Well, there are 34 days left to go until Brexit. Since the June 2016 referendum, the UK and EU have had 2-years and 9-months to iron out how Brexit will actually manifest. In that time, literally, nothing has happened.
The Brexit deal tabled by Teresa May, is essentially a joke. It does nothing but limit the movement of UK nationals on the European continent and relinquish UK power over EU decisions (which will continue to have a direct effect on the UK) while agreeing to pay $39 billion to the EU as part of a divorce settlement.
The alternative is to exit the EU with no deal. Hardline Brexit supporters prefer this option. However, there is no real logic behind such a move. Proponents like to advocate a kind of wartime Blitz “we can do it” national spirit. However, this doesn’t address logistical problems which make a no deal Brexit potentially catastrophic for the real-world, happening right now, UK economy.
To demonstrate, most UK supermarkets and retailers are served by just-in-time supply chains. New inventory is ordered as and when needed, with little inventory being held on-site. More importantly, most UK supply chains are served by EU companies or international companies based in territories with which the EU has existing trade arrangements.
At face value, it’s fine to say that in the event of a no deal Brexit, supermarkets and retailers will start stocking British made products. However, supply simply won’t meet demand. This is largely due to the fact that absolutely nothing has been done over the past 2-years and 9-months, to create the kind of UK manufacturing and distribution infrastructure required to serve closed system (UK) just-in-time supply chains.
Of course, it will still be possible to trade with the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit. However, businesses will be hit with new import and export tariffs, bank charges (as the £ will no longer be considered an EU currency), taxes, and transportation costs. (As EU and UK freight carriers will also be hit with new costs associated with doing business.)
To demonstrate how catastrophic a no deal Brexit could be, imagine you are a local florist. By and large, you import all your flowers from Holland and North Africa. Overnight. your costs of doing business will dramatically increase. You, therefore, will only be able to stay in business if you pass increased costs onto your customers. i.e. People who are already paying more for non-luxury everyday items like food and energy.
In short, a no deal Brexit effectively means sudden death to many small businesses. (However, this wouldn’t have been the case if the UK hadn’t have waited until the last minute to start preparing.)
That said, Britain could survive a no deal Brexit with significant help from the US. Moreover, I personally believe that this might have been part of the plan all along. Sadly, this is not to say that this would be in any way beneficial to UK individuals and small businesses. In fact, I see this a potential backdoor strategy to implement a UK-US version of something similar to the now defunct 2016 Trans Atlantic Trade Partnership (TTIP).
If you don’t know what the TTIP was, it basically would have opened the door to free US EU trade, with several caveats attached. Chief among these was a clause which would make local EU governments and businesses prosecutable in US courts if they threatened to undermine the profitability of US corporations. In practice, this would have meant that governments who refused to allow the likes of US GMO crops to be cultivated in Europe or specific member states, would have to pay hefty fines to the US and eventually, crops would still get cultivated anyway.
At present, EU and UK health and environmental safeguards. prevent big agricultural firms from the US pushing things like mega livestock factory farming and GMO crops on the UK and EU agricultural market. The UK NHS is also not compatible with the US healthcare system. However, current dependence on the EU for medical equipment and the provision of certain healthcare services could easily open the door for Americanization of the British healthcare system.
All in all, increased trade with the US wouldn’t save your local florist or favorite local restaurant. It would simply wait for these to go bust, before replacing these with U.S. big-brand chain stores, while implementing a host of other British industry killing Americanizations.
In short, Brexit as I see it is likely to happen in one of three ways:
- A deal with EU is struck which does nothing but relinquish fee movement of British citizens in Europe and UK say over EU affairs, while continuing business as usual. (Hardly what anyone who voted leave voted for)
- No deal occurs, British small businesses are wiped out, Britain enters a sustained period of economic decline, and is used as an example by the EU to deter other states from leaving the bloc. (As well as potentially encourage new states to join and existing members to relinquish more sovereignty)
- A no deal Brexit manifests but America saves the day and the UK steadily becomes more heavily Americanized for the benefit of a few major corporations. (Absolutely not average Brits)
To make matters worse, whatever kind of Brexit manifests, Brexit will likely soon also open the door to significant social unrest in the UK. In 2014, the strongest argument against Scotland voting to become independent; rested on the fact that an independent Scotland would not immediately become a recognized member of the EU. Scotts then later voted by a landslide majority to remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum.
Things like the above matter, as In times of economic upheaval, it is always places like Scotland, Wales, Northern England, and Northern Ireland which suffer first.
At the end of the day, it’s all a big mess.
Now, by reading my interpretation of Brexit, one might assume that I am Pro-EU. However, I am absolutely not. The EU, as far as I am concerned, is a criminal organization. This can be easily evidenced by the fact that no one has signed off on the EU’s accounts for over 20-years. They can’t because billions disappear every year due to endemic corruption. Logically, this should be enough for every member who pays into the EU to withhold tax contributions and demand meaningful economic and political reform.
Sadly, facts like this never make their way into the mainstream media Brexit narrative. Neither, does any reporting or political discussion surrounding Brexit, ever address the real potential impact of Brexit on the UK or EU economy. For me, Brexit is, therefore, nothing but an example of the worst kind of political theater, stage-managed by politicians and media outlets who have gone completely AWOL as far as public accountability is concerned.
All that said, what’s your opinion?