VIII severed ties with the Catholic Church, the corrupt European bureaucracy of its day (as perceived by Protestants). Henry’s scheme (hatched by Cromwell) to put to a vote of Parliament the proposition that he and not the Pope was head of the Church set the country on its course toward democracy. There are several interesting parallels here.

24 Colin Brewer June 26, 2016 at 2:13 am

The 5th Century is a fascinating period with the morphing of Roman Britain into Celtic tribal Civitas and early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. In it stands Arthur who was probably a posh Celt called Ambrosius Aurelianus and who legend has sleeping in various places waiting for a call from the people. How nice if he could now wake up and lead us into a second referendum which would let us remain in the EU.
Incidentally tribes from Gaul called Parisii and Belgae migrated from Gaul to Britain and their descendants in those areas seem to have voted for Brexit. How confusing.

25 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:42 am

You lost.

Riothamus (or Ambrosius) was defending Celtic Britain against German invaders.

26 Marcus June 26, 2016 at 3:08 am

Denial phase?

27 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:11 am

On the part of the moderator and several participants here.

28 JWatts June 27, 2016 at 12:44 am

“Denial phase?”

Yes, precisely.

29 ChrisA June 26, 2016 at 3:10 am

This prompts another thought – the EU is not monolithic – so who will speak for the EU in these negotiations? My guess is that Merkel will emerge as the chief negotiator. It’s hard to believe that the French president, or Donald Tusk will have sufficient credibility to oppose her. That will be an interesting confirmation that the EU is gradually becoming a German project.

In terms of demands from each side – the EU probably will be looking for some continuing payment into the central budget, acceptance of some continued free movement of people from the EU, confirmation of the acceptance of the UK of the prohibitions on industry subsidies (to avoid “unfair competition”), confirmation that the UK won’t impose tariffs on EU goods exported to UK and some kind of a deal on company taxation (to avoid tax competition). In return the UK will want some cap on the amount of immigration, visa free working for UK citizens in EU, a similar deal on tariffs free exports and a veto on use of UK funds in the EU, something about financial market access rights in the EU, and an agreement on the right of the UK to set it’s own financial regulations.

The most difficult area to resolve will I think will be on immigration followed by financial market access.

On the UK side, I would not be surprised to see a future deal with the EU having to be subject to a further referendum given the divided nature of the electorate. I can also see any compromise settlement being rejected, by one side as not sufficiently strong, and and the other side as being too weak on immigration. So there might have to be multiple rounds of discussions lasting many years. The uncertainty of the situation is probably the most damaging thing for the UK economy. It will be difficult for people to invest in export orientated industries if they don’t know the terms under which they can export. Also we can expect a large surge in the number of immigrants coming to the UK while they can. That might have implications for the jobs market and the housing market. Ironically Brexit may ensure more immigration at least in the short term.

30 mulp June 26, 2016 at 4:09 am

I bet you are totally wrong.

While Germany can lead the negotiations, and Merkel is skilled, any agreement will require approval by every remaining EU member. And if one requires a clean break, there will be a clean break with a treaty between the UK and the EU that must be approved by every member of the EU.

A couple of members wanting to make it clear that Article 50 has a big cost will make Brexit cost the British everything it’s advocates promised to gain: it’s sovereignty over the UK and the UKs relationship with the world.

The best deal for the EU is to require the UK conform to every EU policy without having any say at all in EU policy making.

That way, no EU member will see any advantage to invoking article 50.

31 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 4:18 am

‘The best deal for the EU is to require the UK conform to every EU policy without having any say at all in EU policy making.’

This is already being indicated as the best case scenario, by this person – ‘However, Villeroy de Galhau said the UK could retain trade links by adopting a Norway-style relationship with the EU. “There is a precedent, it is the Norwegian model of European Economic Area, that would allow Britain to keep access to the single market but by committing to implement all EU rules.” He added: “It would be a bit paradoxical to leave the EU and apply all EU rules but that is one solution if Britain wants to keep access to the single market.”’ http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/city-of-london-could-be-cut-off-from-europe-says-ecb-official

And who is that person? Why, he just happens to be an ECB governing council member and the governor of France’s central bank.

