Langham

Honors Member
Thank you. It's a welcome and long-overdue development - and hopefully a wake-up call to other countries under the EU yoke. There is turmoil in the currency markets however - a good time to unload a stash of euros.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
A good time for Americans and the rest of the world to by British. I believe the pound is ~1.24, the lowest it's been in 30 years.
 

Kingstonian

Super Member
I went to bed expecting a narrow Remain win.

Just shows do not trust polls or even bookies. People can lump on to make a result look likely - a relatively cheap form of invisible advertising.

Brits stood up to all the bien pensants telling us it would be a disaster. All the 'old and uneducated' turned out in droves to cast a vote.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
Yes but now you won't have the privilege of propping up failing European socialist states who have failed their own citizenry and are seeking refuge off the fat of your land.

I find it rich that the Italian PM is asking for swift retribution so as to limit the contagion effect. A country that by all measures is benefiting greatly from the union and being propped up by other, more productive countries.

At least the UK never abandoned then £. Imagine what a disaster it would be to have to unwind yourself not only from he sclerotic EU but also from that sham of a currency they trade in.
 

culverwood

Super Member
I wonder how many of the other leaders will be told by Merkel what they should do and if they tow the German line how their electorates will react.

"Merkel says Germany has a specific interest and responsibility for the EU to succeed and she has invited the French, Italian and European leaders to talks on Brexit next week."
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
^ by the way, it's exactly these types of emotional and infantile appeals to remaining in the EU that some were using. As though there is something sacred about the European Union.
 

tocqueville

Suspended
^ by the way, it's exactly these types of emotional and infantile appeals to remaining in the EU that some were using. As though there is something sacred about the European Union.
Please, it's funny! I just read that story to one of my kids two days ago.

All kidding aside, what we should all be afraid of is the boost this might give to the Scottish independence movement. We can all manage fine with the UK out of the EU. The sky has not fallen. But the breakup of the UK, particularly in this context, would be a very bad thing.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
^ Why? As an American I don't see how it is my concern how the UK decides to govern itself. It may or may not be bad for Britain overall, but that's a matter for them to decide.

We will still do business with the UK and the EU. I honestly don't see how Scotland can manage on its own.
 

Langham

Honors Member
^ Scotland had a referendum to leave the UK not long ago and voted to remain in - somehow I don't think the EU will exert a sufficient lure for them to vote differently, assuming there were to be another referendum. If they did, however, it would be rather inconvenient having a land border with an EU country. This will be the case in Ireland, of course.

Hopefully the whole wicked EU set-up will fall apart soon, now that their principal source of moolah is leaving.
 

tocqueville

Suspended
^ Why? As an American I don't see how it is my concern how the UK decides to govern itself. It may or may not be bad for Britain overall, but that's a matter for them to decide.

We will still do business with the UK and the EU. I honestly don't see how Scotland can manage on its own.
True. But:

1. Without Scotland, the UK because just another smallish European country. In terms of geopolitics, it becomes nearly irrelevant. The US loses an ally that still has some heft.
2. Speaking of heft, Scotland is a big deal for UK/NATO defenses, if for no other reason than the nuclear submarine facilities there, which are nearly irreplaceable. I'm sure treaties can be worked out with the Scots, but again, the UK would find itself being much diminished in terms of its capabilities.
3. And this is true also even if the UK stays together but leaves the EU: A major reason why Europe has been as stable at it has been since the end of WWII is the fact that there's a three-way dynamic between the UK, F, and G. F is too small to match G and counter-balance it. F plus the United Kingdom can. This is why smaller EU countries like the Netherlands are unhappy about Brexit: Without the UK, Germany finally after nearly a century and two world wars gets its wish and becomes the giant of Europe. That's when stuff gets weird, especially with Russia gleefully watching and egging people on. The UK out of the EU is therefore already a problem, but it seems clear that the weaker the UK becomes in general, the greater the imbalance in Europe.

Now, why does this matter to the US? Well, think about the 1920s-and 1930s. The League of Nations and all that were in part an effort to tame Germany and create a system that balanced Germany by combining the power of F and the UK, with US backing. But what happened was that F and the UK were not at all on the same page, leaving F isolated, and the US just wandered off thinking that it could let Europe take care of itself, asking, "what does this have to do with me?"

Also, politically speaking, Angela Merkel is sane and moderate and isn't going to do anything crazy, but so were the German leaders in the 1920s. Then came the Depression and a bunch of other things. Then came Hitler. What happens if, maybe because of the refugee crisis, there's a far-right Chancellor in Germany? What if Marine Le Pen wins in France? What if Russia puts more pressure on the East? I could go on. These are all what-ifs, but the point is that the system rigged up in the late 1940s through the creation of NATO and the EU is to a large measure about creating a system that will be stable, will integrate Germany in a way that F, G, and the UK plus the rest of the world can live with, and will withstand shocks like the Great Depression or the election of some crazy populist. Things that weaken the system increase risk.

Some idiot on NPR was saying about Trump, "how much damage can he do?" The answer is a lot, if he does things like Harding did, when he abandoned the US security commitments to Europe, or messes with NATO, or pivots toward Putin, or does any number of things that take us and the rest of the West outside of the established security arrangements. Maybe he won't. I don't know. He hasn't said he would. Be he has said he might. Even just talking like that is, to me, a compelling argument that we really don't want to take a chance with him.

