Are you with us? No, we are not with EU! The UK has voted to leave the European Union.
Before you buy into all the media hype a reality check is wanted. Remember that while the likes of the BBC, the Daily Mail, the Guardian or even Le Monde won’t outright lie to you they will, without qualms or hesitation, mislead or at least misinform you if it makes good headlines, sells papers, or fits the company agenda. Given that the Brexit leave is arguably the biggest global headline since 9/11, the world media and the world’s economic markets are swarming all over this. If it profits them, they will be selective with the truth.
First, here’s the breakdown:
Wales: 51.7% leave
Ireland: 44.3% leave
Scotland: 38% leave
England: 53.2% leave
Gibraltar: 4.1% leave (Not a typo, so 95.9% remain)
Gibraltar, being literally spitting distance from Spain, is easy to understand. Naturally, they will be a bit miffed at the 51.9% overall result but, I feel, they may come round if, as I hope and suspect, Spain itself demands its own referendum and ultimately leaves the EU.
I find Scotland’s overwhelming pro-EU stance curious, but I guess they didn’t buy into all the immigration hysteria as it’s less of an issue the further north you go. Still, with the state of the EU now, if the question instead had been "Do you want to join the EU?" then I firmly believe the result for Scotland and the country as a whole would have been over 80%. It is, in my firm opinion, potentially the best thing for Europe that we started the Leave ball rolling, but a tad annoying that it was won based overwhelmingly on the 350m a week for the NHS wagon (hah!) and immigration – there are far greater and deeper concerns about the whole EU/Brussels cartel than those two factors.
Meanwhile, given the 62% remain vote in Scotland, the SNP threatens the break-up of the UK, with Nicola Sturgeon saying a second independence vote is now ‘highly likely’. Might I suggest, for any Scots dwelling on this, you first wait to see just how many more countries in Europe want out of the EU, hmmm.
So, y’all want to leave, eh? Of the 62% that voted remain, how many did so over the financial fears – and threats – suggested by Messrs Cameron and Osbourne. How might they vote seeing that, contrary to the FUD campaign they waged, the sky is still there, that the doom-laden rhetoric was only so much hot air. Far more, especially to the under 25’s who were more likely to have voted remain, will you go it alone without British support… like the free University education which the UK pays for but costs £9,000 a year for students only a mile across the border? Or the free prescriptions you enjoy (which the rest of the UK doesn’t)? Or the chaos of possibly needing to create new a currency. By all mean, do accept Sturgeon’s madness and anger and leave, I am sure the EU – which once refused to accept secessionists – will now welcome you. I am equally sure you won’t mind that the cost of joining the club is billions from your economy and the realisation that, like British students, you now need lifelong debts to pay off student loans…
As for Ireland, the 44%/56% split is not so straight forward as the westerly and northerly sea bordering provinces were overwhelmingly against the EU, while the provinces bordering Southern Ireland overwhelming pro-EU. That’s going to be fun to fix. Hopefully, if this results in the EU being mothballed, the country will eventually and finally settle its differences and go back to just being Eire.
Sinn Fein has indeed leapt on the vote split in the referendum and asked for a referendum to (finally) join Ireland back together. Good. However, before you try and force Northern Ireland to join the South y’all might want to ask them if they actually still want to be in the EU. Perhaps they do, but it’s a bit arrogant and selfish to try and forge ahead with this on an assumption, eh.
