What Happens After June 23rd …

 

shutterstock_405124288The day of decision on Brexit is fast approaching, and we’ll soon know whether the term will have a lengthy entry in the history books or be relegated to a mere footnote. Some of you may need a distraction from your troubles so — with the polls unbelievably close, not to mention just generally unbelievable — here is my hostage-to-fortune take on the future, either way.

Aside from the important economic, immigration and sovereignty issues, this is really an existential political battle, even if neither of the two main parties realise it. If the vote is to Remain, it will signal the death knell of small-c conservatism in Britain, leaving the technocratic big government center to dominate. If the vote is to Leave the left will be castrated.

Should We Stay …

A vote to Remain will not split in the Conservative Party. The high profile-figures in the Leave campaign will gravitate back to the government and the die-hard Eurosceptics will return to the long war on the backbenches. The result will, by-and-large, be accepted. The new political orthodoxy will lead to a further leftward lurch by the modernizers who lead the party. Big government imposed social justice will increasingly become a Tory totem, mixed (as it is) with the old paternalistic streak in the Etonian clique running the party. Thatcherism, meanwhile, will be pushed to the margins while the Wets will have won.

This “move to the center” will be made possible by the Old Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, MP. While the center-left, europhilic, Blairite wing of the Labour Party will temporarily revel in their victory, they will soon see their base evaporate as the working class vote deserts them as the Scots did to the SNP after the 2014 referendum. Corbyn will continue with his unreformed socialist message — think of him as Senator Bernie Sanders’s humourless tutor — speaking to a core of hard leftists and unknowing young snowflakes. Unless there is an economic disaster clearly attributable to the government, or some other black swan event, they will be out of power for an election or two.

While Eurosceptism will not die out, it does not necessarily follow that the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) will be its only home. While much of the mud slung at UKIP is unjustified, there is an element that turns many away. The collapse of the thuggish British National Party (BNP) coincided with the rise of UKIP, leading many to suspect them of harboring the BNP’s xenophobia. Hence, we have two Leave campaigns: the official one, and the one run by UKIP. It is, therefore, possible that a Tea Party-style movement will be the child of this Brexit discombobulation. However they coalesce, eurosceptics will be dispirited but succoured in the knowledge that any further treaty changes will require a new referendum… and suckered if they believe the political class will actually allow another after this close run affair.

If Remain wins, the political landscape will shift as once Great Britain adapts to its new client status. A few of us will continue to fight a guerrilla war: pointing out that the new EU army is ineffective and undermines NATO; grumbling at the ever-higher budget costs and loss of autonomy despite being outside of the Euro; wailing as the EU takes our seat on the UN Security Council; howling at the loss of our beloved pints, miles and, the idiosyncratic British belief that the right way to drive is on the left …

The political center will continue its march off the Third Way cliff. They will follow the global governance gang’s edicts, simultaneously assuring their voters that they feel their pain while never actually being in a position to offer any solutions. The disconnect between the political class and the electorate will grow larger. The rise of the Untalented Aristocracy — those who are only famous for their telegenic features and vacuous opinions — will continue until a Trump-like figure emerges from their ranks (think “Simon Cowell”) who will take over the husk of one of the main parties in yet another new revolution against the elites.

… Or Should We Go

On the other hand, a vote to Leave is a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Irrespective of whether David Cameron resigns or stays on, the Conservatives will likely split. In what will amount to a monumental huff, Europhiles who have always put that ideology before party and country, will quit in protest at the voters’ decision. This should be limited to retired grandees rather than serving MPs, unless the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson stands for leader. If that happens, divisions among the Tories could well lead to a larger fracture, as Johnson will be seen to have used the referendum to unseat the first Conservative Prime Minister to win an election since 1992. Once naked ambition enters into it, many will throw their hats in the ring.

