What Happens Brex’t?

 

2d7c08db-9d87-43ce-921f-513acca86f7e-2060x1236Global financial panic, Sterling collapsing, and Scotland — possibly Northern Ireland, too — apt to break away. Quite a day’s work.

A striking aspect of the results is the extent to which the vote represents a victory of the old over the young. “Young voters wanted Brexit the least,” as the Mirror put it, “and will have to live with it the longest.”

The final YouGov poll before the referendum showed 72% of 18 to 24-year-olds backed a Remain vote – with just 19% backing Brexit.

Brexiters were led to victory in the referendum overnight by triumphing in Tory shires and Old Labour heartlands in Wales and the north of England.

But the Kingdom is no longer United after London, Scotland and Northern Ireland all backed Remain.

The more damaging legacy, however, could be the staggering difference in how people of different ages [voted].

The final YouGov poll before the referendum showed 72% of 18 to 24-year-olds backed a Remain vote – with just 19% backing Brexit.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “Young people voted to remain by a considerable margin, but were outvoted. They were voting for their future, yet it has been taken from them.”

I hope that the optimists are proven right and that this is the first day of a bright new future for Britain and Europe. But unless it is — and unless the gain that justifies the pain comes sooner, rather than later — Britain (or what’s left of it) will experience an unprecedented generational war. Or at least, I’m racking my mind, and I can’t think of a precedent, can you?

 I’m so angry. A generation given everything: Free education, golden pensions, social mobility have voted to strip my generation’s future.

The pain will certainly be acute in the immediate term.

Now we’ll watch Europe’s biggest divorce case since Henry VIII. I posted this a few months ago, but it’s worth dusting off and watching again. This is from Open Europe’s simulation post-Brexit negotiations. Former Chancellor Norman Lamont is playing the role of the UK:

As someone who wishes Britain and Europe well, I hope very much that Britain withdraws in an orderly way and recovers as quickly as possible, leaving behind a Europe that’s better for the experience. I hope the rest of the EU learns and benefits from crisis and failure. And if it neither learns nor survives, I hope Europe’s reversion to a gaggle of fractious, quarreling states goes better than history would indicate.

Whatever happens, I’ll report. If you make a contribution this week, it will be earmarked for a chapter of Brave New World about Brexit and its consequences. Please contribute! This story is getting more and more interesting by the day — but I’m still well away from the goal.

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  1. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    Brexit is likely a long-term win for Britain, provided it doesn’t inspire an EU breakup that leads to war. Afaik, the EU was a heavy-handed bureaucracy that would’ve stifled innovation much as our administrative state is. The question is, do Germany and France follow suit. (I have two Members Feed posts about the Brexit implications for the US and Europe)

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    TeamAmerica: Afaik, the EU was a heavy-handed bureaucracy that would’ve stifled innovation much as our administrative state is.

    In my view, from France, it’s not the EU but French bureaucracy (and labor laws) that stifle growth and innovation. The EU is a convenient thing to blame, but this is France’s real problem.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Remember, those young people will get older, and as they do, they may become acquainted with reality. At that point, they will thank their elders for their freedom.

    • #3
  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Arahant:

    Remember, those young people will get older, and as they do, they may become acquainted with reality. At that point, they will thank their elders for their freedom.

    I don’t think so: first, they have probably presided over the breakup of the UK. Second, the geography of the vote suggests that this represents a huge divide between rural and urban England (not Britain). That’s a class and a generational war in the making, unless the fallout can be contained. But it may be containable. I don’t think anyone stands to gain from Britain’s economic collapse, so I think there will be a pretty big effort to basically keep the UK’s relationship to the EU but call it “not being in the EU.”  That’s what rationality would dictate. Unfortunately, people don’t always behave rationally, so we’ll see.

    • #4
  5. DialMforMurder Inactive
    DialMforMurder
    @DialMforMurder

    In pretty much every election I can remember, the young have overwhelmingly skewed left. The reasons are obvious for anyone who drifted right as they got older. And should be to you. How is this news?

    You could use the same logic to argue that every conservative/right victory is an attack on the young and thus illegitimate.

    • #5
  6. Liz Member
    Liz
    @Liz

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Arahant:

    Remember, those young people will get older, and as they do, they may become acquainted with reality. At that point, they will thank their elders for their freedom.

