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He is a friend of a friend and a successful lawyer who has just retired. I think he was a bit surprised by the force of my counter arguments because I suspect most of his socialising is either with fellow Brexiteers or with non-political types who avoid the subject if at all possible.

I think he acknowledged there was some merit in my arguments, but it didn't take away from his fundamental point that the UK was never happy within the EU and that the practical realities of economics would force the EU to make concessions to the UK in the Brexit negotiations in due course.

At a subsequent meeting his main argument was that sometimes people (and in this case, a whole nation) have to shaken out of their comfort zone and embrace new challenges.  The UK has often been a pioneer and innovator in the past and perhaps Brexit was an opportunity to do so again.

I tried to point out that there was nothing to prevent the UK being innovative and pioneering within the EU in any case, but I think he felt that the greater opportunities lay elsewhere.

I think we can underestimate the emotional attachment people have to their countries and institutions and their political choices are often not about economics or what we might regard as realpolitik. His view is that rightly or wrongly, the UK has made a democratic decision and now people should accept that reality and get on with the job of making it a success. There might be problems in the short and medium term, but he was confident the UK would muddle through in the end. As the world's 5th. largest economy, the UK must be doing something right.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Mar 4th, 2018 at 03:27:25 PM EST
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