I almost cried when I saw the final tally. It is a traumatic day for many Brits and most Europeans who are utterly stunned and shocked. This article briefly covers the problems. Imagine your reaction if Texas voted to leave the US.
To have an understanding of what it means to have a country pull out of a union (and lose your freedom of movement) you have to think back home. Imagine if you live in Ohio and they vote to leave the US. Americans would be horrified by this...and those from Ohio living in California or New York would find their right to live outside of Ohio in other states jeopordised with the possibility of being deported to Ohio.
That's what millions of British people and people with British passports (myself) face.
British people have been hounded at for 20 years...communicating endless blatant lies about the EU and the boogeyman vampire blood suckers in Brussels. It's not democratic (except for the directly voted parliament and commission made up of elected heads of states). It imposes laws on the UK (except for the fact that UK representatives in parliament and in the commission and council all agreed on the laws in play).
In reality...the only thing keeping the conservative government from making more social cuts, freeze minimum wage, give enormous tax cuts to companies and other law changes that will result in more income inequality and job loses and salary decreases....are the EU protections that the UK agreed to. Now they are gone. Now the conservative government can do what they want.
The tragedy is that the people who voted out...are the people who will suffer the most from new policy changes. They've been manipulated by horror stories of the tyrannical EU out to take the pound and queen from England, millions of Muslim refugees pouring into the UK and Turkish accession (lies), endless EU regulations that take away UK freedom (freedom for conservative governments to attack labour rights and cut programs) and the lie that the UK will lose everything that is British. They are being controlled by the EU (despite none of them being able to list more than three policies that aren't optional which actually hurt the interests of average british people. The lessons and the worries:
1: It is incredibly easy to manipulate voters in English speaking countries into voting things that objectively will hurt them (poor people voting for Bush and Trump, Australians voting against larger educated qualified immigrant quotas when doctors and countless other highly trained specialists are needed. Canadians voting against proportional representation for no rational reason. New Zealanders voting in an Austerity government.
2: The EU is better off without the UK in the long run...having been held back for years with the UKs temper tantrums, special deals and unique rights only for the UK (and exceptional protection of their financial sectors). Add to that the UK's utter incapability of compromising on policy decisions (effectively stopping such EU wide policies) despite the ability of the other 26 countries to find consensus.
3: If you let loud mouth racist morons drone on for years and years with propaganda nonsense and don't hit back until it is too late...populism will win. How stupid could pro-EU british politicians be?
4: Half the population of the UK are bloody fools.
5: I and millions of UK citizens have been abandoned by fellow Brits and will wait to be stripped of our freedom of abode...with no knowledge of how or when it will happen.
6: The humanist project of the EU will still continue.
7: Average British citizens will get what they voted for. It will be sad (though darkly satisfying for jaded continental Europeans) to watch the UK deflate.
The wording of the referendum was...
‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’
If the EU and EEA are two different entities, then it would seem the UK only voted to back out of the EU. That doesn't even seem to be splitting hairs.
If the UK has to renegotiate trade deals, It may have more leverage than I originally thought. Apparently much of the EU wants the exit over with ASAP. to stabilize the markets The UK's leverage is that it can stall. Not nice, perhaps, but it could work.
This article, two years ago, proposed that UK should leave the EU and form a similar trade alliance with the United States. Given the Brexit result, half of that proposal is already on the way to happening. What about the other half?
The U.K. should therefore begin to prepare seriously for life outside the EU. If the U.K. does not do this, the 2017 (sic) referendum, if it is held, will not offer a serious choice. Preparing requires, at a minimum, two steps.
First, the U.K. needs to reinvest in training its diplomats to work outside the EU framework. In many areas of national policy, this will not require much, because the EU does not have competence (responsibility) for many portions of foreign policy. But in the realm of trade diplomacy, where the U.K. has had no independent experience since 1973, a major effort will have to be made. This will require clear political leadership because, left to its own devices, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will certainly opt for and even campaign for the preservation of the EU status quo.
Second, the U.K. needs to decide which steps it would take after a vote to leave the EU. The negotiation of alternative trade arrangements will then be one of the most pressing concerns facing the U.K., and the U.K. should state clearly, well in advance, with which nations it will seek to negotiate and on what principles it will base its negotiating position. Like the U.S., it should emphasize the preservation of its national sovereignty and the promotion of economic freedom, both based on their own merits and as a contribution to freedom more broadly.