32 ChrisA June 26, 2016 at 5:00 am

Indeed there will be unrealistic hardliners on both sides unwilling to compromise, ranging from bitter misanthropes like Mulp and PA, European bureaucrats angry about the risk to their jobs, UK nationalists excessively worried about muslim immigration and so on. But both sides will have to ultimately come to a deal, if only due to the pressure of industrialists. Actually the negotiating power with all of this probably lies with the UK as they import a lot more than they export to the EU. It makes up the balance by exporting to the rest of the world. So if, for some strange reason EU crazies prevail and it erects trade barriers against the UK because the UK won’t sign up unilaterally to its demands, the UK would survive through alternatives like importing Lexus’s instead of BMWs and shrinking the exports to the EU while expanding them to the rest of the world.

33 Ray Lopez June 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

Yes, true, but there’s hysteresis in all that tearing up and rebuilding anew. Analogously, I often wonder out loud that money is neutral (see Ben S. Bernanke’s 2002 FAVAR paper for a start), but the devil is in the details: if information is lost or distorted in any monetary policy action, then there’s scope for money not being neutral short term. Same with ‘trade policy’ and ‘trade pacts’. It’s not a frictionless Coasian situation but transaction costs are sizeable.

34 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:44 am

‘Actually the negotiating power with all of this probably lies with the UK as they import a lot more than they export to the EU.’

Tell that to the 12% of the British economy that is the financial sector. You might also want to think about the British real estate market at the same time. And the fact that the ‘services’ component of British EU exports exceeds the ‘goods’ deficit of EU imports.

And as for power, it seems as if a number of member states of the EU expect the British to hand over their article 50 declaration in the next couple of days. The EU is not interested in humoring the British any longer, for any reason. We will see how that turns out, of course. But if the leave voters thought that Brussels/Strasbourg were too high handed when the UK was a member, well, they should be delighted to see all the benefits of being a non-member when dealing with the EU, showing a yawning world just how heavy handed the EU can be.

35 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

Unless the EU is planning on a trade embargo against Britain, Britain can just walk away. There are mild welfare losses from tariff barriers, which are generally not onerous (15.2 bn Euros in tariff revenue collected on about 1,700 bn Euros in imports), losses which are allocated to both sides of the transaction.

A knottier question would be the residency privileges accorded Brits now living on the continent, who number 1.5 million and of whom about half are in Spain. As is, Spanish law permits foreign residents of 5 years duration to remain. Given the number of continental nationals living in Britain, there should be some break on rapid mutual expulsions. France absorbed > 1 million pied noirs in 1962 and Portugal absorbed 500,000 from their African colonies ca. 1974, so Britain should be able to accomplish this if necessary.

36 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:28 am

‘Unless the EU is planning on a trade embargo against Britain, Britain can just walk away.’

Actually, it is easier than that – the ECB simply revokes permission for British financial institutions to access the EU market (permission only given to EU member financial institutions), to which the British are more than free to keep walking. No trade embargo, and fully supportive of the idea that if the British want to walk away, they are welcome to. Non-members do not have access to the EU market unless the EU grants it, and as the leave voters are about to discover, having become a soon to be former member, the UK will only be allowed into the EU market on EU terms. No need for a trade embargo – it isn’t the EU that decided to end’s Britian’s access to the EU, after all.

Still, why such a bizarre perspective about the EU treating the British as the British voted to be treated, as a soon to be former member? After all, the British decide to leave a common market by becoming a non-member of it, and a result of their choice to leave the EU, when the EU treats the UK as a non-member, the EU is to blame?

37 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Actually, it is easier than that – the ECB simply revokes permission for British financial institutions to access the EU market (permission only given to EU member financial institutions),

I’m sure Eurotrash industrialists will be pleased to be limited to their own zombie banks.

38 Mikko Särelä June 26, 2016 at 3:23 am

This was an interesting piece from the guardians comments section. Perhaps there will be no brexit after all:

If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.

Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.

With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.

How?

Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten … the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-maneouvered and check-mated.

If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over – Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was “never”. When Michael Gove went on and on about “informal negotiations” … why? why not the formal ones straight away? … he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.

