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Posts Tagged: Europe

Brexit predictions

Wednesday 29th June 2016

So Leave won it. Probably fair to say it’s not the result anyone expected, but there we are.

As I write, the pound has slumped, markets hugely down, and both main parties are looking for new leaders1.

I called the result completely wrong, but here’s my stab at predicting what will happen next:

  • There will be a recession this year. There would probably have been a recession in the next year or so anyway, but the referendum means it will happen sooner.
  • The £ and markets will recover. The current turmoil is due to uncertainty as much as anything else; once we know what Brexit looks like, things will improve as people gain confidence again.
  • We will leave the EU. Despite the result this isn’t actually a given, but I think politically it would be very difficult not to leave, given the result. That being said…
  • The UK will join/stay in the European Economic Area. This keeps us in the single market, and will retain the freedom of UK nationals to live and work in the EU (and vice-versa). This point is too important to the UK economy that I can’t imagine a scenario in which some variant of this doesn’t happen. This will mean that despite the illusion of change, things will essentially stay the same2.
  • Boris won’t be PM. I’m not sure about this – at the moment he’s the frontrunner – but I think he has too many enemies amongst the Tory party. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does become leader, because the party is currently going about things in a pretty grown-up way. In stark contrast to…
  • Labour. I think we’re witnessing the death throes of the Labour party. The Parliamentary party will force a leadership election, Corbyn will stay on the ballot and will win – again – with the membership. I think at this point Labour has to split, with the grown-ups leaving to create a modern left-wing party (think New Labour without the baggage). This will leave the lunatics free to do what they want with Labour, and pave the way for the party to fizzle into insignificance.
  • There will be another General Election before 2020, but not in 2016. Labour (or their successor) needs to sort themselves out before they vote for that.
  • Nicola Sturgeon will pretend to call for a second Scottish referendum, without ever really asking for it. She knows she’d lose, and that even if she wins establishing an independant Scotland would be an impossible task.

I guarantee I’ll be wrong about half of this (I’m less certain about the party political stuff), but thought I’d put it out there anyway.


  1. Corbyn hasn’t technically left Labour yet, but it must happen soon []
  2. Hurrah for modern politics! []

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The Eurozone

Wednesday 2nd November 2011

It’s a bit like a bad joke at the moment.

Last week, the Eurozone leaders announced their latest agreement to save the Euro. Essentially, what they announced was what it is that they’d like to do, but they haven’t really worked out the details of how they’ll do it. It’s only small details that are left to sort out, for example where exactly the money is going to come from…

So they haven’t really agreed much at all. And the stuff they did agree, doesn’t even solve the underlying problem. So for the umpteenth time, the EU leaders have just kicked the can down the road.

Straight after it was announced, some people were sort of facetiously wondering how long it’d take before the plan would fall apart. As it turns out, less than a week! Because the Greek leaders have decided to have a referendum about whether to sign up to the plans. EU leaders aren’t used to the concept of people having a say on Europe, so this has perplexed them. And everyone is worried that when the referendum takes place next year, the Greek voters will give the wrong answer.

Meanwhile, Greece is on track to have a primary surplus by 2012. Which will mean they can safely default, and the EU can go screw themselves…

What’s amazing is just how dysfunctional it is. The Eurozone leaders get to ponce around, looking self-important whilst managing to completely dodge the issue, making it all the more likely that the whole thing goes tits up. It would be quite hilarious to watch, if it weren’t all quite so serious.

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