A looming disaster

A “disorderly Brexit” is now seen as “almost inevitable” by the world’s biggest banks. That, at any rate, was the gist of the observations sent to the Chancellor by the City of London Corporation’s Catherine McGuinness, after days of meetings with Wall Street bosses and Washington policy wonks. With continued access to the single market still in doubt, “uncertainty is translating into action”. UK-based American companies are already beginning to implement “contingency plans”. The British right-wing Press is agitated about the possibility that the government will allow the EU to “dictate” Brexit trade terms. The Tories airily expect to have their cake and eat it on trade, with advantageous deals with both the Europeans and the Americans. But EU trade regulations are very different from those of the US, which are much less consumer orientated. Britain risks having to pick sides between two trade superpowers with starkly different demands. The Americans have intimated that Britain would have to scrap EU food standards on chicken and GM crops (among other things), if it wants a successful post-Brexit deal. Faced with a choice of trade partners we are now seeing the advantages of the EU’s strict regulations on food, to mention only one issue.

We have now reached “the halfway mark” between Britain’s vote to leave the EU and our planned exit date in March 2019, said Iain Dey in The Sunday Times. And what progress has our “bumbling, chaotic” government made? “Even if a good deal with the EU had been possible at one stage, the chances lessen by the day.” Big businesses, particularly foreign-owned ones, “cannot afford to wait to find out”. They are already taking decisions. “Soon those decisions will be irreversible.” (drawn from articles by Iain Day & Aimee Donnellan, the Sunday Times, and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Daily Telegraph).

The only good thing is that it will surely finally dawn on the public that the right-wing Brexiteers are a totally incompetent bunch of blowhards, paid to protect British interests, but incapable of cooking a boiled egg. Hopefully, they will in due course resign and the electorate can vote in people prepared to do their homework.

“My country ‘tis of thee, not what it used to be, for thee I mourn”.


  1. I’m very saddened and frightened by all of this. It’s long been obvious that the EU will dictate the terms on which we leave, since we have far more to lose from no deal than them. That’s why the UK has already made concessions on the divorce payment and citizens’ rights, whereas the EU has made none.
    One of the justifications of Brexit was that it would allow us to make our own trade deals. During the referendum it wasn’t explained that the more trade you do with countries like the US, the less you can do with Europe because of the difference in regulatory standards. Also, leaving the EU will mean we will have to renegotiate the deals the EU has with other countries, and given our desparate position, these new deals are unlikely to be as favourable. Overall, bilateral trade deals are often controversial, unpopular and come with very little economic benefits, like the US-Australia trade deal. It’s extremely unlikely an independent trade policy can compensate for the losses of leaving the Single Market.
    Immigration is another matter where Brexit will fail to deliver. On the one hand, immigration won’t fall by enough to please most Leave voters. But it will also fall by enough to worsen labour shortages Britain already has in the NHS and social care. We will end up with a halfway house that pleases no one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.