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Why I think Article 50 to leave the EU will be invoked (eventually)

There has been much speculation the government will simply ignore the LEAVE result of the Brexit vote and not invoke Article 50 to start the clock running to leave the EU.

So why do I not think that will happen?

The one word answer:

UKIP

The slightly longer answer:

Look how many Tory (and indeed Labour) MPs supported REMAIN, but their constituencies voted for LEAVE: i.e. most of England.

the-most-glorious-of-moments

Now imagine come the next election, and we are still in the EU because the political establishment basically said “fuck you, we are just going to ignore the vote to LEAVE”.

Does anyone seriously think UKIP will end that election with the one MP it currently has? In my opinion they could quite literally wipe out the Tories as a meaningful political party a la what happened to the Liberal Party by 1935 (and UKIP would probably take a nice big bite out of Labour in Northern England). I would rather that not happen, but if that is what it takes…

That is why I think Brexit will indeed happen. Political self preservation. But I hope Farage has bodyguards.

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49 comments to Why I think Article 50 to leave the EU will be invoked (eventually)

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    I agree with this analysis. Our political system is working very strangely just now, but it is working.

  • shlomo maistre

    Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Daniel Hannan, and the other Tory politicians who favored Leave know that if they form a government and fail to activate Article 50 then their political careers are over.

    What is more important to a politician than his political career? Not much.

    Assuming that support to Exit is perceived to remain at majority-level, then it follows that if the Tories do not activate Article 50 then there is something going on behind the scenes that explains why they are willing to terminate their own political careers instead of restore the UK’s sovereignty.

    Would UKIP politicians be immune to such things if they wipe out the Tories in a landslide election to activate Article 50?

    I don’t know because I don’t know what those things are going on behind the scenes.

    I do know that that the Queen commands the allegiance of the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the admiration of a strong majority of the British people. Connect the dots.

  • Mr Ecks

    It is only the end of Day 3. The remain crowd–as others have said–are still going thro’ the Kubler-Ross stages of grief.

    What they have said about trying to put aside a democratic vote is a disgrace and had it gone the other way all we would be hearing would be how we all have to make the best of it and the die is cast.

    It will come to nothing.

    However we cannot let up. We will have to keep on them. Make preparations for local party associations to gear up to de-select MPs who won’t accept the decision if that should prove necs. I hope and trust that it will not.

  • Paul Marks

    Agreed Perry.

  • I do know that that the Queen commands the allegiance of the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the admiration of a strong majority of the British people. Connect the dots.

    You need to stop smoking crack or whatever it is that you are on because you are hallucinating if you think that HM Queen would do anything to intervene in this and you are even more delusional if you think parliament wouldn’t force her to abdicate for her demands.

  • Just a reminder: kindly keep the conversation civil.

    samizdata_smite_control

  • Cal

    I’d rather it didn’t have to come to all that, although it would certaonly have its advantages. Just invoke it, and then that issue goes away.

  • AKM

    With respect John Galt, the balance of power within our constitution in favour of Parliament depends on Parliament being able to claim a popular mandate. With that claim being proved to be paper thin, at least on the issue of the EU, our constitutional settlement is now open to question. With both the two main parties being detested by their own grass-roots I would not want to predict what would happen if they tried to ignore the results of the referendum. I can’t think of a situation this delicate since Charles I. If parliament tried to force the Queen to abdicate and she said no, what would they do? Hold a referendum on whether the Queen should abdicate or not? I can’t see them being too confident of winning that popularity contest, which makes it doubtful they would even try.

  • Cal

    There has always been this suspicion that Boris doesn’t really want to leave, he just wants to renegotiate with the EU using the possibility of Article 50 as a threat. But hopefully it will have been invoked well before the new Tory leader is in place.

  • Fred Z

    There will be civil war. Sorry to say it, but it’s time, simple statistics points that way, been awhile since the peeps got violent with each other.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    You were warned. That nice man from the EU told you that a Brexit would mean the end of Western civilisation. You didn’t listen. Next time there’s a disaster, such as France winning a soccer match, I hope you duck your heads in shame.

  • Lee Moore

    I think things begin to work in favour of the forces of light now. Boris is liable to win the Tory leadership election, even if most of his MPs were remainers. And once that’s done he’ll have to invoke Article 50, pretty much immediately, whatever Parliament says. He hasn’t really got an option.