    I don’t think so: first, they have probably presided over the breakup of the UK. Second, the geography of the vote suggests that this represents a huge divide between rural and urban England (not Britain). That’s a class and a generational war in the making, unless the fallout can be contained. But it may be containable. I don’t think anyone stands to gain from Britain’s economic collapse, so I think there will be a pretty big effort to basically keep the UK’s relationship to the EU but call it “not being in the EU.” That’s what rationality would dictate. Unfortunately, people don’t always behave rationally, so we’ll see.

    I have my doubts about the success of a Scottish independence campaign. Can the EU take the place of England as Scotland’s mommy? It might not wish to be so generous with the allowance. Emotions are running high now, but I bet people will take a few days to look about them before jumping into new campaigns.

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Claire, it sounds you are sad about this vote.

    I see this as a vote for democratic rule. Do you not see it that way?

    • #7
  8. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    For what it’s worth, the Swiss press – both used to referenda and staunchly anti-Brexit – are describing this as a clear result. If Switzerland – a much looser federation than the UK – broke up every time different cantons voted differently on an important matter, there would be no Switzerland.

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Unfortunately, people don’t always behave rationally, so we’ll see.

    You’ve noticed that, too?

    • #9
  10. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The younger voters are those most subject to the influence of the elitist cults about globalism, technocratic rule and the denigration of nation, family, religion and membership in existing cultures in favor of the illusion of transcendence via membership in the cognitive elite.

    The aesthetic preferences of Oxford and London are largely based on a contempt for the nation’s working and middle class. An expanding welfare state erodes then rules in perpetuity and grants all power to an entrenched elite. Hopefully this event marks the decline and death of that paradigm. Short term chaos is a small price, especially if it spreads globally.

    • #10
  11. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: The final YouGov poll before the referendum showed 72% of 18 to 24-year-olds backed a Remain vote – with just 19% backing Brexit.

    Cause 18-24 ear olds are known for their wisdom and ability in making important life decisions.  Why Labour is pushing to give 12 year olds the vote…..

    • #11
  12. Viator Inactive
    Viator
    @Viator

    The powers that be will take a mulligan.

    • #12
  13. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I hope that the optimists are proven right and that this is the first day of a bright new future for Britain and Europe.

    So do I. The UK has more than two years to negotiate the terms of an exit. We don’t know who will lead the negotiations, and there is a lot that can happen in the world in that time, so it is fruitless – although, perhaps, fun – to speculate on the outcome.

    (Speaking of speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out George Soros made another fortune on the recent/current FX fluctuations.)

    • #13
  14. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    The young are most likely to not be British….

    • #14
  15. Viator Inactive
    Viator
    @Viator

    Nicola Sturgeon, speaking now, is going full Scotixt.

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    genferei: (Speaking of speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out George Soros made another fortune on the recent/current FX fluctuations.)

    He was buying up gold. Did anyone notice the codicil to one headline out there:

    goldjumps

    Gold Jumps? I wonder if he is still buying or is now selling.

    • #16
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Viator:Nicola Sturgeon, speaking now, is going full Scotixt.

    So it’s a win- win for the English.

    • #17
  18. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    This is proably a good result, not because it fixes anyting, humans don’t fix, but because it provides a chance that Brits and then others can wiggle out from under the EU administrative state and then from the often  worse and more corrupt national administrative states. It shows a little life and offers a little hope.

    • #18
  19. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Guruforhire:The young are most likely to not be British….

    Shhhhhh!  That’s secret…..

    • #19
  20. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Even the English don’t want to be European.

    ‘Merica!!!

    • #20
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Kozak:

    Guruforhire:The young are most likely to not be British….

    Shhhhhh! That’s secret…..

    British doesn’t mean white.

    • #21
  22. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The UK and the EU countries need each other as markets. The negotiation of any new rules needed should be easy.  British tourists will still be welcome. Will the younger generation of Brits go about apologizing to nationless Europeans for being British?

    • #22
  23. Liz Member
    Liz
    @Liz

    Zafar:

    Kozak:

    Guruforhire:The young are most likely to not be British….

    Shhhhhh! That’s secret…..

    British doesn’t mean white.

    Seems a little unfair. Plenty of immigrants to the UK are white, eastern Europeans. Why do you assume they were talking about race?

    • #23
  24. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Liz:

    Zafar:

    Kozak:

    Guruforhire:The young are most likely to not be British….

