#EUref: The fairy-tale is over – and the ending won’t be happy

Wait until he realises the damage his decision has caused. That flag he's waving will have to be scrapped for a start! [Image: Reuters.]

Wait until he realises the damage his decision has caused. That flag he’s waving will have to be scrapped for a start! [Image: Reuters.]


Everybody seems to want to tell me it’s over, when it’s only just beginning.

The agony of Brexit will go on for many years, I reckon.

It started in the early hours of this morning (June 24), when the currency markets realised the UK might actually have voted to leave the European Union. Result: The value of the pound plummeted. It has now reached its lowest value since 1985.

This means it is now far more expensive for the UK to import goods from foreign countries. Optimists point out that it is also far cheaper to sell goods abroad that we manufacture here – but what do we manufacture? The UK was switched to a service and finance-based economy by the Conservative Party. Manufacturing was all but wiped out from 1979 onwards.

Alongside the drop in the value of the pound came a fall in the prices of UK stocks and shares – by around eight per cent. It means £100 billion was knocked off the value of the UK overnight. I am reliably informed that the shock is hitting pension funds particularly hard, so your retirement is likely to be much, much less comfortable from now on.

The decision by conurbations like Sunderland and Swindon to quit the EU will have huge repercussions on employment in those areas. Nissan has a factory in Sunderland; Honda in Swindon – because bases in the UK mean they can sell into the EU without paying large tariffs. With Brexit on the way, that’s no longer the case so those areas are looking at catastrophic increases in unemployment.

US firms are in the same position. I know of one person whose job offer from an American-based company was dependent on the UK remaining in the EU; I suspect that offer has evaporated and the company’s presence here will soon do the same.

Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted to Remain, so now both are agitating to leave the United Kingdom. Who can blame them? Expect to see a new Scottish independence referendum within the next few years, and moves to reunify Northern Ireland with the Republic. The United Kingdom’s days are numbered, and the number is small.

The loss of the country and the province will, of course, further diminish the UK’s capacity to pay its way in the world.

Ah, but we’ll get back all the money that we’re spending on our EU membership, right?

Wrong.

For a start – as This Writer has made clear ever since I found out – the UK benefits from EU membership, by around £120 million a week. This is mostly due to the presence of migrant workers who bring £281 million a week to public funds. Rebates and other EU-related income reduce the amount we pay into the EU from £350 million to £160 million a week, and that’s why the profit is as quoted.

So the maximum we could get back is £160 million a week – slightly more than £8 billion a year. Some ‘Leave’ voters naively believe this money will be reinvested in hospitals and other services.

In fact, it is more likely to be turned into a tax rebate for the UK’s richest residents. We have a Conservative Government that is busily turning healthcare into a profit-making business; it isn’t going to do anything to jeopardise that project. Their attitude is that the poor should pay for healthcare, or they can die. Get used to it.

And to those of you who are holding on to the belief that at least the UK will no longer be part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement between the EU and the USA, with its ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ system that would allow corporations to sue countries for any legislation that harms their profits, meaning that NHS privatisation may be reversed by a future government – think again.

The Tories are likely to rush through a similar agreement with the Americans, just as fast as they can – pushing down working conditions for employees and diminishing the quality of goods, and imposing a system similar to ISDS, to lock in NHS privatisation and ensure maximum profit for the richest and maximum poverty for the rest.

So those of you who voted ‘Leave’ have some serious questions to ask of your leaders – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage. Favourite among those would be: How are they going to stabilise the economy? How are they going to prevent widescale unemployment? How do they plan to ensure the integrity of the Union?

In short, do they even have a plan?

My guess is, they don’t.

The only silver lining to this Brexit cloud is David Cameron’s decision to resign – and even that is being postponed until the autumn.

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16 thoughts on “#EUref: The fairy-tale is over – and the ending won’t be happy

  1. Jill Jervis

    And now the Conservatives have complete free reign over the lives of the disabled, vulnerable and ill. Don’t forget they are trying to get rid of human rights for all, not just the disabled and also what they term Welfare, originally Social Security. You will soon have to pay into insurance against anything that threatens your income capacity. Looking forward to work houses and charity hospitals everyone?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They don’t have free rein yet – we aren’t out of the EU until all the proper procedures have been followed. All that has happened is the majority of people in the UK who expressed an interest have voted to leave.

      1. joanna

        Nothing Can stop them now! They have what they wanted it can not be changed, the losers who voted leave have made sure that is what Will happen, what can possibly be done in the meantime?

      2. John

        Yes, and unless I’m missing something here, I don’t call 51.9% against 48.1? a ‘proper’ majority at all, but that’s the way it works I guess.

  2. joanna

    I have been relaying the information you have told us, but I could go blue in the face for anyone to take any notice of what I say. All the leave voters Will rue the day of their choice and it will serve them right, unfortunately their choices will cause ruination to all they love and beyond! Great Britain, Yeah right!!!

  3. Brian

    Well the captain has occupied the only life boat and the Lusitania will be blamed for not reaching the drowning in time. Sold down the river on a lie by morons elected on a lie intent on advancing their political ambitions. Mike you are entirely right in your analysis, and as society begins to disintegrate those leave fools will wonder in their ignorance what is going on. I despair for our future, whats next by these morons, start a war?

  4. Joan Edington

    Personally I don’t see Cameron’s resignation being a silver lining. At least he was a known, if vile, quantity. What we will get now will be far, far worse. I find it hard to work out why Wales voted Leave. I would have thought that they benefited from the same sort of rural grants as Scotland and Northern Ireland. Maybe you have a better idea Mike, living there.

    I don’t know if you herard this talk by Prof Michael Dougan. It only came to me a couple of hours before the polls closed but, if it had been broadcast in place of those so-called debates, the result might have been rather different.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USTypBKEd8Y&feature=youtu.be

  5. David Woods

    Lest we forget – this financial ‘hit’ on the ‘leave’ vote was caused by the very same people who were responsible for the global financial meltdown (and generations of debt and austerity) through their financial greed and mismanagement!
    They also damaged savings and pensions

  6. John

    The Guardian and Independent are carrying a headline with Nigel Farage, where he’s apparently uttered the words “without a single bullet being fired”. In the light of very recent events, I view this comment as extremely tasteless, and frown heavily upon Mr Farage for saying it. Given what we currently know about recent events, it’s absolutely disgraceful. I even saw a tweet this morning from someone who had uploaded a photo of Farage with the comment he’d made, along with their own comment of “tell that to Jo Cox”.

  7. Roland Laycock

    Well the lemmings have jumped but have not a clue what for I think they will find out as time goes on I feel sorry for the young with no jods well they can joint the army and get ready for the next war to get rid of some of them and lower the dole queue

  8. rockingbass

    What if a majority of MPs stood up and said “No we as a country are wrong to leave the E U “? Sad times indeed

  9. marcpc

    Britain has always been, and even more so now, for the selfish and the wealthy, the rest of us can go and rot away to ashes!

Comments are closed.