    And after that the chances of herding the other 27 cats into some kind of comprehensive deal with the UK are effectively zero. So the UK will be leaving with the barest minimum of a deal, which means maximum disentanglement in a reasonably short timescale. It’s out of the bums control now.

  • shlomo maistre

    I do know that that the Queen commands the allegiance of the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the admiration of a strong majority of the British people. Connect the dots.

    You need to stop smoking crack or whatever it is that you are on because you are hallucinating if you think that HM Queen would do anything to intervene in this and you are even more delusional if you think parliament wouldn’t force her to abdicate for her demands.

    You are the one smoking crack if you think Parliament can force her to abdicate for voicing support for the will of the people to be carried out by activating Article 50.

    Do I think it’s likely to happen, though? No.

    However, kindly note that since winning the Brexit vote, David Cameron resigned as PM instead of activating article 50 as he said he would, Boris Johnson implied he wants to delay activation of Article 50, Michael Gove has literally disappeared from public view, and Daniel Hannan announced a month-long sabbatical from Twitter.

    Most of the leaders of the Brexit campaign are waffling, hesitating, evading public scrutiny at the very moment of victory. Why do you think that is? These are uncharted waters. New precedents are being set. There are sundry unknown unknowns. Also, they may be inclined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    If Nigel Farage is elected Prime Minister in a landslide general election on the promise to activate article 50 after Tories fail to do so, I would not be all that surprised if Farage also politely refrains from doing so. Don’t come crying to me if Nigel also sells you out to the global establishment – go to the Queen. In such a scenario she is the only one who can save the UK’s sovereignty from the dustbin of history.

  • Chester Draws

    Imagine any seat in the country with over 40% “Leave”. If the Green, Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dem standing are all “Remain”, then the one UKIP person could get in, even if he or she only gets 80% of the Leave voters. And few seats are as low as 40%.

    The Tories have to go “Leave”, or they will be eradicated, because over half their support will decamp. Completely and utterly wiped out, I would say, given that a swing of 5% can do that in FPP.

    Conversely, if the Tories can ride some of those Labour voters who want to Leave, plus a fair chunk of their traditional supporters who are ambivalent then they could win in a total romp. They could, if it plays out right for them with Labour refusing to acknowledge the problem they face, totally and utterly ruin Labour.

    I imagine the Tory politicians aren’t in hiding, but are running the various scenarios furiously in order to get the right one. But staying Remain isn’t an option.

  • Roue le Jour

    The argument presupposes the EU would want the UK to stay. What the EU seems to be saying publicly, however, is if you’re going, go, and good riddance.

  • shlomo maistre

    Chester Draws makes a good point, but he is assuming that the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour will play this game as they have in the past.

    It is conceivable, though, that the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour might conspire against UKIP like the main parties have sometimes done against the National Front in France – by agreeing to only run one candidate from one of those 3 parties in most shires/districts/constituencies/whatever you call them on your side of the pond. This is a way of preventing UKIP from winning all that many seats even though the party would have a plurality in many more districts/constituencies if all 3 of the establishment parties ran candidates and tried to win as they have in the past.

  • Mr Ecks

    All that would do Shlomo is ensure that all parties are telling the people of the UK that the live in a tyranny where what political scum want is what goes and fuck democracy.

    Not just Leavers but anyone with the brains of a gnat is not going to vote in favour of that regardless of party politics.

  • Rob

    “You were warned. That nice man from the EU told you that a Brexit would mean the end of Western civilisation. You didn’t listen. Next time there’s a disaster, such as France winning a soccer match, I hope you duck your heads in shame.”

    Brexit, Cameron resigning and Labour in turmoil are about as far from a disaster as it is possible to get.

    Answering another poster, Labour will flip 180 degrees on Europe. It will be embarassing for them as they have spent the past twenty-odd years branding anyone who opposes Europe as a fascist, but they will do it. The BBC and the Guardian will quietly get behind the decision and start pushing it – no mention will take place of the volte-face.

    If they don’t flip they are finished. They are in trouble now, but Blairite sniping is nothing compared to their core vote switching in part to UKIP and wiping them out.

  • Regional

    In Australia the leaders of both major parties are detested.
    In America the main contenders for POTUS are detested.
    In Britain the leaders of both main parties are detested.
    The politicians that sit in the Legislatures are milksops.
    The great majority of the Press push agendas instead of reporting events.
    Apparently it’s unacceptable to label politicians pantywaste as they ratchet up debt.