The intellectually bankrupt Left will be crippled without their big government allies on the Continent to prop them up. With only Corbyn’s failed socialist policies speaking to an electorate that no longer exists and the sneering metropolitan Blairites having discovered a vast disconnect between their globalism and the “bigots” (to borrow Gordon Brown’s description) who make up their voting core, Labour’s chances of getting elected will rest solely on how badly the governing party is perceived. With UKIP’s fox having been well and truly shot, a united Conservative party could get on with moving the British center of gravity rightward with a free-trade, low-tax, and pro-growth economic policy to capitalise on the opportunities Brexit provides.

This will require a statesman of some substance and, sadly, no one available seems to fit the description. That does not mean one will not emerge, as the times may make the man. If nothing else, this referendum has seen the rise of younger stars and one, very tragically, ending.

But putting my Yossarian cap back on, it is just as likely that Tory splits will lead to a Corbyn Government. This would almost be as bad a result as winning World War II and then electing the Labour Party of Clement Attlee in the middle of the Potsdam conference. However, as we could at least vote them out again, it would be a small price to pay for freedom from the EU, an organisation antithetical to not just conservatism but democracy as well.

There are 42 comments.

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  1. Mr Nick Member
    Mr Nick
    @MrNick

    With apologies to those who find my English English offensive, I have decided to stick to what I know about our mother tongue rather than confusing us all with my incomplete knowledge of American spelling and grammar. I could change my ‘s’s to ‘z’s and cut a few ‘u’s after ‘o’s but I will invariably miss much and the results will only annoy further. If enough of you object I will be only too happy, after next Thursday of course, to read the Chicago Manual in full. You say center, we say centre …

    • #1
  2. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    I’ve read in several of your publications referenced in American articles that a Leave victory is non-binding and could lead to shenanigans in the parliament to flout the will of the referendum.

    Do you think that is possible?

    • #2
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I love Brits banging on about Brexit. No need to apologize for the Queen’s English.

    • #3
  4. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Here is my question: Does the fact of the Euro Cup at the same time as the referendum make the average footie supporter more or less likely to support Brexit? There are a lot of nationalistic juices flowing when the national side takes the pitch…

    • #4
  5. Mr Nick Member
    Mr Nick
    @MrNick

    BrentB67:I’ve read in several of your publications referenced in American articles that a Leave victory is non-binding and could lead to shenanigans in the parliament to flout the will of the referendum.

    Do you think that is possible?

    All depends on the size of a Brexit majority. If it’s a close result, say up to 52-48, then everything is to play for in their eyes. Around a 55-45 will be a clear message and the Leavers will have a semi-manifesto to push as the winning argument. Brexit predictions are a crystal ball though. Will Cameron stay or go etc. The Leave campaign is a cross-party coalition so they have had to be careful with their promises.

    But ultimately yes, professional politicians addicted to student politics cannot help themselves, so undoubtedly there will be shenanigans.

    Once Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered then it is inevitable, what that will actually be is up for grabs.

    • #5
  6. Chris Phillips Inactive
    Chris Phillips
    @ChrisPhillips

    Mr Nick: Aside from the important economic, immigration and sovereignty issues, this is really an existential political battle, even if neither of the two main parties realise it. If the vote is to Remain it will signal the death knell of conservatism in Britain, leaving the technocratic big government centre to dominate. If the vote is to Leave the left will be castrated. Both socialism and conservatism will survive either result, but only as niche political groups,

    If the vote is to leave, will not every future failure of an independent Britain be placed at the feet of those who supported leave (it does seem extremely possible that leaving will cause at least some growing pains)? Would this not lead to a potential rise in power for the left?

    • #6
  7. Mr Nick Member
    Mr Nick
    @MrNick

    iWe:Here is my question: Does the fact of the Euro Cup at the same time as the referendum make the average footie supporter more or less likely to support Brexit? There are a lot of nationalistic juices flowing when the national side takes the pitch…

    I have wondered that myself. Recent England sides have shown a wish to be anywhere but playing for the national team and this tournament is complicated by Wales and N.Ireland qualifying too. It was very hard to predict and the fact that Wales topped the group having lost to England shows how complicated all Euro affairs are.