What about all the angry festival-loving Millenials, interviewed at Glastonbury and elsewhere, fuming at the result? As this BBC referendum breakdown shows, the younger the voter, the more pro-EU, the older, the more leave. How DARE us old grumps decide their future! Actually in most cultures throughout the ages it is accepted that you go to the elders for wisdom. Tellingly, you can get a wall plaque on Amazon that says Ask a Teenager While They Still Know Everything. Sorry kids, but no, you do not. I remember being a teenager, vaguely, a twenty-something party-goer – politics was never on my mind. You are still free to enjoy the world, to experiment, to march against this or that. Trust me, or you parents and grandparents, with every passing decade, the bright-eyed view of the world will fade. You will have one of two opinions on referendums and politics like this: tired indifference, or anger. When it comes to politics, hope and optimism leeches out of you, year by year. You may see this wonderful union, travel, sex on foreign beaches, we see it warts and all. Even the most ardent pro-EU voter and MEP will, if truthful, admit "it’s not perfect". The rest of us, even those that love culture and language, consider that an understatement too far and frankly can’t be doing with that crap any more! Here’s a little cold water on your face if you still disagree: 71.8% voted, this means 28.2% – about 9 million – couldn’t be bothered to vote on the biggest referendum of their life. Care to speculate how many of these were under 25 and could have tipped the vote?
[I see, did you vote?]
Well no, I was in the pub all day with me mates, watching the footie.
[Did they vote then?]
Don’t be stupid, mate, no, they was in the pub with me.
[Ah. I see. Have you ever been to Europe?]
Nah, can’t afford it.
[Have your mates ever been to Europe, France maybe? Spain for a holiday?]
Nah, none of us are working, we can’t afford it.
[Can you name any of the 5 presidents running the European Union?]
There’s five? **** me!
[So, as I understand it, you are angry because you lost a vote you couldn’t be bothered with, over a place you’ve never been to, that’s run by people you don’t even know exist?]
The UK is right to vote to leave the EU and, for the same reasons, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and indeed Germany should have their own referendums. The EU is a political, capitalist-sponsored machine that cares not one iota for the individuals in member states, nor the members states as a whole. I agree that a European and global union is, in theory, highly desirable; however when it is left to career politicians, lobbyists and banks to decide the well-being of nations and the world as a whole, it’s not such a good idea. Yes, we (leave voters) won by a slim margin for the wrong ONE reason, but equally, if politicians in the UK and the rest of Europe were wholly honest about the agenda and (lack of) functionality of the EU then the result would have been far higher in favour of exit. As I said above, over Scotland, if the question was instead of "should we leave?" "should we join?" the answer would unequivocally have been no – as was the case with Switzerland, who recently dropped their bid to join the EU.
Day one, the markets and pound crash
The pound plunged close to $1.33, its lowest level in more than 30 years, as the results of the referendum became clear. It’s now trading down around 9% near $1.37. The euro also fell heavily.
After wild swings in Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei plummeted 7.9%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 2.9%. U.S. stock futures are also sharply lower, with the Dow projected to tumble more than 500 points at the open.
Meanwhile, from the BBC: Shares and pound plunge on Leave vote
The FTSE’s slump was its biggest one-day fall since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in October 2008.
The impact of the vote was also felt in other European countries. The Paris and Frankfurt indexes were both down about 8% at one point, while the Swiss central bank intervened on the money markets to steady the Swiss franc after it appreciated in value.
Completely predictable and has more to do with a) blind kneejerk reactions and b) canny investors playing – manipulating – the market. Big headline that, yes? Well, using XE, at 2pm UTC (3pm GMT) the pound had already risen up to:
1 GBP = $1.38187 = €1.24434
YET go back a few years to 24th January 2009 and look at the historic value of the pound that day and it was lower against the dollar than it is this afternoon and, more importantly, worth far less against the euro than today. Put another way, despite the alarmist headlines, compared to the rest of the eurozone the pound is still strong.
24th Jan, 2009: 1 GBP = $1.35860 = €1.04633
1 year ago today the GBP (£1) was worth $1.5680
2 years ago today: $1.69708
3 years ago today: $1.5405
10 years ago today: $1.8183
20 years ago today: $1.5403
The pound was below $1.4 back in 2009 and above $1.70 in 2014, so yes, the PLUNGE of 12% is bold and big news, but it’s a reaction, nothing more, at least in the long term. Media, eh 😉
Here’s another wake-up check:
There are 28 countries in the EU, with 5 more waiting to join. The UK has only voted to leave, it will be at least 2 years and 4 months before it does, nor is it part of the ‘eurozone’ as we, fortunately, retained the pound as our currency. This being so, why have markets tanked all around the world when, apart from an announcement, NOTHING has actually changed…
No-one has been assassinated.