  • Snorri Godhi

    There is another possibility that i have been considering. Unlikely, but worth thinking about. The Tories could call for a general election, saying that their new leader needs a fresh mandate. They would of course promise that Article 50 will be invoked immediately after the election. They would lose some seats to UKIP, but the loss might be tolerable. After the election, the promise is quietly forgotten; or they could enter in a coalition with the LibDems, and say that postponing Article 50 was a condition of forming the coalition.

    Many things could happen in the following 5 years, eg the EU might rename itself the European SuperState, in which case the Tories could say that they cannot leave the EU anymore, because it doesn’t exist, and a new referendum is needed, after the following election.

    Remember: only the paranoid survive.

  • Greytop

    It is telling for me that a man (David Lammy) who was voted into power — limited as it may be by the nature of a parliament under the sway of a foreign power — can therefore applaud democracy when elected but then use his power to suppress democracy when he doesn’t like it being applied elsewhere.

    But as far as I can see democracy is just a word to be used when convenient, and a very nice sounding word it is too.

  • None of those strike me as plausible, Snorri. And entering a coalition with the minuscule LibDems only makes sense if the Tories fail to get a majority. Moreover previously going into coalition with the Tories is why the entire LibDem Parliamentary party can all arrive in Westminster in a single taxi cab.

  • Gareth

    Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    You were warned. That nice man from the EU told you that a Brexit would mean the end of Western civilisation. You didn’t listen. Next time there’s a disaster, such as France winning a soccer match, I hope you duck your heads in shame.

    What Donald Tusk warned of was an end to Western political civilisation. I don’t know quite what he meant by that but anything that upsets the current largely unaccountable way of doing things has got to be good.

    As Harold MacMillan said, we have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of technocrats. In joining the EEC which turned into the EU we very much did.

  • Cal

    The Conservatives won’t be calling a new election. Why would they? They are in power for 4 more years. Why would they risk that? The last thing they want is another bruising campaign.

  • Dr Evil

    I agree. UKIP must remain to ensure we, the people, are not sold out by the scum infesting parliament and downing street with a few honourable exceptions of course.

  • PeterT

    My firm’s head of asset allocation is of the view that this is one of the worst 5 things to happen to the UK…(dramatic silence)…EVER. At least the worst thing since the end of the War apparently. Idiot.

    Things are teed up very nicely. The establishment is in a stranglehold and now have very few options. The most likely, and best, outcome is for Boris to become prime minister, state that we will remain in the EEA (perhaps applying the emergency brake on immigration immediately, possibly with a time limit) and get support from Parliament on this point.

    I shan’t pretend that I am not worried on a personal level. Whilst I am fairly well off, losing my job would be difficult in the short term, and could have significant impact on longer term wealth, if I found myself losing many years of career development.

    Hopefully the UK will find itself “Switzerland on Sea” in a few years with similar levels of democracy and wealth.

  • Stonyground

    Are we perhaps being too cynical? I’ve seen the coverage this morning on the BBC and the general tone is that Brexit is going to happen and is about what this will entail. I know that it is tempting to be pessimistic given the track record of our lying politicians.

  • FrancisT

    I think the Labour party would be far worse hit than the tories if it comes to a vote in parliament and is voted down. There’s an excellent chance that UKIP would hoover up labour seats in all those northern towns that voted Leave. They have already started taking Labour votes – in the local elections in Wales recently for example

    But I agree that if a new PM doesn’t move for Article 50 then the Tories are in trouble

  • Mary Contrary

    Staying in the EEA (the Norway option) is a terrible idea. EEA countries must follow EU rules and pay EU Danegeld. They just don’t get a seat on the Council.

    What we want is OUT, properly out, and to have a free trade agreement with the EU.

    I think the ideas in the OP are well put, and I am optimistic. My main worry right now is not that we will be defied, but will be cheated, into a new relationship with all the worst points of the old one.

    The only thing I would add is that UKIP isn’t only a threat to Southern Tories. Labour is deeply vulnerable in the Northern cities right now, and if they are still in power by the time Boris takes the reigns there may be a snap election in the hope UKIP wipes them out.