    While some will have their nationalistic juices flowing, they were probably Leavers anyway. As the vote is before the end of the group stages, it probably will not have that much of an influence. If we had been playing against Germany or France rather than in a group of England, Wales, Slovakia and Russia it may have had a decisive part to play.

    • #7
  8. Mr Nick Member
    Mr Nick
    @MrNick

    Chris Phillips:

    Mr Nick: Aside from the important economic, immigration and sovereignty issues, this is really an existential political battle, even if neither of the two main parties realise it. If the vote is to Remain it will signal the death knell of conservatism in Britain, leaving the technocratic big government centre to dominate. If the vote is to Leave the left will be castrated. Both socialism and conservatism will survive either result, but only as niche political groups,

    If the vote is to leave, will not every future failure of an independent Britain be placed at the feet of those who supported leave (it does seem extremely possible that leaving will cause at least some growing pains)? Would this not lead to a potential rise in power for the left?

    Very possibly. Although the Leave campaign has been co-chaired by the German born Labour MP Gisela Stuart, it is seen as largely Tory.

    The left in Britain have their own particular problems at the moment with pragmatists vs socialists and antisemitism poisoning their coalition.

    The doom laden warnings are hard to decipher from a self-fulfilling prophecy. Will the UK economy suffer or the Eurozone? Will not statesmen produce policies that alleviate such outcomes for both?

    Hard to say, but I’d have to guess that the national mood will strengthen during EU negotiations. We are four years from another general election so unless Project Fear was actually Project Truth it really is all to play for.

    At least we could vote them out eventually.

    • #8
  9. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Mr Nick:With apologies to those who find my English English offensive, I have decided to stick to what I know about our mother tongue rather than confusing us all with my incomplete knowledge of American spelling and grammar. I could change my ‘s’s to ‘z’s and cut a few ‘u’s after ‘o’s but I will invariably miss much and the results will only annoy further. If enough of you object I will be only too happy, after next Thursday of course, to read the Chicago Manual in full. You say center, we say centre …

    That’s OK.  I knew Daniel Webster.  Daniel Webster was a friend of mine.  But that was a while ago, too.

    Eric Hines

    • #9
  10. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    No apologies necessary; my daughter is going to college in Canada and has adopted some of the spelling.  Please continue to bang on about Brexit; always good to have informed, on-the-scene intel.

    Eric, you’re no Daniel Webster (come on, you teed it up for me).  :)

    • #10
  11. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Mr Nick: With apologies to those who find my English English offensive, I have decided to stick to what I know about our mother tongue rather than confusing us all with my incomplete knowledge of American spelling and grammar.

    I tend to read entirely too many British mystery novels. So much that I sometimes use the Brit version of words and phrases inadvertently, e.g, car park for parking lot. So, I don’t even notice.

    • #11
  12. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Brian McMenomy:No apologies necessary; my daughter is going to college in Canada and has adopted some of the spelling. Please continue to bang on about Brexit; always good to have informed, on-the-scene intel.

    Eric, you’re no Daniel Webster (come on, you teed it up for me). :)

    Nor am I any sort of Noah Webster.  ‘Course I didn’t know him….

    Eric Hines

    • #12
  13. BR Member
    BR
    @

    Mr Nick:Aside from the important economic, immigration and sovereignty issues, this is really an existential political battle, even if neither of the two main parties realise it. If the vote is to Remain it will signal the death knell of conservatism in Britain, leaving the technocratic big government centre to dominate. If the vote is to Leave the left will be castrated. Both socialism and conservatism will survive either result, but only as niche political groups,

    Remain will not lead to a split in the Conservative party.

    As soon as President Obama went to London to weigh in on Brexit and make (empty) threats about the future of trade between the US and Great Britain, it became clear to me that leaving the EU was a really good idea. Here’s to fair elections and huge voter turnout on the 23rd!

    • #13
  14. Chris Member
    Chris
    @Chris

    A question for you about the mood on the ground.