No banks or financial markets have been robbed or hacked.
NO ‘too big to fail’ mega-businesses have needed bailing out, again.
No governments have defaulted on payments, at least not today.
Nothing materially has changed anywhere in the world in relation to the vote other than media-fueled fear and hype!
As I said last month:
Any BIG NEWS in the days following [the referendum] is there to sell papers, to make political points. It is divorced from the everyday reality of humanity.
Even when we do leave we will be one tiny country among perhaps 30 or more others, why should it reverberate in markets from Japan to New York to London?
Why? Because this is a reality check! The whole world knows the EU is a basket case. The economists knew, the banks knew, the politicians all knew, the people especially knew. As far as I am concerned nothing has changed since yesterday, though the following analogy will help:
My god, that’s shit, I’m not staying here!, and all the people around – who knew exactly what said mountain of faeces is – cry out,
How can you say that? What will the other guests think?
And that is why the media is full of hysteria: they knew exactly what a festering pile of crap the EU is but rather hoped everyone would be too polite to mention it. The British, by and large, are a polite nation, but we – especially us Northerners – are also known for our bluntness. How in fairness could you expect us NOT to rebel first?
Addenda 26th June, 2016
Saw this post on Facebook by UKIP’s Suzanne Evans. You might note that she observes many of the thoughts I share about the economic effect of our ‘Brexit’:
A Prime Minister resigned. The £ plummeted. The FTSE 100 lost significant ground. But then the £ rallied past February levels, and the FTSE closed on a weekly high: 2.4% up on last Friday, its best performance in 4 months. President Obama decided we wouldn’t be at the ‘back of the queue’ after all and that our ‘special relationship’ was still strong. The French President confirmed the Le Touquet agreement would stay in place. The President of the European Commission stated Brexit negations would be ‘orderly’ and stressed the UK would continue to be a ‘close partner’ of the EU. A big bank denied reports it would shift 2,000 staff overseas. The CBI, vehemently anti-Brexit during the referendum campaign, stated British business was resilient and would adapt. Several countries outside the EU stated they wished to begin bi-lateral trade talks with the UK immediately. If this was the predicted apocalypse, well, it was a very British one. It was all over by teatime. Not a bad first day of freedom.
As for why the anger from the EU is becoming stronger by the day? They are absolutely bricking it in case France or anyone else have a referendum. Their house of 28 cards is rocked to its core with only our exit; if they lose France or even Spain, it’s all over!
There are 28 countries in the EU, donating over £130 billion a year to the cause. The top 5 contributors cover over 69% of that. The top 3 cover nearly 50% of all EU donations; guess which exiting country is in the top 3 helping finance the other 25 😉
The immigrant factor
I watched some TV today, an interview with Polish fishmongers, people in the street, so forth. Some of their points were wholly valid, others, well, their belligerence didn’t help their case. Some people, perhaps many, would retort, "If you don’t like it here, go home!" However, for a lot of immigrants, this is their home, now! Whilst a lot of the feeling for the EU did indeed weigh on the fear and valid reality of uncontrollable numbers being allowed to enter the UK, the truth is here and all across Europe, if people are honest, it has far more to do with the millions pouring in from all over the Middle East. Is this Islamophobia? Yes, to a degree, but an uncomfortable number of these are economic migrants with no respect, tolerance or care for the countries and cultures they are ‘invading’. Note, this is relative to media stories of rapes and other upsets, more than numbers, though a tiny number have indeed proven to be terrorists filtering in with the masses.