  • gwana

    The UK’s own democratic deficit is not much smaller than Brussels – unprepresentative FPPP (UKIP got 1 seat for 3.9m votes) and an unelected upper house. But the UK parliament has a lot more control over our laws – so it should have a much higher level of democratic accountability than the EU. Actually it does not, as the EU has both the elected MEPs (EP) and the elected heads of state (Council of Europe). The big thing is we can vote to leave whenever we like, so we ultimately retain sovereignty.
    If we leave, we will end up obeying EU trade rules but have no input into them – in other words, we will forfeit sovereignty.
    By the logic of the Leave campaign’s arguments, we should be quitting the WTO, UN, NATO and more. NATO obliges you to spend 2% on defence. No wonder Sarah Palin has now said the US needs to leave the UN.
    As to the Brexit vote, whatever Cameron said, it is meant to have the approval of parliament. And we live in a parliamentary democracy. It cannot be merely shelved but nor does parliament have tro simply lie down.

  • Bob Grahame

    I think Perry is right. While UKIP is still there, the other parties’ sense of self-preservation will hold them to Leave. That isn’t to say the EU couldn’t pull a fast one at some point between Article 50 and the expiry of the two year deadline, but it’d have to be something that didn’t involve us staying in what the public would see as the EU (whatever they may rebrand some EU-Lite body as). And UKIP isn’t going anywhere until we’re out and the door firmly latched shut behind us.
    I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that many bubblers may have underestimated Corbyn though. I might be wrong. I’d like to be wrong. But I think he might pull off something very interesting if he survives another two weeks.

  • …and an unelected upper house

    Which I totally support actually and wish it had more teeth 🙂

    If we leave, we will end up obeying EU trade rules but have no input into them – in other words, we will forfeit sovereignty.

    Nope. We have to obey EU trade rule on goods sold within the EU, however we will NOT have to run the companies that produce those goods and services in accordance with EU regulations in the manner we currently do. And that matters far more. Moreover the UK is a global trading nation, and EU regulations have no impact on goods and services sold elsewhere.

    By the logic of the Leave campaign’s arguments, we should be quitting the WTO, UN, NATO and more. NATO obliges you to spend 2% on defence. No wonder Sarah Palin has now said the US needs to leave the UN.

    Nope again. NATO in particular is a bizarre comparison, given that very few members actually spend 2%, so not much of an ‘obligation’ really, is it. European defence spending is starting to increase, but that is because of Putin’s antics, not some ‘obligation’ and the 2% thing in truth is little more than a wise suggestion. The UN? Er, has there ever been an organisation more easy to ignore than the UN when it suits a nation thus to do? WTO? Not really all that important. The EU on the other hand has a huge impact on pretty much everything in Europe and can and does enforce its rules.

    And we live in a parliamentary democracy. It cannot be merely shelved but nor does parliament have tro simply lie down.

    Indeed, which is why it is was a staggering miscalculation by Cameron to hold the LEAVE/REMAIN vote. But he did. And he lost. And for the reasons stated in my article, yes, if they value their political survival, Parliament will indeed have to lie down, or more accurately, bend over and take it. Like it or not, the genii is out of the bottle.

  • PeterT

    EEA countries must follow EU rules and pay EU Danegeld.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere we would have to follow less than 20% of EU rules, so this is not a big issue.

    The Danegeld is annoying, but ultimately small beer.

    Merkel has now said that we must trigger Article 50 before any talks, even before informal talks. She also said it would be reasonable for the UK to take some time before doing so, but not forever. So probably Oct/Nov time.

  • William H. Stoddard

    I’m with Perry. I’m not a big fan of democracy; as James Madison put it, a faction which is a majority can do more damage, both to private rights and to the good of the whole people, than an minority faction. Democratic mechanisms have their uses, but they need to be held in check. In the United States this used to be done by a senate appointed by state legislatures and beholden to them; since the change to popular election of senators, the Supreme Court, made up of justices elected for life, has more taken on that role, not entirely for the good—but without that elite element American government could be much worse. The House of Lords seemingly combines some functions of the senate and of the Supreme Court, and I’m not sure its reduction to impotence has been to the UK’s advantage; at least I wouldn’t take it as a foregone conclusion. A House of Commons that can do anything it wants by a simply majority vote would strike me as an intolerable threat to liberty.

