Open thread: Brexit

Will it really happen? Or will the U.K. find some way to pull out before invoking Article 50?

The consequences of the leave vote were evidently predictable. This is from June 18th: “If Remain wins on June 23rd, Brexiteers will tell voters they were conned. If Leave wins, Mr Cameron will go and his successor will negotiate a Brexit that does not remotely resemble the promises of the Leave campaign, which trades on the lie that Britain can have full access to the European single market without being bound by its regulations and free-movement rules.”

Also — what impact will this have on global climate efforts? Early signs are not encouraging.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

18 thoughts on “Open thread: Brexit”

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36802807

    Commenting on the need to act to stabilise the economy, Mr Haldane, said: “Put differently, I would rather run the risk of taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut than taking a miniature rock hammer to tunnel my way out of prison – like another Andy, the one in the Shawshank Redemption.
    “And yes, I know Andy did eventually escape. But it did take him 20 years. The MPC does not have that same ‘luxury’.”

  2. UK’s new premier axes Department of Energy and Climate Change

    The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been scrapped and its brief folded into the newly created Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department. The formation of BEIS, which was announced yesterday following Theresa May’s appointment as the new British Prime Minister, adds energy-related matters to the remit of its predecessor the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

  3. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has not changed the country’s commitment to investing in low-carbon energy, including new nuclear, nor its efforts to tackle climate change, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom told members of parliament (MPs) today. Meanwhile, a report issued by the National Audit Office (NAO) says the UK “lacks a proven, skilled supply chain to support the construction of a new power station”.

    She said: “The UK’s climate change commitments are grounded in the UK 2008 Climate Change Act, which commits us to a reduction in emissions of 80% by 2050, from 1990 levels. Our membership of the EU has no impact on our commitment to this Act, as shown by our decision to accept the Committee’s advice on the level of the 5th Carbon Budget just two weeks ago.”

  4. The Brexit effect on UK nuclear

    EDF Energy, NuGeneration and Horizon Nuclear Power have all stressed their commitment to the UK’s nuclear new build program, despite the country’s decision to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, the majority vote in favour of ‘Brexit’ – decided in a national referendum held yesterday – may have implications for investment in new reactors and nuclear research, as well for the UK’s future role in meeting climate change targets, industry participants said.

  5. You interviewed Chris [Hayes] about Brexit and I just want to submit to you that the mistake the U.K. media and U.K. elites made with Brexit is the exact same one that the U.S. media and U.S. elites are making about Trump. U.K. elites were uniform, uniform, in their contempt for the Brexit case, other than the right-wing Murdochian tabloids. They all sat on Twitter all day long, from the left to the right, and all reinforced each other about how smart and how sophisticated they were in scorning and [being snide] about UKIP and Boris Johnson and all of the Brexit leaders, and they were convinced that they had made their case. Everyone they were talking to—which is themselves—agreed with them. It was constant reinforcement, and anyone who raised even a peep of dissent or questioned the claims they were making was instantly castigated as somebody who was endangering the future of the U.K. because they were endorsing—or at least impeding—the effort to stop Brexit. This is what’s happening now.

    But this gets back to the point I was trying to make earlier, which is, if you are someone who wants to stop Trump or Brexit, your goal should be to communicate effectively with the people who believe it is in their interest to support Trump or Brexit. I think in general there is no effort on the part of media elites to communicate with those people and do anything other than tell them that they are primitive, racist, and stupid. And if the message being sent is that you are primitive, racist, and stupid, and not that you have been fucked over in ways that are really bad and need to be rectified, of course those people are not going to be receptive to the message coming from the people who view them with contempt and scorn. I think that is why Brexit won, and I think that is the real danger of Trump winning.

  6. Perhaps. But there is another side to the story. A Europe with the Britain sucked out of it will take a distinctly dirigiste turn, warns Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia’s president. Its ambitions on trade, the digital single market and energy—precisely the sorts of programmes the low-growth EU ought to be focusing on—will shrink without their largest champion, and the band of smaller liberal northern countries who have traditionally looked to Britain for a political steer will find themselves exposed to the protectionist instincts of the southerners. Add to that the time, resources and energy that will be poured into the extraordinarily complex task of disentangling the two partners of this 43-year-old relationship, and it becomes clear that Brexit is good for no one.