39 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 3:41 am

Left out of this analysis is the fairly plain fact that the EU has no problems with the UK leaving, the sooner the better.

This just happens to not be the fantasy scenario that the leave voters expected. And as for Johnson? It is quite possible a more direct reason for that hangdog look is the fact that a number of people in his personal/political circle have just lost a couple of hundred million pounds, with more losses extremely likely – and they have let him know about it.

To put it this into simplified metaphorical terms, a two year old has thrown a tantrum, broke its toy after screaming how it did not want it, and now expects its toy to be replaced. That won’t happen.

40 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:56 am

Left out of this analysis is the fairly plain fact that the EU has no problems with the UK leaving, the sooner the better.

Their quondam employees are all over PBS whimpering because they have no problem with it.

41 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

PBS? Really? I must be reading the wrong news sources then – obviously, the British and German media cannot compare to the mighty PBS.

But since at times people here do get easily confused, are you sure that those PBS voices aren’t, for example, British researchers who expect to have their EU funding disappear in the near-term? Because it is true, one group of EU employees is going to have a real hard time in the immediate future – that is, those employees with a British passport, or those working in the UK.

42 MyName June 26, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Except that, as long as the UK continues to honor its obligations under the treaty, the EU can’t really *make* them leave either. There are a few scenarios here. The current UK government could keep dragging its feet on this until the uncertainty in the markets force them to say a yes/no on sending the notification. Or they could punt and plan a revote on this, making it *binding* if they want to pretend it’s different. Or they could hold elections and make each side campaign on the issue then Brexit does/doesn’t happen for real after those results.
My guess is that, assuming the majority of the MPs in the coalition don’t really *want* Brexit, even if many of their constituents do, they stall it out for awhile, then whatever guy gets stuck with the PM job issues some kind of statement about needing to do more research on the impacts before they send the notification, then they drag it out longer after that until the next election.
It really depends on how badly their voters still *want* Brexit and how many of the MPs care more about pleasing those voters than keeping their bottom line and/or major donors happy.

43 derek June 26, 2016 at 8:10 am

Do the Guardian writers not even drink? The day after the victory everyone on the leave side was nursing a once a century hangover.

The realities are already there. That is why remain lost the election.

44 Jan June 26, 2016 at 9:11 am

They’re not leaving, ultimately, because most people don’t actually want to. Bet your retirement on it. Guaranteed.

45 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

No, they just voted to depart for shits and giggles. You have Jan’s word on it.

46 derek June 26, 2016 at 10:51 am

An odd meme to be going around.

If betting is what we want to do, I will bet the next meme will be obviously another one needs to be shot.

There may have been a time when the elites could say with some justification that ‘we know better’. All they say now is ‘I now what is best for me’.

47 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:57 am

You lost. Deal with it.

48 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:18 am

The Scots don’t care about your opinion, and they do plan on dealing with it in a fashion that matches the will of a majority of Scottish voters.

49 derek June 26, 2016 at 11:29 am

The ones who really care are Labour party strategists who see a good chunk of their national support potentially disappearing. They have a fine line to walk; a good portion of the leave vote was Labour stalwarts.

Interestingly, the Liberal Party of Canada needed Quebec for it’s majorities, still does, and has walked a fine line between satisfying the Quebec aspirations and maintaining their support in the rest of the country. When that arrangment fell apart with the Bloc Quebecois, a rough equivalent to the Scottish nationalist party, the Liberals lost access to power. This time with the collapse of the NDP in Quebec and the almost disappearance of the Bloc, they managed to win an election.

With Scotland gone, the Labour party probably can be relegated to history and the pages of the Guardian. I doubt if that has been missed by the more vigorous conservatives.

50 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm

‘The ones who really care are Labour party strategists who see a good chunk of their national support potentially disappearing.’

Yep – and as I have noted several places, it will be a testable framework to see if at least part of the Conservative Party desires exactly that. If a Tory prime minister allows a Scottish independence referendum in the next 12-24 months, then it is clear that the Tories are following the strategy of trying to ensure their control of Little England for an extended period into the future.

