The Brexit fallout continues. See the bullet points below. Meanwhile, some seek exit-from-Brexit scenarios....
Some have speculated that by resigning as Prime Minister, David Cameron may have in effect annulled the UK's referendum result of a 51% majority voting for the UK to leave the European Union (EU) after more than 40 years of membership?
It's a political lifetime between now and the Conservative party conference the 2nd – 5th of October when a new leader (and thus UK Prime Minister) will be determined officially.
Denmark in 1992 voted by 51% to not join the EU, were granted carve-outs/exemption by the EU, and then put it up to a second vote in 1993 that passed with 56.7% and a huge, 86% voter turnout.
Things were very different then in 1992, and Denmark's was a vote to join not a vote on whether or not to leave. Then it was not nearly as much a time of globalization; it certainly was not a time of migrant crises or the depressing, disruptive wake of the Great Recession that sees banks get bailouts, billionaires get tax breaks, the middle class get squeezed worse than ever, and the working class get ignored.
Regardless, the EU's leaders are more scared now than they care to let on about possible exit movements in other nations, including France and the Netherlands, so they might be willing to grant the UK carve-outs as an inducement to stay.
Or not. They're very angry. Anyway, Cameron said the EU Referendum was a once-in-a-generation vote. On the other hand, it's not going to be his Government leading the negotiations. But, that's yet a further complication: it's not clear who will be at the helm in the UK during negotiations. Those at the helm might end up being the true-believers, the deeply Euroskeptic voices who aren't interested in carve-outs but only in being totally out. Whoever is at the helm, they may simply work toward the best sort of EEA (European Economic Area) bi-lateral arrangement they can get, which would put the UK in the category of Norway and Iceland, non-EU nations nonetheless tightly bound to EU requirements.
For the short term at least, the UK is still the world's 5th or 6th largest economy, 4th or 5th largest military power (it depends on how one measures these things), gateway to Europe, and home to the profoundly important financial services and banking city that is London. If those things start quite quickly to look to be in real jeopardy because of Brexit, something (probably quite messy) might get worked out that's almost "membership lite," even if it doesn't involve a 2nd referendum. Who knows?
The emerging mess that may be hard to clean up:
- Germany ruled out informal Brexit talks;
- The pound sterling hit a 31-year low against the dollar;
- The trading of some shares on the UK stock market, the FTSE, was halted by automatic circuit breakers as airlines and banks took big hits, with the shares of RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) dropping to 2009 levels, though firms with revenue in dollars, like British big pharma, made gains;
- Yields on 10-year UK government bonds sank below 1% for the first time;
- Nicola Sturgeon MSP says Scotland's Parliament may refuse to consent to Brexit;
- Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has told Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn that he has "no authority" among Labour MPs and warns him that he faces a leadership challenge.
Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty