by Frank Schnittger
Sat Jun 25th, 2016 at 12:42:05 PM EST
With signs of buyer's remorse already becoming widespread, Simon Wren-Lewis tries to think through how the result of the Brexit referendum might be reversed:
mainly macro: Just how bad will Brexit be, and can it be undone?
But a second referendum would not be necessary if, as a result of Cameron's resignation, the UK fought a general election where the winning side explicitly campaigned not to invoke Article 50. This general election would become the second referendum.
For this to happen three rather difficult but not impossible things have to happen. The first is that the Labour leadership need to stop talking about `respecting the will of the people' and focus on how the Leave side are already owning up to their lies and false promises. The second, and perhaps most difficult, is that Labour need to form a united front on the basis of a Remain ticket, involving the LibDems, Greens and SNP. This is the only way the Conservatives and most of the tabloid press will be defeated. Third, the new Conservative leader has to be forced to hold a general election before Article 50 is invoked.
I have responded with the following comment (awaiting moderation and not yet published):
"Some things, when broken, cannot be fixed, or at least it becomes so difficult to do so that it is best to move on and create something new to replace them. Why on earth should the SNP now join an alliance dedicated to reversing Brexit and preserving the Union? I think Scottish Independence within the EU now has to be taken as a given in any future scenario.
Secondly, why would an England beset by financial woes and led by Johnson and Farage continue to pour more money down the drain of N. Ireland than they ever paid to the EU? Ireland will re-unify, not because Unionists (or even some non-aligned and nationalist voters) want it, but because Northern Ireland will be dumped by England. Unionist emotional and family ties are more with Scotland in any case; their economic interests increasing aligned with the Republic of Ireland and the EU.
Lastly, why would the EU - already in an existential crisis - act generously towards their tormentors and welcome the UK back? Frankfurt has the prize of taking over the City's role already in it's sights. The German car industry will just have to find other markets elsewhere - politically discredited as it is.
So we are left with a rump England and Wales, angry and embittered, the outcasts of Europe, who have made life difficult for their friends in Gibraltar, Scotland, and Ireland. They will have to face their own demons without external bogeymen to blame:- the internal English class divisions, north and south, young and old. When those issues are resolved, perhaps England/Wales will once again be ready to join the nations of the earth and make a constructive contribution to the comity of nations and international relations in general. Before then, not so much..."
Am I being unfair and too hard on the Brits? Will the anger subside and a more reasonable accommodation be reached on all sides? Personally, I think Simon Wren-Lexis is clutching at straws. Something has been irrevocably broken, and all sides are better off "keeping calm and getting on with it." That is how the Brits always liked to perceive themselves, and I can't see them going cap in hand to the EU now, or ever again.