Mobsters have always exploited world events for their own gain, says The Economist. But “for organised criminals, Brexit is perhaps the most promising rearrangement of the European scene since the fall of communism”. Clearly, much will depend on the outcome of exit negotiations. But if, for instance, Britain achieves its aim of maintaining an open border in Ireland while leaving the EU customs union, we can expect “an increase in the already substantial traffic in contraband” across the border, as well as “new opportunities through British ports and quiet coastal spots”. The expected “parliamentary logjam” as Westminster replaces EU laws may also bolster crooks if it means that current loopholes in anti-money-laundering regulations remain unclosed. But “Brexit’s biggest bonus for the underworld” is likely to be “weaker police oversight” following our presumed withdrawal from Europol and mechanisms such as the European arrest Warrant. Thanks in part to the EAW, Spain’s “Costa del Crime” has lately become less attractive to British crooks hoping “to enjoy (and reinvest) other people’s money”. “More sangria, lads? (The Economist, 3 February 2018)
Some will dismiss the above as “politics”. I look at it differntly. I think what is happening all over the world, and Brexit is an example, is the disintegration of life as we have known it since 1945, partly caused by idiot politicians, partly the huge threat to peace and security posed by climate change and bogus “news”. All this would have been as troubling to Epicurus as it is to us. To see the casual abandonment of a way of life painfully built over decades, the divisiveness, the foul language – all this makes life less pleasurable and increases anxiety. One can try to hide away from it and pretend it isn‘t happening, but regrettably it will affect us all, if not now in the very near future.