The bottom line for Americans is that a strong UK is in our national interest. A weak UK is contrary to our interests.
 

Langham

Honors Member
^ Sorry Tocqueville, I don't agree with your analysis.

Germany already controlled everything that happened in the EU even before Brexit. The best hope now is that other countries in Europe will vote out, otherwise nothing much will change as far as countries like Greece and Spain are concerned.

I see no parallels (so far) with the 1920s.

Germany, in fact is a slightly bigger contributor than the UK to the EU budget, I was mistaken in my earlier post. It will have to pay over a further £2 bn a year when we leave.

The Germans have already done incalculable damage by their control over the euro and their daft policy on refugees - nothing the UK could do about that even within the EU.

Scotland leaving the UK might have defence implications - they are good infantrymen - but you are assuming that an independent Scotland would not also be part of NATO - why?

You are seeing everything from a US perspective, of course, which will not necessarily help you understand the reasons for Brexit.
 

Shaver

Suspended
Wait. What? The UK is a country? Are you taking the piss? Next you'll be telling us that Africa is a country.

True. But:

1. Without Scotland, the UK because just another smallish European country. In terms of geopolitics, it becomes nearly irrelevant. The US loses an ally that still has some heft.
2. Speaking of heft, Scotland is a big deal for UK/NATO defenses, if for no other reason than the nuclear submarine facilities there, which are nearly irreplaceable. I'm sure treaties can be worked out with the Scots, but again, the UK would find itself being much diminished in terms of its capabilities.
3. And this is true also even if the UK stays together but leaves the EU: A major reason why Europe has been as stable at it has been since the end of WWII is the fact that there's a three-way dynamic between the UK, F, and G. F is too small to match G and counter-balance it. F plus the United Kingdom can. This is why smaller EU countries like the Netherlands are unhappy about Brexit: Without the UK, Germany finally after nearly a century and two world wars gets its wish and becomes the giant of Europe. That's when stuff gets weird, especially with Russia gleefully watching and egging people on. The UK out of the EU is therefore already a problem, but it seems clear that the weaker the UK becomes in general, the greater the imbalance in Europe.

Now, why does this matter to the US? Well, think about the 1920s-and 1930s. The League of Nations and all that were in part an effort to tame Germany and create a system that balanced Germany by combining the power of F and the UK, with US backing. But what happened was that F and the UK were not at all on the same page, leaving F isolated, and the US just wandered off thinking that it could let Europe take care of itself, asking, "what does this have to do with me?"

Also, politically speaking, Angela Merkel is sane and moderate and isn't going to do anything crazy, but so were the German leaders in the 1920s. Then came the Depression and a bunch of other things. Then came Hitler. What happens if, maybe because of the refugee crisis, there's a far-right Chancellor in Germany? What if Marine Le Pen wins in France? What if Russia puts more pressure on the East? I could go on. These are all what-ifs, but the point is that the system rigged up in the late 1940s through the creation of NATO and the EU is to a large measure about creating a system that will be stable, will integrate Germany in a way that F, G, and the UK plus the rest of the world can live with, and will withstand shocks like the Great Depression or the election of some crazy populist. Things that weaken the system increase risk.

Some idiot on NPR was saying about Trump, "how much damage can he do?" The answer is a lot, if he does things like Harding did, when he abandoned the US security commitments to Europe, or messes with NATO, or pivots toward Putin, or does any number of things that take us and the rest of the West outside of the established security arrangements. Maybe he won't. I don't know. He hasn't said he would. Be he has said he might. Even just talking like that is, to me, a compelling argument that we really don't want to take a chance with him.

The bottom line for Americans is that a strong UK is in our national interest. A weak UK is contrary to our interests.
 

Veblen

New Member
Germany, in fact is a slightly bigger contributor than the UK to the EU budget, I was mistaken in my earlier post. It will have to pay over a further £2 bn a year when we leave.
Well, if you want to call three times as much "slightly bigger". In 2014 Germany made net contributions of EUR 15.5B to the EU, compared to EUR 4.9B by Britain, which comes in third among net payer countries behind France (EUR 7.2B).

And, while I'm rather unenthusiastic about Ms Merkel's refugee policy myself, I'd think that her lack of success in getting concessions from other governments regarding the relocation of refugees within the EU doesn't quite gel with the notion of those dastardly Germans controlling all of Europe, hm?

I don't see a far-right government in Germany as likely soon, unless the AfD somehow achieves an astounding landslide win gaining a majority all on their own. No other major party looks willing to enter into a coalition with them. Further gains by the AfD would more likely strengthen the left-of-center camp by weakening the CDU. An FN surge in France may be a more likely event.

My major concern here is that the Brexit fallout will take away a huge amount of political energy from dealing with other unresolved issues like the Eurozone debt crisis, the Russia/Ukraine conflict, the Middle Eastern crisis, which IMO we can't really afford to at the moment.

And, while I've got misgivings about the EU as it currently exists as well, I don't see how a fragmented Europe in the face of resurgent Russian hegemonial aspirations and continuing Middle Eastern instability would be "the best hope".
 
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