51 Rich Berger June 26, 2016 at 11:36 am

The Guardian’s comment section, you say? An unimpeachable source, that it is. Have you let Dr. Cowen know about it?

52 Zeitgeisty June 26, 2016 at 3:43 am

Imagine an equilibrium where each EU nation “leaves,” for purposes of expressive voting, and then shortly thereafter re-enters.

TC is speaking like someone who doesn’t realize he is on the wrong side of history.

The struggle for democracy and against the soft despotism of the global elites is underway.

53 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 4:21 am

‘The struggle for democracy and against the soft despotism of the global elites is underway.’

It sure is – and Scotland will likely be a leading beacon in that struggle, right?

The leave voters are likely to discover their fantasies about what is going on have little correlation to reality, but that is not exactly surprising. After all, they expected to leave the EU while keeping the EU benefits the leave voters felt they were entitled to anyways.

54 derek June 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

Again, what reality? I’m certain losing the thriving Greek and Spanish consumer market would really really hurt. The French economy is growing gangbusters, wouldn’t want to miss out on that opportunity. And the migrants on the French side of the channel throwing rocks at British travellers are simply expressing their enthusiasm at the opportunity of being productive contributors to Britain.

The EU is a strong centralized authority with a shrinking realm in which it can exercise it’s magic. The currency union has done extraordinary harm to a large number of it’s members, harm they will never recover from. The regulatory structure maintains a high cost environment that is uncompetitive in the world market; it is turning into a protected trade zone which unfortunately is made up of shrinking or lethargic economies. With the debacles of the southern defaults, a bunch of nations with no good options, it was obvious what it was turning into; a despotic foreign potentate who sucks the life out of it’s members, where it’s power and influence becomes characterized by it not having any, shrinking more and more towards the center.

The fact that the EU doesn’t care about the UK is not a surprise. The European member states are quite preoccupied with their own internal contradictions and within a decade their political landscapes will be almost unrecognizable. Would anyone in their right mind sit down with Merkel right now to hammer out a deal for the future? Maybe wait a bit to see who replaces her.

This isn’t a win for anyone. It is damage control. As usual the journalists and politicians are the last to notice, but the sense that the EU was descendant and better jump off before it sinks was recognized by a large enough number of people.

If the Europeans were smart, and they aren’t, they would take this as another indication of the failure of the central premise of the EU. Someone asks upthread who will they negotiate with. Juncker is the President, why not him? He has the extraordinary mandate of a continent wide popular vote, doesn’t he?

55 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

‘If the Europeans were smart, and they aren’t, they would take this as another indication of the failure of the central premise of the EU.’

You mean that the smart Europeans would invade the UK to show that the central premise of the EU was an unworkable sham, and war in our time is the sort of bucking up UK needs?

56 derek June 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

No, they would try the same stupidity that they did with Greece and Italy. What the world needs is another bloodless technocrat to figure out how to extract more money out of the economy.

I suspect they will try to do just that. L’Ecole Nationale is really good at teaching self regarding smarm. What this situation needs is a thuggish bureaucrat to put people in their place. Pay your taxes, shut up.

Utterly useless when facing the hordes from North Africa, but man they can be effective at keeping down the English yobs.

57 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

The leave voters are likely to discover their fantasies about what is going on have little correlation to reality, but that is not exactly surprising.

Mass immigration into Britain is not a fantasy. Wish it was. The officious nuisances of Brussels are not a fantasy either. The ‘Syrian’ flash mobs are all to real as well.

58 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

‘Mass immigration into Britain is not a fantasy.’

And yet, oddly, the EU is at best only a part of that immigration picture. And even more oddly, if the British want to retain access to the common market, they will need to accept the EU’s terms when it comes to the free movement of EU citizens as part of the terms.

‘The ‘Syrian’ flash mobs are all to real as well.’

Have a cite? I mean in the UK, of course. Especially in light of these figures –

‘5. Which European countries are most affected?

Although Germany has had the most asylum applications in 2015, Hungary had the highest in proportion to its population, despite having closed its border with Croatia in an attempt to stop the flow in October. Nearly 1,800 refugees per 100,000 of Hungary’s local population claimed asylum in 2015.

Sweden followed close behind with 1,667 per 100,000.