Before you get a bee in your bonnet over my comments, pause and think. Over 15 million people voted to leave. This will have included Indian doctors, Polish plumbers and Yemenese engineers. Atheists, Catholics, Hindi and Muslim alike were amongst those voting to leave. If you watched the lead up to the vote it wasn’t simply a case of lager louts in hobnails boots chanting, "OUT, OUT, OUT", it was people on the street of all nationalities, colours and cultures…
Besides all this, and more importantly, it will be years before things chance, legally. No-one in government is asking or suggesting people leave. Meanwhile, much of Europe is looking at us and saying – as I hoped they would – that’s it, we want out too.
The problem is not immigration, it is the management of it, or lack thereof, a failing you can wholly dump in the lap of a) Juncker and the rest of the EU autocrats b) Merkel and c) politicians of all governments failing to fund or plan for infrastructure changes. Oh and d) Greedy corporations that move factories and businesses from country to country to pad the bottom line with little or no care for the people or economies they destroy, but that’s OK… as their lawyers will tell you, "they are doing nothing wrong (by the letter of the law)".
So, if, like the Polish fishmongers, you are worried, I suggest this: Sod it, it will be months or years before anything changes and long before then the rest of Europe can and will revolt over the EU and all bets are off.
What happens next? Eurocrats in hobnailed boots!
Last month I wrote this article: In or Out EU lose. In it I pointed out that regardless of our vote, "The (unelected) EU mandarins and controlling autocrats WILL punish us severely!" I also pointed out that even in the event of a Remain vote this would be true.
We can do this to you, too, they will warn.
Was I right?
Cameron, this morning, told the country we would initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (to begin the EU exit) in October. Juncker, stone-faced and boiling inside, essentially and pointedly said, "No, you will go NOW, we will not let your taint spread to other countries. We will not tolerable anyone else leaving." This was fervently repeated by several other autocrats and commissioners, all angry, all scared their obsessive control ideals (and elite lifestyles) were unravelling.
To pick the first paper Google threw up on a search, The Express:
Or in the Spectator: Swedes tell Britain: if you leave the EU, we’ll follow
As you can see below, the ruling powers of the EU are NOT happy bunnies today.
The troika of Juncker and the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund will not tolerate further dissent. What a shame article 50 also gives others the choice to exit the EU.
I strongly recommend you watch this Italian referendum show (with subtitles): Published on 16 Jun 2016, Paolo Barnard, the most censored Italian economic journalist, reveals the truth about BREXIT and the European Union.
Come join us folks, the water’s boiling!
And so it starts:
As reported in the Mail today, they have threatened the UK with a harsh deal:
European Parliament president Martin Schulz said there would be ‘consequences’ for Britain so other countries were not tempted to follow the same ‘dangerous path’
Basically – and utterly predictable – as I indeed did – they fully intend to try and put the boot into Britain and stamp on our faces because bullying and cowing opposition is all they know. They will do it out of malice and spite and to intentionally intimidate countries like France, Spain, Greece, Netherlands, etc who are also now demanding their own referendum. Bring it on, Merkel, Juncker, if you must, but if you do you’ll find the out just how hard we fight when backed into a corner. You may not like it! You will like even less that the more you stamp on us, the more the rest of Europe will see you in your true form!
Equally too, the large number of MPs and ministers (e.g. Baroness Ros Altmann and David Lammy) who are fuming because we dared ‘defy’ their (almighty) will and, in quiet corners, are adamant that they will not accept it, that they will refuse to accept the result in parliament and thus force us to stay in the EU.
If said MPs, in their elite little London bubble, do try this they will find out just how angry the majority of us ‘little Englander bigots and plebs’ are – to their cost. Notwithstanding the public outcry from all sides at such as unacceptable lack of democracy, come the next elections every single one of them will find themselves out of a job (those voters don’t turn on anyway!).
I’ll finally leave you with this parting poem entitled ‘The little people’, by writer G. K. Chesterton, shared in a post by Richard Littlejohn
Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes . . .
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street…’