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After Brexit

So it's June 24th and the UK has voted to leave the EU (I wrote this on the 20th). It's looking increasingly likely that the more the experts try to scare the public, the more the polls are showing that about half the public want to commit national suicide to teach those experts a lesson. "The more you tell me we need the EU, the more I want to prove you wrong" (even though I haven't a clue about the facts).

But I'm not going to 'scaremonger' here any more. Too late for that - although I suspect the horrendous murder of Jo Cox will have an impact. Who wants to associate themselves, however unfairly, with a psychotic xenophobe. It would be even more tragic if voters ignored Jo's impassioned final campaigning plea, to Remain. So winding the clock forward a few days and we've voted out, there's no way back. Cameron's referendum gamble has failed and he's allowed the country to vote itself into decline... The final curtain of the British Empire has closed. Just like the Romans, the Greeks, the Mongols, the Moors, the Holy Roman Empire, the Ottomans and the Persians before us. All were either defeated in war or faded away by the ebb and flow of global trade. We're currently entering the age of China. Trump won't Make America Great Again. He will screw it up even more. Move aside little nations (especially this one with less than 1% of the world's population). Make way for Mao's dream. The EU's no longer a threat to her ascendence now that our exit has weakened it.

So back to an isolated UK. What happens now? One of the first things we'll notice is that foreign financiers will cancel any plans they might have had, or been considering, to invest in the UK. Companies like BMW, Bank of America, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Tata and Ford once upon a time invested in the UK because it was the easiest place to build factories and to populate offices in order to sell stuff into the EU. The best labour laws in the EU, easy to fund and incorporate businesses, plenty of lawyers and accountants to soak up your profits, relatively easy to get to (more runways would help), and most importantly, solid trading agreements with the rest of the EU as well as all the world's major economies. But with absolutely no guarantee that we will be allowed to sell into Europe at all without, at the very least, mountains of paperwork (tariffs apart) - a threat made this weekend in Der Spiegel by the German Finance Minister if we damage their EU by leaving - why would any business or sovereign fund put any money into a potentially ostracized UK? They would be mad to risk it even if one day we do miraculously manage to agree acceptable treaties with the EU again. Far wiser to build their factories and offices in countries who can guarantee full unfettered access to 500 million people, and growing.

So the first thing we will notice is immediate cancellation of inward investment.

Next, as has already been announced, will be an emergency budget. We've already been told it will be savage. It has to be because every economic adviser the Chancellor has at his disposal has told him that tax revenues will fall off a cliff. The pound will nosedive and the stock market will decline even further. Projects like HS2 and Trident will be cancelled. The world will ignore less than 1% of the global population sitting on a tiny island where our impact on tackling global warming and other environmental issues won't be missed either. We're not particularly important now. Outside the EU we'll be even less significant. Ask any foreigner in their own country what they think of the UK, and most will mention the Queen and very little else. We're a quirky little island off the coast of Europe with buckets of history and overflowing with hairdressers, lawyers and accountants. Good perhaps for amusing holidays, but not a lot else.

I have it on good authority from a senior member of a large financial institution that they have already decided to immediately move 1,000 jobs from London to Frankfurt if we leave. Why wait for the rush for office space and quality support staff? My own business has decided to move our HQ to within the EU. Sorry. Would love to remain a British company, but I don't believe we will have the same trading opportunities as a British company that we currently enjoy as an EU one. Why on earth would the owner of any company take the risk if they don't have to? Exactly what that will mean for our staff can be decided within the next two years. I resent needing to make this decision, and I anticipate there being many more factors to consider, but if my clients say we need to be European, I'd be crazy not to listen.

And then we'll try to 'close our borders'. What on Earth does that mean? We can't tell hundreds of thousands of foreign students to go away. They're one of our best export earners. Equally plenty of people come here on business and for holidays. How are we going to vet every single one as to whether they're going to leave at the end of their visa or not. And what about the three million EU citizens already here? I don't chance their luck against Farage's Black Shirts knocking on doors in the dead of night. By the way, we'll need to make room for the two million Brits enjoying retirements all over Europe as they become illegals (and why the hell weren't they allowed to vote in this charade?).

But one good thing will result from Brexit. Thousands of new jobs will have to be created by Whitehall to start the job of negotiating all those trading agreements not only with the EU but also the USA, China, India, Brazil and 78 other significant countries who only have treaties with the EU. Best estimate is that each one will take 7 to 10 years - if ever. More lawyers. Woopee.

Well done Baroness Farsi. Today she announced leaving Leave. She didn't want to side with the Xenophobes.

And one final point. He was born 'Farage' as in 'marriage' not as in 'large'. I have it on good authority from someone who used to work with his father Guy. So is he just pretentious, or does he want to sound more French so we won't think he's a Sun reader?


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