The figure for Germany was 587 and for the UK it was 60 applications for every 100,000 residents. The EU average was 260.’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34131911

59 stephan June 26, 2016 at 11:23 am

Here is Ron Paul on globalism

“Globalism was never liberalism, nor was it intended to be by its architects. As its core, globalism has always meant rule by illiberal elites under the guise of mass democracy. It has always been distinctly anti-democratic and anti-freedom, even as it purported to represent liberation from repressive governments and poverty.

Globalism is not, as its supporters claim, simply the inevitable outcome of modern technology applied to communication, trade,and travel. It is not “the world getting smaller.” It is, in fact, an ideology and worldview that must be imposed by statist and cronyist means. It is the civic religion of people named Clinton, Bush, Blair, Cameron, and Lagarde ”

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/brexit-individualism-gt-nationalism-gt-globalism

60 The Anti-Gnostic June 26, 2016 at 11:44 am

This is why I cannot understand why supposed free market economists support transnational organizations. They are inherently unaccountable and rent-seeking.

61 mulp June 26, 2016 at 4:24 am

“British Parliamentarians and Republican Party delegates need to study up on their coordination games quite soon!”

I’m in support of a Texit and Flexit.

Getting rid of the Texas delegation to Congress would remove a big obstacle to progress.

Getting rid of Florida would add to the benefit of getting rid of Texas, but have the added bonus of eliminating billions in Social Security benefits, unless it agreed to a reciprocity agreement like we have with Europe and Mexico, et al, but also eliminate the Medicare and Medicaid burden. While you can collect SS in Mexico, the only way you get Medicare benefits is by returning to the US. And Federal payments for Medicaid services would apply to sovereign Texas or Florida.

Note that the EU makes similar payments to governments in the UK for one kind of welfare or the other.

62 rayward June 26, 2016 at 7:15 am

China. What is Cowen’s view of Brexit with regard to China? Does Brexit strengthen China? Weaken China? I’m inclined to the view that a fractured Europe strengthens China. http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-24/china-could-be-the-biggest-winner-from-brexit. Those with the opposite view believe Britain’s departure from the EU will hurt China due to the loss of Cameron’s influence in promoting China’s interests in the EU. That view ignores how China can exploit a fractured Europe, as each country seeks (like a beggar) to curry favor with China for a share of China investment (or lucre for those with a less charitable view), the recent visit by China’s president to Britain and Germany with Merkel demanding Germany’s share of China’s investment (or lucre) comes to mind. Recall how the states curry favor with business by offering public assistance for business to Remain or Leave: a race to the bottom, as there is always another state (or country) to sweeten the bribe, I mean “incentives”. Ironically, China’s leadership supported Remain. I say ironically because Remain is the conservative position, order (a conservative’s highest priority) preferable to chaos, so we have the spectacle of (Communist) China supporting order while the British vote in favor of chaos: China and Britain have swapped places!

63 chuck martel June 26, 2016 at 9:24 am

“Order” means the continuation of policies, things remaining the same. If those conditions are unsatisfactory, for instance early twentieth century race relations in the US, order is a negative for some. Chaos, on the other hand, means opportunity to exploit new parameters, not just for those at a previous disadvantage, but for everyone with the will and ability to do so. The result is a different form of order that’s a positive for some and a negative for those that sat on their hands.

64 derek June 26, 2016 at 9:34 am

China will be of concern only due to the Communist Party starting a war to distract from the catastrophic failure of it’s internal policies. The outflow of money by Chinese nationals to other places they consider safe havens continues.

We are into some very dark days. The small corrections that could have excised accumulated cruft were brilliantly and effectively smoothed out by Central Bankers, and the Mother of All Corrections in 2008 stemmed by the Mother of All Backstops. The Islamic civil war is overflowing into the western democracies. The stagnation of the western economies is the result of the limited and temporary prosperity brought on by maxing out the credit cards coming to it’s natural end.

What is any national government going to bribe anyone with?

65 JB June 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm

If Brexit leads to a European recession, that will hurt China as any weakening of the economies of China’s customers would.

If Brexit only leads to political but not economic chaos, then China will benefit as the Europeans retrench.

