Tuesday, June 28, 2016


The ongoing drama of  Brexit consequences is so full of incident coming thick and fast that it's impossible to keep up, so this is the last attempt for awhile.

But those consequences--not just currency and stock market drops but several cuts in the UK's credit rating, which has longer term costs--prompted a flurry of speculation on do-overs.  The New York Times provided several ways that the UK could exit Brexit, and in the New Yorker, Brit-born John Cassidy wrote a column suggesting: "Four days after the British public voted, narrowly, to leave the European Union, there are reasons to doubt that the referendum result will ever be implemented."  Update: Joining in the speculation of how Brexit could be reversed was US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Though neither the Times nor Cassidy went so far to say a Brexit exit is likely, it was clear than many in the UK that voted to Leave--including some of the leaders of the Leave campaign--were having serious second thoughts.  One Leave promise after another was being shot down, and as it became clearer that leaders on both sides were playing politics (Cameron for calling the referendum in the first place, and Leave leaders jockeying for power), both the Conservatives and Labour were in such chaos that they are unable to provide leadership at this crucial moment.

Seeing all this, PM Cameron went a step further and said he would not initiate Brexit by officially calling for the EU's Article 50 to be invoked--that it would be up to his successor, who would not be in place until late September at the soonest. And probably longer than that.

However, the mood within the EU hierarchies was swinging back and forth.  Calls for patience and calls for quick resolution came simultaneously.  Cameron had to attend an EU meeting, where he was met with pity and anger, and one of Brexits most extreme leaders, Nigel Farage, gave a Europe-hating speech at the EU parliament, and was greeted with boos and other members turning their backs on him.

Back in England, as young Remain supporters were preparing for street demonstrations, it was suggested that many of them neglected to vote in the referendum.  Hate crimes and abuse against people from immigrant populations increased so much that PM Cameron took to the floor in Parliament to condemn them.

The targets of abuse included Polish immigrants--something that hasn't happened in the US for awhile, but perhaps Trump can revive it.  Or is that the real reason he fired Corey Lewandowski?

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