Brexit, The Impossible Bankers’ Geopolitics

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“Nigel Dodds must take responsibility for opening this can of worms. He and his colleagues have been out-flanked, but it is the ordinary business people and the rest of us who will be asked to pay the price.”

So said Ulster Unionist chairman Lord Empey in the latest round of megaphone diplomacy while Germany’s Merkel made a very stark, though coded, statement:

“After the withdrawal of Britain, we will have an economic competitor at our own doorstep, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations.”

She obviously did not explicitly say a political competitor, but that’s presumably implied while, most remarkably, the EU observer reports:

“The startling image of America standing with Russia against the EU at the UNSC comes after three years of fraying transatlantic relations under US president Donald Trump.

It comes after he said, earlier this week, he did not care if Isis fighters went to Europe.”

Whether it likes it or not, Britain happens to be in Europe. Yet politically it’s not very clear where the elite wants it to be.

An elite which has been excellent at not informing the public whatever of their real plans or their vision, but Merkel’s statement appears to imply Britain wants to go on its own despite lacking the muscle.

The Can of Worms

Democracy, hailed as this great virtue, inevitably falls into aristocracy, said Polybius, whose in-fighting then leads to dictatorship. The best rise to unseat such dictatorship, with the cycle then repeating.

The solution was a balance of powers, but there’s a great flaw. The judiciary does not have an army, or police officers. Neither does parliament. The words of both are a mere convention.

Civil society is a great component, including the media, but again, raw power is entirely concentrated in the executive where the political head of state is fully in charge of the army, the police, intelligence services, and all other raw instruments of actual power.

When one wonders thus in books how it could happen, one has to see in life the extreme weakness of democracy as an instrument, especially in the face of aristocracy.

Trump, Boris, in many ways both are a declaration the oligarchs have stopped pretending they wild full power, and are now coming out to do so explicitly.

The smile of Priti Patel, for example, at arguably the most watched political show of Andrew Marr, makes one realize the uniform nature of this government, and its forceful nature. Its contempt, in many ways, for the British public.

A public mired in a can of worms where it appears difficult to see just what is the legitimate and peaceful way out.

The Impossible Brexit

“The UK’s ideas is to make a distinction between goods for UK and Northern Ireland, and for EU. That creates two customs areas on the island of Ireland.”

More plainly said, UK doesn’t have any new ideas. It’s basically the same old Theresa May for Northern Ireland but with potentially an exit clause if EU agrees, which they might but would it pass parliament?

Probably not. DUP does not want any distinguishment with Britain. Labour would not vote for it no matter what it contains. Libdems would definitely not vote for it. SNP wouldn’t. Nationalist Brexiteers might not. Tory rebels might not.

You can’t escape the border while keeping UK as one. This became obvious six months ago. There’s either a border between UK and NI or Ireland and EU.

Neither will compromise on those two because they can’t, so Merkel was right a deal is impossible if indeed she said so, but is that really true?

Let us presume the British people do really want to leave. Let us say it is 70%, as when they voted to join, instead of 52% as currently and even that at best. Would in that case really not be a way to amicably leave?

Well, in this scenario there would be a strong argument for the Irish-British treaty, and for its application. In this scenario Ireland would probably be open to it too, as would Europe.

In a scenario where leave or remain is a mere statistical error, however, making such constitutional and geopolitical change is a very different matter.

The elite clearly wants such change and desperately. They have been plotting it since they broke the Bank of England. Yet the people are not sure at all. They have time and time again not given a proper mandate. They delivered a hung parliament in 2017. And in the referendum, it could have been 52%-48% the other way around had they counted the expats votes which conveniently were delayed by the post.

It is the British people who voted the current parliamentarians who clearly can’t decide on anything. Had any of this been anywhere near 70%, it would have been over in the first month.

Yet we are where we are. What now? There’s no good answer to that. There’s no satisfactory answer either. There are only bad answers.

The first bad one is deal or remain. Would Boris campaign for his own deal, how willingly, or would he just sabotage such potential referendum if he is basically in charge of running it? If it is remain and say brexiteers boycott, this becomes a third world country.

No-deal or remain. Boris and Farage hand in hand for the former. BBC subtly and sometime pretty explicitly denying any air-wave to the latter. If no deal wins, despite it being very unpopular, then at the very least there would be an exodus of ordinary residents in Britain from London to Edinburgh.

If a deal passes, there can be upsides depending on how Britain plays it. If it doesn’t become a vessel of US for example. Or EU, despite being outside it. If instead it considers them both as brothers.

There it could act as some sort of power broker, as, you know, the British way of things. And it could work and to the benefit of all, but it’s not clear whether a deal is possible or whether it would pass.

Nor is it clear whether UK could really be independent considering its tiny size, whether it could really have an independent foreign policy considering its geographic position, whether in fact it wouldn’t be a greater blunder than the assassination of the Arch Duke.

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