China is still at a point where it will be screwed without strong markets for its exports, as much as it would like the countries associated with said markets to lose international influence. That’s threading a pretty narrow line.

66 DJF June 26, 2016 at 7:31 am

This first Brexit just shows the danger of being too tied to foreign rulers. You are dependent on them in governance, security and economy. When the Romans decided to leave almost everything collapsed to the point that Anglo Saxon raiders were able to take over large parts of Britain.

Good thing the British people were smart enough to get out on their own terms rather then wait for Brussels to make the decision on their own terms since we all know that the ‘leaders’ there care only about their own power and money

67 Jan June 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

This comes down to the fact that, despite the fact that younger people have decades longer to live under these rules, older people’s voices matter more. This has always been true, but the difference is that this time our elders are royally screwing us and subsequent generations, rather building something for the future. And not just in the UK. USA’s Boomers have squandered the prosperity and functional culture secured by the Greatest and Silent generations, who themselves sacrificed mightily for the country’s future. And they have left nothing but dysfunctional politics, the disease of delayed decision-making, debt and a growing sense of xenophobia for their children and grandchildren. Maybe they just came to the realization that there is no god, so they have to live it up in their waning years on this planet. Thanks, Boomers.

68 chuck martel June 26, 2016 at 9:52 am

“…our elders are royally screwing us and subsequent generations, rather building something for the future.”

The idea that people can predict the needs of the future and “build” for it is a fantasy. All building is done for the benefit of the present, the concern for the future is merely a justification. That’s why freeways are designed with a 20 year life expectancy and massive football stadiums are replaced every 25 years. Only the financing of these projects is extended into the future, a typical “buy now, pay later” fraud.

69 Jan June 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

Ok, let’s keep it contemporary. The Boomers aren’t even paying for themselves now. Their costs have far outweighed what they’ve put in. And that might be ok if they had some great cultural or institutional contributions to mitigate their financial drain, but there really aren’t any. I mean early 70s rock only gets them so far.

70 stephan June 26, 2016 at 11:36 am

@Jan, you complain about the national debt which almost doubled under Obama. Who voted for Obama in 2008 ? Not the baby boomers but the large majority of the 18-29 age segment

http://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-groups-voted/how-groups-voted-2008/

71 chuck martel June 26, 2016 at 11:43 am

” USA’s Boomers have squandered the prosperity and functional culture secured by the Greatest and Silent generations, who themselves sacrificed mightily for the country’s future.”

“The country”, in the terms you’re using, is an abstraction. People, of whatever age, are concrete individuals making their own decisions. Since the US is a democratic/republic any squandering tied to government action must be OK, since it was authorized by duly elected representatives. Individual behavior in the aggregate, on the other hand, may seem less than optimal from your own point of view but makes sense to those deciding on it since they know that the benefits they receive will only last for their own lifetime. You’re probably concerned, as most progressives are, about the slow rise in sea levels over the centuries that may or may not inundate US coastal areas. Keep worrying.

72 Jan June 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Stephan, you’re really special if you think Obama’s programs doubled the debt. Bush’s crash, cyclical programs and entitlements that have been in place for a long time and from which it is the Boomers who will primarily benefit. I think you’re being coy, pretending you don’t know this. These are what are going drive the debt to an unsustainable level. That is if taxes don’t go up on those who can afford them, which is rich people and the middle class. It is too late really to make the Boomers pay for what they will have taken by the time this is over. But we should try to suck every bit of equity out of them before they die.

73 Jan June 26, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Chuck, I appreciate there are those who think that what the Boomers have done to the country is just fine, but your specific explanation above is just gobbledygook.

74 Ray Lopez June 26, 2016 at 8:37 am

I have a question for UK readers: while “Robin” is a bisexual name here in the USA, why / how are “Lilian” and “Hilary” men’s names? That’s just wrong.

75 Jan June 26, 2016 at 9:17 am

Any why are so many families naming their daughters Magnus Maximus these days? Seems odd and I don’t like it one bit!

