So, as I post this, it is February 1st 2020 in London and that means that Brexit is here.
I guess that congratulations are in order.
Going back almost four years, I was sceptical about Brexit, in economic terms, but I argued, then, that the European Union was ~ and in my considered opinion still is ~ in dire need of reform and restructuring. I will not repeat my multi-tiered cake analogy because I’ve used it over and over and over again and I’m sure regular readers are sick of it. Anyway, it’s not the only idea being touted for EU reform. I think that this Brexit moment is going to spark a conversation about reform in European capitals. The members of the (very informal) so-called New Hanseatic League ~ Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden ~ all very productive economies, are already angry about the influence of the (mostly less productive) Latin or Southern tier states ~ France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, etc ~ and at the growing anti-democratic tendencies in e.g. Poland and Hungary and some other EU members.
In any event, Brexit may be a vital catalyst that will provoke either needed reforms or perhaps even further exits. Back in 2016, there was considerable speculation about further exits, but that seems to have died down.
All that aside, congratulations to the ‘Leave‘ supporters and best wishes to the British people ~ all of them: English, Irish, Scots and Welsh ~ as they get on with the job of negotiating new trade relationships with the world, including Canada, and maintaining national unity, too. Best wishes, also, to the EU … I sincerely hope a united Europe can be made to work, even if I really doubt that the current model can survive for too much longer.