This week we got the honour of following history as it happens. Great Britain exiting the European Union by way of referendum.
The world is in shock of this happening, even some of the Brexit advocates state “but that’s not what we wanted”. Well quite frankly this is what you asked for … and this is what you got! It was a gamble… triggered by David Cameron to get reelected into office, then to be abused by populist politicians such as Boris Johnson for their own agenda. The British public fell for it…
Let’s slow down though… because nothing is going to change anyway. Well that is except the concession from the EU towards Great Britain will be a thing of the past… and the Brits didn’t look the smartest on Friday, which let’s face it, is a big thing for a nation that conquered the world (and the only one that ever got a away with it) … and besides that is highly emotional.
Nothing will change. If the UK wants to maintain trade relationships with the EU, they will have to obey by most of the funny rules and regulations – they are ridiculous, no questions asked. If they want easy travel and migration for their citizens in the EU, they will have to provide the same to EU citizens just as they do today, well make that yesterday. This can be administrated the Norwegian way by rejoining the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss way by negotiating individual agreements. Either which way the result will be a “Bratus Quo” (to steal John Oliver’s line).
What will change then? Here are the 2 things that will change:
Britain will loose its concessions, its currency will be devalued and the inflated financial markets will take a bit of a dip.This will hurt a bit…
The EU needs to go back to basics. Its administration is the biggest waste of time, resources and completely deprived of common sense. The EU government bodies are also incredibly corrupt. In the sense that these administrators (partly because they are not allowed to actually govern) are way too close to lobbyists and most of these inexplicably bizarre regulations only make sense of the context of whom they benefit.
Format C:\ is the only answer! A good old reboot…
On a side note, my take on referendums. A participative democracy – Switzerland style – is one of the highest forms of democracy. However there is a reason why it only works in specific circumstances… and why naturally it works in Switzerland… and obviously not in the UK (neither Greece, Germany, France, Italy, etc.).
For a referendum the people need to make rational and not emotional choices. And as much we blame the Swiss for ‘not being much fun’, they know what they do – obviously generalising, but it’s about how the majority of people behave.
Switzerland also has 8 million people – London has about the same population. I believe there is a limitation of the sheer number of people with which you can do a successful referendum, it needs a community feel.
And lastly, but most importantly, your politicians cannot be as self-centred as the involved are. Who brought on the Brexit referendum? Who are the beneficiaries (in terms of pollies…)?
Switzerland, Scandinavia, maybe New Zealand can do referendums… but Kiwis are Anglo-Saxons they are already way on the emotional side.
Appreciating the differences and banking on commonalities and finding comprise that’s what the EU has always been about. Does the EU need reform, absolutely, did it need a trigger, absolutely. I feel sorry for the Brits it comes at their expense…