    Shhhhhh! That’s secret…..

    British doesn’t mean white.

    Seems a little unfair. Plenty of immigrants to the UK are white, eastern Europeans. Why do you assume they were talking about race?

    Fair enough.

    Kozak, Guru – did you mean migrants from Poland who have managed to get UK citizenship, or did you mean migrants from the new Commonwealth, from places like Nigeria, Pakistan and Jamaica?

    Edit: from here:

    chart

    • #24
  25. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Well.

    I’m surprised.

    I thought the boneless wonders would, in the end, prevail.

    I have to confess that my first thoughts channeled, of all people, Michelle Obama.  “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud . . .”

    Perhaps best not.

    Regarding the young people–I gather there is some backlash for David Cameron’s part in refusing 16-year-olds the right to vote in this referendum.

    Ponder that.  How many 16-year-olds would you trust with their own future, let alone yours?

    A few days ago, my sister, who is sometimes given to hyperbole, opined that the biggest problem young people feared post Brexit is that they would no longer be able to have cheap holidays on the continent.  I scoffed a bit.

    But I notice that Boris Johnson reassured young people early in his speech this morning that they would still be able to holiday in Europe, even if Britain were not part of the EU, so I’m rethinking my skepticism on this matter.  Perhaps there’s something to it.

    And to the disgusting young twerp who tweeted (can’t find it now) something to the effect that the old people who’d been given everything–early retirement, free pensions, nice life, etc etc by his generation, and now his generation was going to have to pay for the vote to leave the EU and his and his fellow young peoples’ lives have been ruined, I would say something like this:

    “That generation fought and died by the millions, and endured sacrifices you can’t even imagine, so you could live a life free from war, and want.  You little worm.  Life goes on.  Sort it out.  Get on with it.  Make something of yourself.  Stop whining.”

    Unfortunately, on the “Remain” side, if BBCAmerica is anything to judge by, whining seems to be the order of the day.

    The hard part comes now.  I hope Britain’s up to it. I’m more optimistic than I was twelve hours ago.

    PS:  Has any US Presidential candidate ever been luckier than Forrest Trump, who finds himself at the epicenter of the action today?  I hope someone’s told him he’s in the part of the UK that voted most strongly to Remain.

    • #25
  26. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    The pain will certainly be acute.

    Why must that be? The process of exit has not been defined. For now, nothing changes. Why must a gradual process of exit from the EU be traumatic?

    There is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy here. The lynchpin of the Remain campaign was Project Fear, a concerted effort by the powers-that-be to terrify voters with the allegedly dire consequences of a Leave vote. The markets believed the hype and are reacting as would be expected based on their expectations. As time goes on, and nothing dramatic happens, things will return to normal – better, actually, for Britain, as it extricates itself from the smothering embrace of EU dictates and regulations.

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant:

    Remember, those young people will get older, and as they do, they may become acquainted with reality. At that point, they will thank their elders for their freedom.

    You mean like after the evil Ronald Raygun got elected and the sun came out the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that …?

    I kept waiting for Reagan to be really wrong, man! Slowly but surely, I switched over to waiting for his critics to be right. Then I became a conservative.

    The future is unknowable. However, just because the bean-counters in London Town have their knickers a-twist because the ground rules under which Britain became Great have been re-established is no reason to panic. And to the financial wallahs: best you stop carping. The smartest among you have already eaten your lunch and now they’re eyeing the biscuits you were going to have for tea.

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    She: You little worm. Life goes on. Sort it out. Get on with it. Make something of yourself. Stop whining.

    Don’t hold back. Give ’em both barrels. Oh, and don’t forget the most important part:

    Hey! You kids get off my lawn!

    • #28
  29. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    I find the result thrilling. All the European, British – elites with a  vested interest in the status quo – the EU bureaucracy, the IMF, the European Central Bank, the labor unions, David Cameron and even Barack Obama (what business is it of his), buried the British voter with an avalanche of propaganda in favor of Remain. But the ordinary Brit refused to be cowed and demanded his sovereign rights be returned to him from Brussels. As James Delingpole says – Britain’s own Independence Day. Good for them.

    • #29
  30. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    As a conservative this seems to me a vote for democracy over beaurocracy.  Not surprising the areas with the highest social welfare and youth that have been indoctrinated with globalism vote to remain.

    • #30

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