Is Brexit just a lot of political theatre?

Yet Britain looks unlikely to exit Europe even if its citizens voted to do so. Instead, the government would probably do just what EU members — Denmark, France, Ireland and the Netherlands — have always done after such votes. It would negotiate a new agreement, nearly identical to the old one, disguise it in opaque language and ratify it. The public, essentially ignorant about Europe, always goes along.

In contemplating this possibility, leading Eurosceptics have shown themselves to be the craftiest political illusionists of all. Now that Brexit appears within their grasp, they are backing away from it. What they really seek is domestic political power. If Britain votes to leave, the government will fall or, at the very least, the cabinet will be reshuffled. For Eurosceptic backbenchers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Yet they lack parliamentary and popular majorities to govern alone. They would have to strike a deal, which means moderating anti-European demands — all amid post-referendum economic chaos. Renegotiation inside the EU would be almost inevitable.

That is from Andrew Moravcsik at the FT.  I sometimes refer to Brexit as “the Donald Trump of England.”  The problem is that while Trump has been falling in prediction markets — down to below fifty percent for the nomination as of latethe chances for Brexit are rising and furthermore Vladimir Putin stands at the other end of the bet.


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