Will Brexit be the scapegoat for UK’s problems?

I can’t judge all the consequences to Britain of the vote to exit the European Union, but there are a few things I am sure of.

  • The United Kingdom had many serious economic problems before Brexit—financialization, the hollowing out of manufacturing, the decline of the British pound, unnecessary government austerity.
  • Politicians and journalists will use Brexit as the scapegoat and explanation of these problems, and an excuse for not doing anything about them.
  • If the UK joins the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade In Services Agreement or other corporate-sponsored trade agreements, it will lose whatever national sovereignty it gained by exiting the European Union.


Why They Left by Costos Lapavitsas for Jacobin magazine.

‘I want to stop something exploitative, divisive and dishonest’—conversation with a Leaver by Oliver Humpage for Medium.

Britain is not a rainy, fascist island — here’s my plan for ProgExit by Paul Mason for The Guardian.

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5 Responses to “Will Brexit be the scapegoat for UK’s problems?”

  1. Vincent Says:

    Your post reminds me that I would be ill-advised to comment on any aspect of current affairs in America, lacking the advantage of feet on the ground in that country, let alone the perspective of walking a miles in their many million moccasins.


    • philebersole Says:

      I, for one, would be interested in what you or other foreigners think about current affairs in the USA. Sometimes an outsider can see things that an insider can’t.

      I also would be interested in what you think I get wrong about the UK. Part of my reason for posting is to get feedback on my opinions.


  2. Vincent M Says:

    There has been naivety on my part, Phil, about your stance on current affairs in both our countries. Checking out your three links, I see extreme Left (old-fashioned marxist), moderate left (=traditional Labour) and far-Left (Corbynist) respectively. Taking this into account, my traditional British-Conservative “one-nation” views are sufficient explanation for not recognizing what you say about Brexit or current politics.

    As for current affairs in the USA, I view them with sadness, coupled with hope. As with our Brexit, I would say you have the choice of same-old versus risky adventure. The desired result in my view would be a vision of building something worthwhile and positive rather than fostering further divisiveness.

    For us, Brexit offers a self-generated crisis, a bloodless revolution. a repositioning of the machinery of government, party politics, relations with the world, a much needed and refreshing pruning. Risky, needless to say but the whole thing is manageable. The alternative is a stagnant inward-looking self-justifying EU that lacks moral sense looking after its member states, their agriculture & trade at the expense of e.g. Africa. EU = vested interests of its nation states. Brexit = hello world, we care.


    • philebersole Says:

      I think that a genuine one-nation conservatism – both in its “one nation” and “conservative” aspects – would be a great improvement over Reaganism, Thatcherism or the heartless neoliberalism that appears to prevail today.

      My own core political loyalty is to the U.S. Constitution and to traditional American ideals of democracy and freedom, which of course derive from the British tradition of liberty under law. My hope for my country is the restoration of respect for its Constitution and historic ideals.

      Vincent, I wish you and your country well. May your hopefuless prove to be more well-founded than my cynicism!


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