The British people have seen the value of their money crash down to now near euro and dollar parity, but they’re not making an exit to bitcoin or other cryptos.
Stiff upper lipped, calm and carrying on, the trains still packed with rush hour suited workers, normality all around, even as crisis descends on the Westminster Palace.
The snail speed Brexit, where in about two years it looked like nothing was happening, has now in days led to a series of events that place this island, Europe and the world, at the crossroads.
Just hours before a vote on a deal, but not a deal, Theresa May called it off because she was sure she would lose it.
Off to Europe she went while plans were being hatched in the halls of British power. Jeremy Corbyn, thirsty for a general election, was calculating whether he can now get it. Nicholas Sturgeon had given him until midnight yesterday to ask all of parliament for a no-confidence vote, according to Newsnight.
With “enemies” at the gate, Tory backbenchers rushed to send those 48 letters. Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Private Members, called the Prime Minister to say she will now have to face the judgment of her peers.
“I will contest that vote with everything I have got,” May said. Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Conservatives must now answer whether they wish to draw ever closer to an election under Mrs May’s leadership. In the national interest, she must go.”
A no confidence vote of only conservative MPs will now be held as America awakes. The leading conservative paper, the Telegraph, is already speculating on the next potential Prime Minister. Europe’s president says: “As time is running out, we will also discuss the state of preparations for a no-deal scenario.”
It is a secret ballot of conservative MPs, unlike almost any other vote, as they decide whether they want another one of their peers to lead them. Meaning it will be a matter of conscience and a free expression of thought.
To even reach this stage suggests May has lost at least some of the confidence of her peers. Yet she gained the leadership as the only woman standing, and she has kept it as if by default, and now says she will continue fighting on.
Corbyn is only too happy to have her as an opponent. That’s what worries Jacob Rees-Mogg. The conservative tabloid Daily Mail turned against her this summer by revealing the windrush generation scandal.
Under May’s leadership both at the Home Office and as Prime Minister, Britain’s reputation as a tolerant and welcoming country has been tainted due to a policy of hostility towards both legal and illegal immigrants and in the case of the windrush generation, even British citizens.
That has led to a negotiating stance with Europe whereby Italian, German, French, Spanish or British citizens can’t freely move to each other’s countries for the sunshine or for business.
This suggested wall towards a people with which long history has been shared, has come at the expense of a compromise on British sovereignty when it comes to the economy and even to a suggested virtual border with Northern Ireland in a non-deal that was not liked by anyone.
Yet the British people primarily voted based on the economy and probably had no choice in voting leave because the euro area has to effectively become one political system through a banking union and so on.
Brits kept the pound, so Cameron went to negotiate Britain’s position in this two speed Europe where you have the euro political system and then the non euro united Europe.
He came back with nothing, so he had no choice but to go to the British people and ask them whether they want to stay in this now very different Europe where Britain doesn’t quite have the same seat at the table due to the euro area club, or do they want to leave.
The question effectively was whether they want to join the euro or not as staying in otherwise would have sort of made Britain a kind of second class EU member.
At the time, this question of whether Britain wants to join the euro was not considered even for a second because the Greek crisis and the euro crisis was fresh in everyone’s mind. That was solved, however, by the suggestion of a banking union and effectively a political union. So the pound now is at parity with the euro.
There were of course also concerns about immigration, especially due to a number of barbaric attacks that were plaguing Britain, Europe and US at the time, but those concerns were of a special kind and again primarily limited.
Where they took our job and so on is concerned, that’s of course a question of the economy, rather than xenophobia aided in part due to this government policy of hostility.
That above perspective is probably shared by Jacob Rees-Mogg and many other Brits who voted to leave as they have themselves often said on TV that immigration was not their primary concern and was way down the list, with the top concern being sovereignty.
So, how can this be resolved? Well first of all, amicably. Europe should understand that Britain effectively had no choice because Germany, France, Spain and Italy have to form their own special euro club which doesn’t include UK.
Even if they stay or even if they voted to stay there would still be the question of what is Britain’s relationship to Europe considering there is now this euro club that can make laws and policies which affect Britain without it having a say.
The only way of staying in as a first class member, therefore, would be to join the euro, but that probably doesn’t have public support, not least because no one has even attempted to argue for it.
So they have to leave, but naturally they still want access to the single market especially when it comes to passporting for services. A crypto or blockchain business, for example, licensed by FCA, shouldn’t now need to have an EU license and vice versa.
We’re not smart enough to know how to get that, but we suspect David Davis might be. Among all potential contenders for PM, he stands out as the only MP of name who stood up for civil rights while they were eroded during the hopefully now gone two decades of war.
He probably has the support of all, or at least the vast majority of MPs. The party members would probably support him. In an election he would probably get the mandate, and in negotiations with Europe he would probably have the ear.
He looks the part of a wise man who can guide this country through a fairly challenging time. We don’t know him much at all, but he looks genuine and he looks like a good man.
Boris Johnson, on the other hand, might be much liked, but doesn’t have the decorum or the gravitas for this difficult task. If May goes, the obvious choice would be David Davis, but obviously we’re not MPs nor members of the conservative party, so we have no vote.
If May stays, well she has been the chief negotiator with Europe and she has gotten a deal that she herself said no British PM would put forward. Meaning come March, if May still stays, Britain would go out without an agreement.
Some may like that, but only if there is no other choice. A third PM should perhaps try and maybe get third time lucky.
As far as our space is concerned, we don’t like May. She appears cold towards cryptos and blockchain tech. She has undone or weakened some great successes by Cameron in raising London as the Fintech capital of the world. Her deal, unless we’re mistaken, is only about goods when Britain’s greatest export is finance and services in general.
We think she has done a terrible job as a Prime Minister. If she stands in an election we’d have to back Corbyn, whether we like Corbyn or not. Her failure to get a satisfactory deal logically means she has to go.
Someone else has to go back to Europe in a last ditch attempt to get a satisfactory deal. If that fails, then so be it, at least all was attempted.
David Davis is an obvious frontrunner in our view. It might work. Article 51 might be extended, but there’s a transition period anyway. Otherwise this has to go to Corbyn, or the question of whether to join the euro might have to be raised, or a second referendum but at a social level that might be worse than no deal.
The people have spoken. This is now a very complex matter for the elected, legitimately so. Their biggest decision since the Iraq or Syria vote now faces them. May their conscience do the world justice.