Brexit Indeed! They’re out!

After a nail-biting sleepless night, the results are in – and Britain is out! By a slim majority of 52-48% the British public voted to leave the EU. Following this result, David Cameron announced his resignation, to take place in October.

A tearful Mr Cameron – his wife by his side – said the country needed “fresh leadership” and is now understood to be meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

David Cameron announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street

The PM campaigned to remain in the EU but the public rejected his arguments and chose to leave the EU by 51.9% to 48.1%.

Speaking outside Downing Street, the PM said he would aim to have a new leader in place by the Conservative party conference in October.

“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly but I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.”

Mr Cameron said he had fought the “only way I know how … head, heart and soul” to stay in the EU but that voters had chosen a different path.

With tears in his eyes, his voice cracking, the PM said: “I love this country, and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in the future to help this great country succeed.”

It is heartening to see the Great British stiff upper lip in play, together with their concept of fair play:

The PM also used his speech to congratulate Leave campaigners – who included Boris Johnson and his friend Michael Gove – for their “spirited and passionate case”.

Leave campaigners Justice Minister Michael Gove and former Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Speaking after the resignation, both men paid tribute to the PM and said they were sorry he was stepping down.

They were also among more than 80 Tory MPs who had earlier signed a letter saying the Prime Minister had a “mandate and a duty” to stay on whatever the result.

It is indeed a shame that Cameron is resigning. From what I have seen, he has been an excellent PM, representing Britain well in all international forums. He has steered Britain carefully through the upheavals of mass immigration, threats of terrorism as well as this European imbroglio. For all the disagreements between Israel and the UK I believe Cameron was a friend of Israel.

So what happens now? The Telegraph attempts to explain what comes next?

Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, meets the Conference of Presidents at around 8.30am, to agree a common position from MEPs. They are expected to demand that Article 50 is triggered immediately, to prevent months of uncertainty.

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, has said it is ready to intervene to steady the markets. Central bankers from Japan to Switzerland have also offered to step in to provide additional liquidity – a measure not seen since the financial crisis.

By contrast, the official Out campaign has said there is no need to trigger Article 50 until informal negotiations have taken place – potentially lasting years.

Also on the agenda is a discussion of the migration crisis, including tentative proposals for “compacts” to speedily deport migrants back to Africa and the current deployment of naval craft off Libya to intercept smugglers. Britain has a major role in this – a British warship is deployed in the EU’s naval operation and a second has been promised – but the crisis takes a back seat.

Triggering Article 50, formally notifying the intension to withdraw, starts a two-year clock running. After that, the Treaties that govern membership no longer apply to Britain.  The terms of exit will be negotiated between Britain’s 27 counterparts, and each will have a veto over the conditions.

It will also be subject to ratification in national parliaments, meaning, for example, that Belgian MPs could stymie the entire process.

Two vast negotiating teams will be created, far larger than those seen in the British renegotiation. The EU side is likely to be headed by one of the current Commissioners.

Untying Britain from the old membership is the easy bit. Harder would be agreeing a new trading relationship, establishing what tariffs and other barriers to entry are permitted, and agreeing on obligations such as free movement. Such a process, EU leaders claim, could take another five years.

A “new” Britain will have to be created without the umbrella of the EU:

One option will be to simply recreate EU laws as British statute. But Civil Service insiders expect a new Brexit government to opt for something much more radical, and to use the opportunity of “throwing off the shackles” to re-regulate Britain.

It means that the Government would have to do three acts simultaneous: negotiate a new deal with Brussels, win a series of major bilateral trade deals around the world, and revise its own governance as EU law recedes.

Running the show would be an effective “Ministry for Brexit”, under a senior minister.

Hundreds of Treasury lawyers and experts would have to be hired for areas – such as health and safety, financial services and employment – where Britain had lost competence to Brussels. Meanwhile, a Trade Ministry will be required, with hundreds of new negotiators, to establish new deals around the world.

For further reading, have a look through these items from the Times of Israel:

Stocks and oil were in free fall after the results became known.

The British vote has energized right-wing Europeans like the French and Dutch who also want to leave.

Nevertheless, the stunned EU vows to remain united.

With global markets in turmoil, Tusk — who had earlier warned that a Leave vote could “end Western political civilization” — said it was “a historic moment but for sure not a moment for hysterical reactions.”

Although the EU had recently gone through “the most difficult” years in its 60-year history, it was worth remembering that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he said.

But the biggest fear in capitals across the Continent was of contagion, with immediate calls by far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands for their countries to hold their own votes on EU membership.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said the British result was a “victory for freedom” and there should be referendums across Europe, while Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders said “the Dutch people deserve a referendum as well.”

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said he was speaking to Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel to avoid a “chain reaction” of euroskeptic success across Europe.

As for the rest of us, we’re just going to have to hold on tight and be ready for a bumpy ride. No one has much idea of the implications of this vote. Never a dull moment.

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13 Responses to Brexit Indeed! They’re out!

  1. cba says:

    I was very impressed with Cameron’s dignified and classy speech. Good for him.

    • anneinpt says:

      It’s sad really. I liked him. Boris Johnson may have the right policies but he’s a bit of a clown. Not as bad as Trump but he likes to give that undignified impression. Not good IMHO.