    I happened to be with three folks from the UK yesterday and this topic came up.  The Scotsman was almost as shocked as I, the token American, to hear from the Brits that most people they knew back home were for Brexit.  My friends are for Remain but are not feeling good about the vote and are disappointed about not being able to vote.

    Following up on a James Delingpole comment I believe was on the flagship podcast, I asked whether they personally saw the vote splitting urban versus non-urban.  The one Londoner in the group rejected this out of hand.

    What’s your feel?

    • #14
  15. Mr Nick Member
    Mr Nick
    @MrNick

    Chris:A question for you about the mood on the ground.

    I happened to be with three folks from the UK yesterday and this topic came up. The Scotsman was almost as shocked as I, the token American, to hear from the Brits that most people they knew back home were for Brexit. My friends are for Remain but are not feeling good about the vote and are disappointed about not being able to vote.

    Following up on a James Delingpole comment I believe was on the flagship podcast, I asked whether they personally saw the vote splitting urban versus non-urban. The one Londoner in the group rejected this out of hand.

    What’s your feel?

    Peter Robinson’s comment on that Podcast was correct, London is pretty much a separate country.

    Before Jo Cox’s tragic murder I would have said your Londoner was right. Even affluent young professional types were Leavers. Once the government was out of the debate and people actually became engaged as if it were a general election, the weight of argument was with Leave. Even gays, from my Iranian barber to maitre d’s in posh restaurants, were most definitely Out. Project Fear was backfiring.

    Now with the political class’ spin machine reclaiming the narrative and blaming the people for the invective that they introduced into the campaign, diverse London may revert to type as the xenophobic card is hung around all Leavers’ necks.

    • #15
  16. Publius Inactive
    Publius
    @Publius

    Mr Nick: Thatcherism, meanwhile, will be pushed to the margins while the Wets will have won.

    What are the Wets?

    Regardless, this was really well written and informative. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

    • #16
  17. Mr Nick Member
    Mr Nick
    @MrNick

    Publius:

    Mr Nick: Thatcherism, meanwhile, will be pushed to the margins while the Wets will have won.

    What are the Wets?

    Regardless, this was really well written and informative. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

    Not at all. The Wets are explained more eloquently than I could manage by Hugo Young. Here is an article based on his work.

    • #17
  18. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Publius:

    Mr Nick: Thatcherism, meanwhile, will be pushed to the margins while the Wets will have won.

    What are the Wets?

    Regardless, this was really well written and informative. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

    Short version: nickname applied by Thatcher to Tories who were very close to Labour on key issues, and apt to vote against the party.

    • #18
  19. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    A Wet is a RINO.

    They both make a “squish” noise when you step on them.

    • #19
  20. Chris Member
    Chris
    @Chris

    Mr Nick:

    Chris:A question for you about the mood on the ground.

    I happened to be with three folks from the UK yesterday and this topic came up. The Scotsman was almost as shocked as I, the token American, to hear from the Brits that most people they knew back home were for Brexit. My friends are for Remain but are not feeling good about the vote and are disappointed about not being able to vote.

    Following up on a James Delingpole comment I believe was on the flagship podcast, I asked whether they personally saw the vote splitting urban versus non-urban. The one Londoner in the group rejected this out of hand.

    What’s your feel?

    Peter Robinson’s comment on that Podcast was correct, London is pretty much a separate country.

    Before Jo Cox’s tragic murder I would have said your Londoner was right. Even affluent young professional types were Leavers. Once the government was out of the debate and people actually became engaged as if it were a general election, the weight of argument was with Leave. Even gays, from my Iranian barber to maitre d’s in posh restaurants, were most definitely Out. Project Fear was backfiring.

    Now with the political class’ spin machine reclaiming the narrative and blaming the people for the invective that they introduced into the campaign, diverse London may revert to type as the xenophobic card is hung around all Leavers’ necks.

    Thanks for your observations.  At least we don’t have to wait long to see how things fall out.

    • #20
  21. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The Brit elites want to stay so stay they will.  Even if the vote goes against them the elites will just play mirror or shadow games but in the end will get their way.