76 Urso June 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

Names tend to start as maculine, then become androgynous, then become primarily female. Almost never the opposite. (One of the exceptions, hilariously? Jan).
http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/2009/01/gender-migration-of-names.html
http://nameberry.com/blog/unisex-baby-names-names-that-morphed-from-blue-to-pink
http://nameberry.com/blog/unisex-baby-names-going-to-the-boys

77 JonFraz June 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm

“Jan” is what Latin Johannes– John– became in the West Slavic languages and in Dutch (by separate routes), introduced originally via the Christianization of those peoples by the Roman Catholic Church. As such it was inherently a masculine name, though a feminine form exists in at least the West Slavic tongues (“Jana”).
English “Jan” as a woman’s name is a shortened form of “Janet”, which is an anglicized version of “Jeanette”.

78 Bill June 26, 2016 at 9:35 am

There is an opportunity for someone to capture the Regret vote and tie that to the Remain vote and create a new coalition government.

There has been no formal submission under Article 50 yet to the EU.

It just requires imagination and leadership.

Too bad it won’t happen.

79 Art Deco June 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

It just requires imagination and leadership.

To blow off a referendum held just a few days ago. The EU-philiacs are self-indicting.

80 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 10:58 am

Well, the present Scottish government is sticking to its apparent EU-philiac and self-indicting desire to have the wishes of a majority of Scottish voters respected.

As for blowing off a referendum held just a couple of years ago, well, it looks as if the Scots just might do that too.

81 derek June 26, 2016 at 11:41 am

You keep saying that like it is a bad thing.

82 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 12:25 pm

I guess the sarcasm doesn’t come through – the Scots remain a counterpoint to all the posturing of UK leave voters and their supporters outside the UK.

A lot of the people most invested in the leave vote seem to have a view of the EU which requires a certain heroic narrative to be followed, the plucky freedom loving British striking a blow against the evil EU empire.

83 John Thacker June 26, 2016 at 1:50 pm

“Remain a counterpoint to all the posturing” is a strange word to use of Scottish “Yes” supporters, since they were insisting that the EU didn’t mean it’s tough talk about Scotland not getting in the EU (meant to discourage Catalonia and others), just as the UK Leave supporters insist that the EU tough talk about the EU also won’t lead to anything.

84 prior_test2 June 26, 2016 at 3:36 pm

The posturing is in how the leave voters and their supporters love to proclaim that absolutely no one committed to democracy and freedom would ever subject themselves to the EU’s onerous yoke, at least without first being betrayed by those ever so shifty and untrustworthy elites.

The Scots seem quite unaware of how clearly they demonstrate the hollowness of that particular heroic narrative, and unconcerned what the future residents of Little England think about Scotland remaining in the EU, regardless of what Scotland needs to do to achieve that result.

And Sturgeon seems to be the only British politician actually willing to deal with reality, regardless of what one thinks of the SNP. She seemingly has goals, fairly broad support, and a strategy regarding how Scotland will deal with the future, forcefully arguing that the Scots remain part of the EU, regardless of what the voters in Little England think about it. Her actions in the last couple of days seem to be pragmatic in terms of her goals, and she seems to be essentially the only major British political figure unconcerned about being stabbed in the back as intraparty power struggles break out, and unconcerned about voters turning on her because of her promises.

And she is doing all this, apparently, to keep Scotland another vassal of Brussels, at least from the perspective of leave voters.

85 John Thacker June 27, 2016 at 6:39 am

Yes, the SNP is built on Scottish stabbed in the back myths about how no one would want to be part of the United Kingdom without being betrayed by ever so shifty and untrustworthy elites. (“Such a parcel of rogues in a Kingdom!”) To that end Scotland is willing indeed to betray that heroic narrative by attaching itself to the EU when necessary– but also to oppose the EU if that seems more beneficial. (Scotland, after all, had the greatest No vote in 1975.) The Scottish nationalist view of the EU is entirely subordinate to the myth of being stabbed in the back over Union, and to a national identity built on being anti-English. Just like the Leave campaign, the SNP in the run up to their referendum assured people to not trust any claims by the EU about how difficult exit from the UK and (re)joining the EU would be, saying that it would all work out.