      • Elchanan Sussman says:

        I trust people like Micheal Gove and Theresa May both of whom are very dear friends of Israel. Micheal Gove has been described as a ” Zionist”. In my humble opinion Britain did the right thing, the whole morning I was humming to myself Rule Britannia and land of Hope and Glory.

        • anneinpt says:

          I’ve got to admit I’m happy about the outcome, but hubby definitely isn’t. The financial markets have crashed and are very volatile, and that is not good for business.

          There’s also so much unknown as Britain extricates itself from the EU. It’s kind of scary but exciting.

  2. Pingback: Brexit Indeed! They’re out! – 24/6 Magazine

  3. Elise Ronan says:

    I was glad to see Britain vote Leave. It was about time that the creator of western freedoms took back their sovereignty. Whatever the economic outcome in the short run, in the long run London is a major financial center and will remain so. Good for the UK.

    • Earl says:

      Perfect analysis. What the elites were prepared to sacrifice was sovereignty. Eight hundred years of British constitutional history was (one trusts) safeguarded by last night’s vote. As for some immediate economic turbulence?- recall that the Brits were eating WW2 rations through the 60s. Anything would be better than to be governed by a drunken ex-Mayor of Luxembourg and an opaque nomenklatura of Germans and ???

  4. Earl says:

    I can’t agree with your assessment of Cameron. He’s an odious PPE twerp, a PR hack utterly devoid of any governing principles beyond re-election. He is, IMO, the Heir to Blair (TM), with all of its attendant deficiencies- open immigration; sycophancy to the EU; self-enrichment (SamCam’s daddy’e EU wind farm lolly). I very much doubt he’ll make it anywhere near to October as PM… which would permit him to more expeditiously scoop his peerage and, one hopes, disappear from public life forever.

    • Earl says:

      To clarify- he’s out now as PM, but I reckon his humiliation will cause him to resign his seat (as he should) and trigger a by-election.

      Parenthetically, notice how Leeds voted, post-Cox murder? Hmmm….

  5. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Anne, I (and Ros) are with hubby. The markets and the pound have already crashed, the letter to a 30 year low. As a UK resident, I think this will be a disaster for the UK economy. We will face a tariff barrier from the EU (no favours there, why should they?), and will have to pay more for imports from the EU. There will now be no safety net for workers rights from a right-wing UK government (and if you think that that far-right wolf in sheep’s clothing, Nigel Farage is going to fade, oh dear, are (the generic) you a political naive).

    We happen to live in the London Borough that returned the highest on-shore pro-Remain vote (75%+) in England: can we defect to Scotland, please?

    And that is gallows humour.

    My only other consolations are that the canny Mark Carney (Chair of the Bank of England) had put contingency plans in place for just this outcome and that were retired: we can’t lose jobs we haven’t got and our capital (or part of it) is liquid.

    Bottom line: we’re depressed.

    And there is no way it’s good for the Jews (very old Jewish joke): it may not be bad, but it sure ain’t good.

    • Earl says:

      Mark Carney is far from “canny”- my Scots grandmother was “canny”. Carney is not.

      Carney is a slick chancer who made zero impression on Canadian monetary policy during his (partial) term. He then buggered off to Blighty when the next bauble was dangled before his ambitious eyes- before his having served his full term as the Governor of the Bank of Canada. I lived through this fist hand. And as for his intermeddling in the Referendum process?… let’s just agree that he’d best now be putting his CV out into the market…

      The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy and a nuclear NATO member. You can’t seriously think that the EU (pre-mortem, because it is Dead Bloc Walking) will throw up but token resistance to continuing, full trade relations with the UK? With the UK running a massive current account deficit with the EU??? No S-Klasse for the City? No claret for the Cotswalds? Risible.

      In time, the “far-right” Farage will be mentioned in the same breath as Cromwell- a saviour of Albion.

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        Isn’t it wonderful how anyone someone doesn’t agree with is (copy and paste from Earl immediately above)? Whatever others may think, those who appointed him weren’t stupid in this. Carney has created a massive contingency fund to cushion the blow from Brexit. And blows there have and will continue to be.

        And as for Farage, he is a populist and many in his party are near (or actual) fascists and racists.

        I take it that Earl isn’t resident in the UK, or if he is, then he is a supporter of Farage’s: it is interesting to note that any number of Conservative politicians ran a mile from him when he put up that “migration” poster that was, frankly, odious – and that’s the politest word I can use.

        Given my decades studying politics, I know whereof I speak regarding Farage & UKIP.

        And it is a matter of historical debate as to whether Cromwell was a “saviour of Albion”, not an undisputed fact. I happen to rather like him: he permitted the Jews to re-enter England, openly, after a gap of 250 years, but there will be many who will argue (quite probably with at least arguable evidence) that he was a dictator with few, if any, restraints on his power.

        And for sure, after his death and the restoration of the monarchy, monarchs (or oher supreme rulers) in the UK had distinctly fewer powers than before or during the Cromwellian Republic.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hubby’s other concern indeed was the volatility of the markets. As I’m sure you will agree, instability is never good for the Jews. Let’s hope this is all a result of the shock at the vote, and that it will stabilize over time, maybe even pick up.

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