    • #21
  22. Crabby Appleton Inactive
    Crabby Appleton
    @CrabbyAppleton

    Prognosticate.  If the referendum results in an exit vote, and HM Government allows it to happen, what will be the EUs reaction-how will they retaliate?  What kind of sanctions do they have at their disposal to punish you’ns?

    • #22
  23. Ron1954 Inactive
    Ron1954
    @Ron1954

    Crabby Appleton:Prognosticate. If the referendum results in an exit vote, and HM Government allows it to happen, what will be the EUs reaction-how will they retaliate? What kind of sanctions do they have at their disposal to punish you’ns?

    There will be very little, if any meaningful economic retaliation for the simple reason that most of the EU is bankrupt and all it’s members needs the money that comes from trading with the UK.

    Will the French stop selling their wine to the UK? Will the Germans stop selling their cars to the Brits? Will British tourists be banned from the sunshine of Spain? The answer is clearly, “No”.

    There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.

    • #23
  24. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    What should happen, but won’t:

    A UK Constitutional Convention, made up of representatives from the four British nations (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), to craft a true federal division of powers, with equal powers for all four nations, including England, and leaving Westminster with nothing but foreign affairs, defence, overseas territories, the criminal code, and adjudicating disputes between the four nations.

    Without the “benefit” of EU courts to adjudicate disputes between the four nations, there is no other way to keep the union from breaking apart.

    EUmapStat2

    I favour York as the site for a new English parliament, but that’s negotiable.

    ;-)

    • #24
  25. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Nick: What do you foresee happening with Scotland if Leave wins? The SNP is big on the EU if I recall. Will they use this as another excuse to strip the Union Jack of blue? Also I was listening to an NPR podcast about the Brexit ( Yah I know, NPR, boo hiss…) and their most liberal commentator was also fretting about Northern Ireland? Any thoughts on what might happen with that upon Brexit? Could the there be a new push for independence from them as well?

    • #25
  26. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    This post at Zero Hedge is interesting. Apparently while the betting markets are showing a 76% chance of Remain winning, two out of three bettors are betting on Leave. So there are large sums of money that are skewing the numbers. I don’t know what this means for the validity of the betting market, but it’s an interesting thing to note.

    • #26
  27. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    The EU is a dictatorship.   Any “regulation” promulgated by the non-elected council immediately becomes law.  If they do hold a plebiscite, and don’t like the results, they’ll just adopt a “treaty” ( like Lisbon Treaty) to override the will of the people.

    As with all non-democratic forms of gov’t, the people get to choose only once: in, or out.  If “in”, no future freedom of choice.

    I fail to understand how the “mother of the free” (as in the unofficial anthem Land of Hope and Glory) could vote  to surrender its sovereignty, now that it knows the nature of the EU.   And England IS the “mother of the free”, in that, even while a monarchy, it enacted certain freedoms and privileges for its citizens that no other Ancien Régime had.  It long had a Parliamentary structure.

    And, most importantly,  it gave birth, in travail,  to our country.

    This is an opening, a crack in the totalitarian lines, that  I hope The UK won’t squander.

    Once more, dear friends, unto  the breach!

    • #27
  28. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    I hope and pray that I’m wrong, but I fear that Britons will take the easy way out and surrender to the devil they’ve come to know, instead of the independence they used to cherish. It seems like nothing good ever comes from these referendums, and fear and the status quo always win. Ever marching leftward.

    • #28
  29. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Mr. Nick,

    But putting my Yossarian cap back on, it is just as likely that Tory splits will lead to a Corbyn Government.

    Damn it Nick, don’t go Yossarian on me.

    You’ve got to win one for Admiral Nelson.

    Regards,

    Captain Jack

    • #29
  30. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere
    @Fredosphere

    Thanks for this analysis. I wish, however, you had addressed the possibility that the very existence of this referendum renders its result irrelevant–because it has already contributed to the destabilization of the EU and the rise of anti-EU movements in other countries. In other words, isn’t the EU at risk of dissolving sometime in the next couple of years in any case?

    • #30

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