Friday, June 24, 2016

'Toontime: Brexit, A Reality Show

credit: Ruben L. Oppenheimer, Der Standaard
The British people voted to exit the European Union in a historic referendum yesterday against predictions of financial disaster and the urging to remain by Tory Prime Minister and sometime eurosceptic, David Cameron. The close vote of about 52 to 48% in favor of leaving surprised financial markets despite polls showing the exit vote gaining ground in the final days. The pound sterling fell to $1.35, a level not reached since 1985. Stock futures predicted a 7-8% fall in the London stock market index. The British were not joined in the vote by their fellow Scottish subjects who along with Londoners decisively voted to stay in the European market. The support to remain received in Scotland and London was outweighed by strong majorities to leave in the rest of the country especially in the north and Wales, and many observers interpreted the vote to be one for self-government by disenchanted provincial voters marginalized in a global economy. Domestic control of immigration policy also played a large part in voting to leave. The exit will evolve over a two year period if the provisions of Article 50 of the Maastricht Treaty* are followed. Whether David Cameron can survive politically as head of government after his resounding defeat remains to be seen. An early indication is that he may not have enough votes within his party to win a no-confidence vote.

credit: David Simmonds

*should be Lisbon Treaty, a subsequent amendment of the original treaty signed at Maastricht, Netherlands creating the modern European Union.