So, it’s decided, sort of, maybe …
… and the elites and the informed and the chattering classes all have a weekend to settle themselves.
The headlines were interesting …
… reflecting a range of opinion in Britain and Europe.
But let’s all take a deep breath.
While, we are told by good, reliable sources, that “Global stock markets lost more than $2tn of value on Friday in the largest single day drop since at least 2007, as investors dumped risky assets and rushed into havens after the UK voted to leave the EU.” (That’s $2 Trillion, my friends, or $2,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo.00 or a bit more than Canada’s GDP which stands at something over $1.8 but under $2 Trillion.) But the same reliable source tells us that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that his agency is well prepared and he and other central bankers have the fiscal firepower to prevent a crisis. While some EU politicians are pushing to have Britain expelled rather quickly, others, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel are demanding a more cautious, steady, supportive approach. We must consider that:
The negotiations will start .. then stall … then go off in other directions.
The Scots will bluster … and Britain might, eventually, become either a looser federal state or, after 400+ years, the UK might disintegrate.
Several European countries will face demands for similar referenda … a few will actually happen one or two might succeed.
The European elites will, gradually, eventually, learn that the needs of all the people must be taken into account … some of the time.
Europe will not disintegrate … but it will never be the same again.
Russia will make mischief … trying to create opportunities for itself. Britain and Germany, supported by America and, one hopes, Canada, will stand up to Russia … Putin will back away, gracelessly and with a snarl, but away all the same.
Britain will adapt … this Brexit may be a mistake but it need not and, in my opinion, will not be a fatal one.
The smart money, those informed elites, are saying that “Britain has entered a game it cannot win” but the really smart people, the Carneys and the Merkels know that this is a bad choice for both Britain and Europe and they will have been working hard, starting yesterday, to mitigate the damage to everyone. I’m afraid that this will take time and effort and a lot of deep thought and some cooperation amongst sometimes unwilling partners but it will, most likely, be done, but I fear that the next G-7 and G-20 meetings will tough for our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because global leaders are likely to be seized with an issue for which “Sunny Ways” is not, in any way at all, the right answer, and they will be less than interested in selfies with our smiling Kardashian prime minister.
But,despite Justin Trudeau, Canada can be of help:
First, we should send senior ministers to both the EU and Britain to push for the completion of free trade deals with the EU and the UK;
Second, we should send a large, powerful army battlegroup to Easter Europe (probably for about five years) to counter Russian opportunistic adventurism; and
Third, we should welcome tens of thousands of educated, entrepreneurial Brits, especially, to Canada by greasing the wheels of our immigration system fr the next few years.
But there is an important lesson here for Conservatives, one we should have learned after the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accord fiascos: listen to the people, perhaps the educated elites, the Mark Carneys of the world, are usually right, but the people’s concerns about how policy decisions impact them in their communities, must be heard and understood. It may be that, finally, the recommendations of the educated elites must be followed, but the people must be persuaded, first, to go along ~ not just told to listen to their betters. So the real lesson is: don’t just listen, talk with the people, explain then listen, explain again and listen some more and understand that their fears and prejudices and hopes and misapprehensions are real and need to be taken into account when policies are made. That’s the sort of lesson that the Laurentian Elites who run the LiberalParty of Canada will refuse to take on board, but we Conservatives, with small town/Main Street sensibilities, not big city/Bay Street ones, should be able to understand and apply and from which we should profit.