It is remarkable that the U.S. and the U.K. are not already trading freely with each other. The U.S. enjoys free trade with many nations that are not nearly as closely connected to it, either economically or strategically; the U.K., as one of the world’s great trading nations, has a long history of seeking to promote freer trade. The primary reason why a U.S.–U.K. free trade area does not already exist is the constraints that the EU imposes on the U.K. Those constraints are all the more binding because of the U.S.’s failure to recognize that pressuring the democratic nations of Europe ever more deeply into the EU does not serve U.S. interests.
For the U.K., securing a free trade area with the U.S. must be one important part of a much broader effort to negotiate satisfactory trading arrangements—arrangements that do not sacrifice British interests to those of the EU—around the world. That goal, in turn, can be achieved only if the U.K. recognizes that it can be prosperous and freer outside the EU. For the U.S., a free trade area with the U.K. is a worthy economic goal, but it is especially important because it will represent a rejection of the EU’s efforts to subordinate democratic and sovereign nations to supranational control.
For both nations, the obstacles to a free trade agreement are primarily political. Those obstacles can and must be overcome in both nations by finding the political will to support policies that will enhance, not detract from, their sovereignty and freedom as great Atlantic democracies.
John Oliver's hysterical take on the "Fuck the EU" Brexit vote. (unfortunately embedding is disabled for this video on Youtube).
John Oliver is hysterical.
According to John Oliver, "there are no do overs". England voted and "That's all Folks!".
Iceland have forced England to exit Europe for a second time within a week. Many people in England are now asking Google "What is soccer". Apparently there is a petition setup for a rematch!
What's the soccer equivalent of American football's "icing the kicker"? Maybe that happened. Iceland, you know.
Finally, Hitler weighs in on the Brexit exit vote.
Why can't the government ignore the vote? After all, they ignored naming that research ship Boaty McBoatface despite it winning the vote. Instead, they went to the fourth most popular name and called the ship the RSS Sir David Attenborough. Attenborough says he's honored, but what to tell Mr. McBoatface?
Is there a nation whose elites don't exploit the non-elites?
Who but non-elites will stop slow the exploitation?
The greater the elites' exploitation, the greater the non-elites' anger.
The greater the non-elites' anger, the more likely a probably sociopathic demagogue will step up to lead them, and later exploit them.
Shazam, Donald Trump.
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Yes, that oversimplifies the issue. An educated less-elite will do better than an ignorant non-elite.
In the US of A, the GOP's evangelicals are the ignorant non-elite. Their elite, their religious leaders. have long been exploiting their ignorance and fears.
The GOP elite want to dumb down education, and their ignorant evangelicals are helping them do it.
On a bit of a tangent from the article, I heard an EU functionary speaking with CNN last night say that clearly the EU has a problem and needs to make some adjustments and changes to address some of the things which have resulted in resentment of the EU.
Brexit seems to have become a wake up call for the EU now that there are exit rumblings in The Netherlands, France, Germany and other major members. If they were to leave, or even if just one or two of them were to leave, it could make the EU irrelevant and might even result in its collapse. So something clearly needs to be done by the EU.
What if the EU instituted a discussion to determine things it might do, changes that might be made, to ease the resentment, and of course including the UK in the discussion?
If changes were made, or even if a grievance procedure with more teeth in it were instituted by the EU, might it then make sense for the UK to hold a second referendum based not on morning after regrets, but on new circumstances?
That could benefit both the UK and the EU.
The Netherlands and France rumblings are the babble of the extremist right parties. It is a minority...and there is zero chance those countries would leave.
While it is true that the organization could use some cuts and adjustment of proceedures and a more often change of staff...I can't think of any government in the world who could claim not to need cuts and changes.
As for someone working in the EU criticizing it...there is no end to civil servants complaining about their government and their administration. I've worked for the Canadian government and I did auxiliary work for the EU and I saw absolutely zero difference between both problems and the need for the change of proceedures.
It is extremely unlikely the UK will have a new referendum so soon. It simply doesn't happen in commonwealth countries. The people have spoken.