  • Cal

    The UK is under no obligation to trigger Article 50. The EU can’t make them. The EU knows that, and has admitted it. Perhaps it suspects the UK is going to use the referendum to attempt to renegotiate its membership, like some said Johnson wanted to do. The EU doesn’t want that to happen. They’d rather have the UK leave than have to do any renegotiating, because if it renegotiates with the UK then evey other country is going to want to do that too, and that will be unworkable. So I think they’d rather get rid of the UK altogether, as quickly as possible (that also makes it easier to get on with integration).

    But if that is how they’re thinking then Johnson, ot wheover is doing the negotiating, won’t get far with any attempt at a renegotiation.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Perry nails it again. I like the graphic.

    Came across this, and showing how some (not all) youngsters are taking the result:

    The referendum was agonising and the result gave us all a shock, even those of us who wished to Leave. It has said a very firm ‘No’ to the idealistic young who didn’t seem to care about the effects of mass migration, believing that all pressures on our standard of living are caused by government cuts, and wanting nation states replaced by a globalised culture conducted in euphemisms over social media. They haven’t got their way for once. Perhaps it’s the first time that some of them have been refused anything.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    To second what Perry, PeterT and others have said, another point that the “we cannot influence the rules if we are not willing to submit to the EU” line ignores how if European countries want to export to Britain (the world’s fifth-largest economy) they need to think about our laws that they can no longer dictate, too. If the UK wants to export to the USA, or the Planet Zog, the rules have be followed. I am not aware that there are calls for Britain to become part of the United States so that our firms can do business there, irksome though entities such as the IRS, DoJ and the rest are.

    The key is what is called equivalence and mutual recognition. There will always be haggling around the rules, and just as some rules get harmonized and brought together via trial and error and by some negotiation, so it will be this time. It may be a bit messier, which may upset the fine but limited minds of the political establishment, but such is life. I think there will be an opportunity for new ways of thinking about trade to take hold. There should be more excitement and sense of adventure in the air.

  • Cal

    Guido has now mentioned the possibility of a pre-Xmas election. But how can this take place with the new fixed-term of parliaments act? Doesn’t that require a vote of no confidence? Are the Conservatives going to support a vote of no confidence in themselves? I suppose they could do, and might if they think Labour is ready to be crushed, but they’d be fools to risk it, and as Perry says if they haven’t yet activated Article 50 then UKIP will be booming.

  • PeterT

    I think the fixed terms law allowed a vote to be called before a fixed term, if Parliament voted for it by 70% (or something). Doesn’t seem likely unless the Labour party get their house in order. Personally I think it would be very unwise and a huge gamble for Johnson (or whoever). The EU ref was actually not a gamble for Johnson, as he behaved perfectly well throughout (unlike Cameron, who would not have had to resign if he hadn’t behaved the way that he did); if he had lost he would have conceded gracefully and still have a shot at becoming PM in due course.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Bracing analysis from the economist, Kevin Dowd.

  • Laird

    Johnathan, that analysis from Kevin Dowd is indeed interesting, although it was a bit too much “down in the weeds” political analysis for my taste. I look forward to his future postings, which hopefully will contain more economic analysis and prognostication. He did make one point which I think is extremely important, and which I have been arguing for some time: “Brexit signals not just the UK leaving the EU, but something much wider: it signals the beginning of the unraveling of the EU itself.” Indeed, the line forming at the exit appears to be growing.

    One point which bears consideration is that periods of disruption such as this always contain opportunities to prosper greatly. Sometimes you can create such disruption by your own efforts, as with many of today’s tech billionaires. More often, though, you just have to spot the correct wave and find a way to ride it. (Here in the US, the Kennedy family dynasty began when old Joe Kennedy made his fortune during the Great Depression.) This one will be no different; huge fortunes will be made in the coming years as Brexit (and, likely, the dissolution of the EU as we know it) proceeds and evolves. I haven’t yet figured out a good play; probably it’s still a bit too early for that. But I will be watching closely for an opportunity. If anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

  • shlomo maistre

    Notwithstanding the UK’s economic strength, it is probably in the EU’s interest to punish the UK for its decision – primarily in order to deter other nations that are currently part of the EU from following a similar path. The EU may very well insist on substantial concessions in exchange for access to the single market. Punitive tariffs against the UK would not be surprising. Also, a grassroots boycott of UK products by pro-EU interests in the Continent is a serious possibility, particularly if/when Article 50 is activated.