    It may be for this reason that Project Denial is in full swing throughout Europe. When the moment comes, say some, no British prime minister will pull the trigger pointing towards his or her head. Others wonder if a lifeline might be thrown to Britain in a year or two; perhaps a concession on migration could be sold to voters in a second referendum. Meanwhile Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson, a possible successor to Mr Cameron, persist in the illusion that they can secure an exit deal for Britain that contains everything they want, including access to the single market, and nothing they dislike, such as free movement for EU workers.

    Europe’s other leaders laugh at that idea. Perhaps they suffer from ideological rigidity; perhaps they are defending core European values. Either way, it illustrates the gulf of mutual incomprehension that has finally doomed this gainful but troubled relationship. Alas, there will be lots more misunderstanding in the years ahead, as Britain attempts to extract the maximum advantages from its withdrawal and the remaining countries close ranks. The best hope for both sides is that they can reach an arrangement that resembles but falls well short of what they have left behind. That will be a sad requiem for a partnership that once promised, and delivered, so much. So don’t forget to hug a Brit.

    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21701513-everyone-feels-pain-britons-brussels-sympathy-wont-last-and-shut-door

  7. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, moved to quell dissent over Brexit at a cabinet meeting to brainstorm plans to leave the EU. She was clear that there would be no second referendum and that Britain would not attempt to stay in the EU “by the back door”. Mrs May also ruled out holding an early election. A vote now could give her Conservative Party a sizeable increased majority: opposition Labour MPs are still trying ineptly to get rid of their hapless leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

  8. AFTER Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23rd, financial markets took fright. Sterling lost one-tenth of its value in two days of trading. The FTSE 250, an index of domestically focused firms, fell by 14%. Remainers predicted that Leave voters would soon suffer from an acute case of buyer’s remorse. Yet as the summer has worn on, the mood has changed. Companies have not fled Britain en masse. The pound has stabilised and the FTSE 250 is up on its pre-referendum level. Polls suggest that few Brexiteers regret their vote: indeed, many of them now argue that the pre-referendum doom-mongering was overblown, and some even detect the beginning of a “Brexit boom”. What is the reality?

    What of exports, which Brexiteers forecast would soar following a fall in the pound? A survey of manufacturing firms on September 1st showed strong growth in sales to places like America and China. Yet hopes of an export boom should be tempered. A high proportion of exports’ content is made up of imports, which are now pricier. And British exports compete mainly on “non-price” factors, such as quality and customer service, making them insensitive to currency fluctuations. When sterling fell by a similar amount in 2008-09, net exports barely responded.

  9. The curious thing is that Brexit was supposed to be about “taking back control”: immunising the country from foreign whim and interest, while asserting national dignity and independence. Increasingly that looks like a bad joke. The British elite feels it has no choice but to prostrate itself before an American president it clearly finds odious. To keep businesses from moving elsewhere, Britain may have to shadow EU regulations and pay into EU programmes without the chance to shape either. Its trade deals will be forged with a fraction of the negotiating force that has long promoted its interests. That means more concessions to the tariff and regulatory preferences of foreigners. Its application to become a full member of the World Trade Organisation is yet another opportunity for others to impose conditions and costs.

    And pause to contemplate Mrs May’s threat to turn Britain into a tax haven if it gets a poor deal in Brussels. The prime minister is politically almighty. She faces virtually no serious opposition or credible rivals within her Conservative Party, which is close to record highs in the polls. Her premiership’s raison d’être is to make the social safety net stronger for “just about managing” citizens. Yet if foreign leaders decide not to make concessions, she says she will be forced to rip up that plan and do the very opposite: slash public services and regulation. Some “control”, that.

  10. “I think, unfortunately, it is of a piece with the nervous breakdown that has taken place across Whitehall since Brexit,” Adonis says. “The senior civil service is now totally drained physically and psychologically by attempting to deliver the impossible with Brexit, such that it is no longer able to deliver the ordinary business of government. This is now apparent department by department, and in the Department for Transport it is why we have had the breakdown of good government over the East Coast line and the threats to me. It is deeply unpleasant.”

    He paints a picture of a political system that is consumed by an impossible goal of securing a Brexit that is good for the UK economy, and a civil service at war with its governing masters.

    “Good government has essentially broken down in the face of Brexit. Normal standards of conduct are not being observed. Independent advice is being dismissed because, remember, experts were supposedly part of the problem.

    “There is very low morale in Whitehall because almost no civil servants agree with the policy of the government. I do not think there has ever been a period when the civil service has been more disaffected with the government it serves. I do not know a single senior civil servant who thinks that Brexit is the right policy, and those that are responsible for negotiating it are in a desperate and constant argument with the government over the need to minimise the damage done by the prime minister’s hard-Brexit stance.

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