Nicola’s actions are “pragmatic” in the sense that everything can be interpreted as it furthers the goal of independence, but in that sense Boris Johnson’s actions are 100% pragmatic, as they further his goal of being PM. She is not calling for a second referendum out of some great love for the EU, but because it provides an excuse to hold another referendum, and the SNP has of course already indicated its desire to keep holding referenda until its gets the decision it wants.

86 John Thacker June 27, 2016 at 6:40 am

When Salmond led the SNP, he professed the idea that under independence Scotland would keep the Queen, for instance, which surely is a counterpoint to all the posturing and the underlying myth. But that’s simply because everything else is subordinate to the idea of the Scots nation and independence.

87 John Thacker June 27, 2016 at 9:16 am

If the EU is really set on “talking tough” and imposing trade barriers with the UK to teach them a lesson (and I can sort of see the argument, though I generally favor even unilateral free trade the EU certainly doesn’t, nor do most people), then leaving the UK to enter/remain in the EU could be especially disastrous to Scotland, as the other British nations would be an independent Scotland’s largest natural trading partners.

88 MyName June 26, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Except that the majority of those MPs don’t *want* Brexit and never did. That’s why they made the referendum *non-binding* and *advisory*. They could have sent it the first day after the election. Heck they could have just sent it after the election and not held a referendum if they really wanted to. But they don’t, so basically it’s BoJos ACME dynamite kit that let him sneak into No. 10.
More to the point, if it comes down to leaving the EU and also losing Scotland, many of those MPs will just stick with the EU as long as possible.

89 John Thacker June 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm

One consequence may be damaging the prospects of TTIP, since without the UK the EU will be much less free trade friendly (with the outside world, just as Mercosur can be with non members).

The Scotland case is of course interesting as well, since so many of the members want have their own separatist movements to discourage, necessitating the same kind of “tough talk” about trade that the EU is giving the UK now. However, I’m sure that they would be happier accepting Scotland after the rest of the UK votes to Leave. Indeed, for those who wanted an independent Scotland in the EU, Brexit is possibly a necessary first step.

90 Cyrus June 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Of course, if there’s a new Scottish independence referendum, and if it passes, the EU then has to choose between admitting Scotland on the same 10-ish year time frame applied to former Yugoslavian statelets, as was threatened in 2014, or finding some 2-year process usable when existing policy differences are small, as a matter of spiting England.

But if the EU invents a fast admission track to spite England, prolonged exclusion no longer seems like a threat to Catalonia.

91 Kimani June 27, 2016 at 3:47 am

I think the Brits have even more than twenty percent chance to reverse themselves, starting with inaction and culminating in a new election and referendum. Thanks for this article

92 JK Brown June 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm

The EU near perfectly embodies this passage from von Mises on the manifest trend toward socialism of the German pattern. We have a similar problem in the US and the Brits were doing so locally before the EU. The difference is the EU with its token parliament offered no means for the people to correct the trend when it leads to economic decline a it is in the EU. When such hit Britain, they eventually went to Thatcher and int the US, we took a small respite with Reagan. But there are no peaceful means to bring the march to Zwangwirtschaft to heel in the EU outside of leaving.

“Many advocates of interventionism are bewildered when one tells them that in recommending interventionism they themselves are fostering anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies and the establishment of totalitarian socialism. They protest that they are sincere believers and opposed to tyranny and socialism. What they aim at is only the improvement of the conditions of the poor. They say that they are driven by considerations of social justice, and favour a fairer distribution of income precisely because they are intent upon preserving capitalism and its political corollary or superstructure, viz., democratic government.

What these people fail to realize is that the various measures they suggest are not capable of bringing about the beneficial results aimed at. On the contrary they produce a state of affairs which from the point of view of their advocates is worse than the previous state which they were designed to alter. If the government, faced with this failure of its first intervention, is not prepared to undo its interference with the market and to return to a free economy, it must add to its first measure more and more regulations and restrictions. Proceeding step by step on this way it finally reaches a point in which all economic freedom of individuals has disappeared. Then socialism of the German pattern, the Zwangswirtschaft of the Nazis, emerges.”

von Mises, Ludwig (1947). Planned Chaos (LvMI) (Kindle Locations 132-141). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.

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