    In all seriousness, anti-EU people on the Continent and indeed around the world ought to organize a BUYcott of UK products and services. Now. Doing so pre-empts any punitive action of the EU, strengthens the hand of the UK in negotiations with the EU, and further encourages movements in EU nations to lobby for Exit referendums in their own nations.

  • shlomo maistre

    Rob,

    Answering another poster, Labour will flip 180 degrees on Europe. […]

    If they don’t flip they are finished. They are in trouble now, but Blairite sniping is nothing compared to their core vote switching in part to UKIP and wiping them out.

    This does not seem consistent with the facts. My understanding is that the Leave vote got the following:

    Party: share of electorate*percentage voting for Exit = contribution to total Exit %

    So Conservatives made up about 37% of electorate and 57% of Conservatives voted for Exit.
    Conservative: 0.37*0.57 = 21.1%
    Labour: 0.31*0.37 = 11.5%
    Lib Dem: 0.08*0.25 = 2.0%
    SNP: 0.05*0.3 = 1.5%
    UKIP: 0.13*0.95 = 12.4%
    None/other: 0.06* 0.6 = 3.6%

    Total = 52.0%

    The shares of electorate basically based on 2015 general election, which is an assumption I admit. But the above statistics seem broadly consistent with what I have read online and make sense overall to explain how Exit got 52%. And it seems fairly obvious that a decisive majority of Labour voters voted for Remain (around 63%). When Farage said that it was the ‘Old Labour’ vote that won it for Exit what he meant is that instead of voting ~25/28% for Exit, about 37% of Labour voters did, a swing of 10% which brought Exit over the finish line.

    Why do some people think that Labour will adopt a position in favor of Exit now? It just doesn’t make sense.

  • shlomo maistre

    I just found this article that contains data very similar to my own above showing the Brexit vote by political party. It’s very clear that Labour remains strongly in favor of Remain, but that a 10 point swing in the Labour vote swung the referendum result.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-result-7-graphs-that-explain-how-brexit-won-eu-explained-a7101676.html

    Actually this link contains quite a few very interesting graphs showing how the Brexit vote was broken down in terms of demographics and other opinions people held.

    I’ll happily note that 54% of Jews voted to Exit the EU. Very surprising to me but glad we played our part!

  • Interesting numbers Shlomo.

    I’ll happily note that 54% of Jews voted to Exit the EU. Very surprising to me but glad we played our part

    Logical to be honest. Indeed I am surprised it was not even higher.

  • Thailover

    “Why I think Article 50 to leave the EU will be invoked (eventually)”

    Nice analysis, Perry. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. UKIP breathing down the neck of the Tories will keep everyone on the up and up.

  • Thailover

    shlomo said,
    “The EU may very well insist on substantial concessions in exchange for access to the single market. Punitive tariffs against the UK would not be surprising. Also, a grassroots boycott of UK products by pro-EU interests in the Continent is a serious possibility, particularly if/when Article 50 is activated.”

    Why is the EU worried about GB leaving it’s fold to begin with? Mostly, a loss of GB’s economic power. Refusing to do business with them is, again, a loss of GB’s economic prowess. But that’s the smart way of looking at it, i.e. that the EU would prosper by trading with a free GB rather than hindering trade with a free GB. However, they’ll probably not be smart, thinking that one nation’s economic gain means another nation’s economic loss. ‘A zero sum transaction. In that case they might indeed take the ‘Trump on China’ approach and stifle trade to everyone’s loss.

  • shlomo maistre

    Why is the EU worried about GB leaving it’s fold to begin with? Mostly, a loss of GB’s economic power. Refusing to do business with them is, again, a loss of GB’s economic prowess. But that’s the smart way of looking at it, i.e. that the EU would prosper by trading with a free GB rather than hindering trade with a free GB. However, they’ll probably not be smart, thinking that one nation’s economic gain means another nation’s economic loss. ‘A zero sum transaction. In that case they might indeed take the ‘Trump on China’ approach and stifle trade to everyone’s loss.

    The bureaucrats and technocrats who run the EU are not interested in prosperity; they are interested in control. If the UK gets a sweet trade deal and there are no material adverse consequences for the UK Exiting the EU, then other nations will be more encouraged to Exit the EU as well which would be a disaster for the EU leaders who derive their status and power from exercising control over other nations and their peoples.

    There are consequences for giving sovereignty the middle finger.