Wednesday 6 November 2019

It’s a bit rich for Americans, of all people, to trash Brexit

Above caption: not true. He will be responsible for implementing the  will
of the people, nothing more or less
“And now Britain has gone nuts.” says Nicholas Kristof.
How odd, how rich, for Americans to trash Brexit. America, which was born of a fight to separate from an Empire, derides the Brits for trying to separate from another empire. But to Kristof it has “gone nuts”.
What is more “nuts” is to imagine the United States in an equivalent of the EU, the “American Union" with its capital in Mexico City, its Central Bank in Panama, its Court of Justice in Venezuela and its currency, the mighty US$, replaced with the “Amerigo Peso”. And shifting to metric! (yikes!). And everything that Washington does, all its rules and regulations, all subject to the whims, controls and prevarications of the unelected bureaucracy in Mexico City.
A couple of other nuggets from Kristof’s piece:
What’s more serious is the likelihood that Prime Minister Boris Johnson may eventually manage to drag a wearied Britain out of the European he recklessly pursues a path...
All Boris is trying to do is carry out the results of the referendum which all parties committed to implementing.  But instead of doing what they promised, they have sought to frustrate the will of the people at every step.  There is nothing “reckless” about this. It’s carrying out a promise.
Economists largely agree that Brexit will cause both trade and G.D.P. to suffer.
Again, the economic argument, which was never the main reason people said they voted Leave. The main reason was sovereignty. “Take back control”.

In any case, the economic damage has been overstated and predictions are scaremongering, as I show in the analysis of the Yellowhammer document, which was the government’s worst case scenario. Studies that the UK is 2.5% to 3% poorer over three years are dubious, because they figures for the last two decades of GNP vary widely and under 1% per year is lost in the “noise’.  The study Kristof quotes has spurious accuracy.
“Paradoxically, Mr. Johnson and Brexit may have done more for a United Ireland than the I.R.A. ever did,” Jonathan Powell, who was chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair, wrote in The Financial Times.
To which I say, fine. It makes more sense to be in the Republic, albeit I’m very clear on the Unionist sympathies and fears. But Catholics and Protestants get on in other parts of the world and have had two decades to get on in Ireland. Ditto for Scotland. If they want to separate England should wish them well and show the EU nasties how it’s done -- with grace.

In short, if N Ireland and Scotland want to go the independence route, let them.  They’re not physically going anywhere, so trade, investment and people movement will continue.
...if the U.K. fragments and Britain’s economy continues to decline, it will be because of the foolhardy and mendacious campaign by Johnson and his enablers. 
The mendacious ones are those in parliament who said they would honour the referendum, then tried every means, fair and foul, to frustrate it. That includes the Labour Party and the Lib Dems.
ADDED, a comment:
Mr Kristof, I am sorry to see that you too have bought into the lazy idea that people voted for Brexit “because they were lied to”, as if they were stupid and unable to reach their own conclusions on the basis of experience and research. 
Many of us voted Leave in the full knowledge that the process would not be easy and the outcome unpredictable. We are where we are now, because politicians (and others with the money to pursue legal actions) were unwilling to accept the result of a democratic vote. 
And please, fellow readers, don’t jump in with the “but the referendum was only advisory” argument. The then Prime Minister and the Remain campaign literature promised that the Government would abide by the result of the referendum. It has been an interesting reminder that politicians’ promises are not worth the paper they’re written on.