A Brexit no deal is now more likely according to Michel Barnier, EU’s chief negotiator, who said a further extension beyond 12th April had “significant risks for the EU” and a “strong justification would be needed.”
MPs are now apparently moving to put forward a legally binding Act of Parliament to prevent a no-deal exit.
It takes two to tango, however. If EU says no extension, then parliament would have to decide whether to revoke the triggering of article 50, which is effectively an international treaty that gives two years for exit negotiations.
Parliament can’t unilaterally change such treaties, so it’s not so much whether they want no deal as whether what exactly is the solution.
There’s a Brexit impasse and a political crisis as they just don’t agree on anything, probably because the Brexit result was within the margin of error.
When Brits joined EU in the 70s, they voted close to 7o% in favor. Here just 52% of voters wanted to leave. That’s about 17 million people out of close to 60 million.
The difference between yes and no was about 1 million votes. Some suggest the expats’ postal votes were delayed and not counted. That could easily have made a difference. Just as could other errors in vote counting.
With plenty of other issues, including potential manipulation by polling companies who told the public remain was to win by 10% – thus might have nudged some remain voters to stay home – it is no wonder no one quite knows what to do.
The vast majority, however, appears to agree that no deal is off the table. If that turns out to not be the case, the pound may well fall below euro parity.
The most likely outcome is probably a second referendum perhaps after a general election. That would be either May’s deal or remain, a customs union or remain, and then a third option would add a single market or remain, depending on just what parliament agrees.
It probably has to be “or remain,” rather than “or no-deal” because there would probably be considerable geopolitical implications with no deal, in addition to the economy and so on.
To get there, however, parliament has to agree on something. The customs union can probably pass through. The +single market can perhaps just about after an election, maybe.
If either does and it is then put to a referendum, then the question would be why leave the veto table while still effectively being under the same rules of that table.
The answer might be because to really be part of that table, Britain would have to join the Euro because that’s now the first class table following a banking union and so on. If Britain leaves with no deal, however, the pound might reach euro parity anyway, so it’s a mess.
It’s a mess because the consensus now appears to be that Theresa May, the current British Prime Minister, is just a terrible negotiator.
There have been two votes of no-confidence, but no one has been willing to stand up, leaving her still the last person standing for the leadership.
Brexiteers basically metaphorically stabbed each other in the back during the leadership election in 2016 after Cameron said F this, I’m out. Labor then took out their own metaphorical knifes giving May strong and stable. The public said we’re giving you no mandate during the 2017 election. EU effectively said you want to leave, we taking Northern Ireland and maybe we’ll have Gibraltar too if you want a deal on the terms offered. Corbyn survived the machinations within his own party, but he spent close to two years just watching, rather than grilling May and offering a viable alternative as is his duty.
On a very subjective level, we would blame Lib Dem supporters for this entire mess. They took power for the first time and managed to implement some very good policies, but their inability to remove university tuition fees almost decimated the party in the 2015 elections.
That was a significant mistake by students and the more middle class nicer areas for the punishment was far too harsh when generally the lib dems did well overall.
The gamble probably was that Cameron would offer the referendum, but lib dems would get back in power and say no way. As it happened, Cameron won a surprising majority. Then Brexit surprised, and then the current mess.
Brexit surprised probably mainly because of the constant murderous attacks we were seeing almost daily during that period. The public wanted it to end, by any means (within reason) and that’s what they effectively got eventually, hopefully.
So then if we go back it was Ed Miliband’s surprise vote against quick arial bombing of Syria when the troubles first started in 2012. He told Cameron he would vote for it, then he whipped labor against.
Now if we go back and back, we’d have to end up to the Second World War which is what gave rise to the idea of a sovereign united Europe in the first place, but the point is there have been many mistakes which have led now to this political crisis.
Considering the uncertainty, it may well be Brits are hedging with bitcoin and probably dollars which both have risen against the pound.
That could potentially explain some of the spike, but evidence for it is difficult to find because most Brits probably convert their GBP to the USD/BTC market which is far more liquid.
That could have some short term price related benefits for cryptos, but a strong Britain within the European Union would probably have far more continuous and sustained benefits for the crypto industry.
It is UK which came to the assistance of this space in 2014 when there were still discussions on whether cryptos would be banned in the west.
The purchase of some bitcoin by the then Chancellor, George Osborn, made it clear cryptos have some powerful allies.
That liberal, forward looking, free market loving, promoter of innovation, and upholder of all good rights, made effectively the entire European Union be the same for you set base in UK and you have access to the entire EU market.
A Britain on its own, subject to whatever America wants, next to a powerful European Union, would still have plenty of advantages but what the $20 trillion US economy and what the circa $19 trillion EU economy does, would matter far more than what the circa $2.8 trillion UK does.
While a UK within EU would be a powerful alternative to US which might have mattered greatly where ICOs and the like are concerned had they not been all consumed by Brexit.
What’s more, this is just the beginning we’re told. There will be decades of negotiations and even tougher negotiations. The end result no one knows, nor a clear answer to why leave the, at times, world’s biggest market which Britain itself in part has built.
A question that perhaps will have to be answered by the public once they know what exactly they are leaving to.