Phill Jones

Britain seems in a fairly odd place psychologically right now. The denial and shock are subsiding but many of my friends and colleagues are still angry. They’re frustrated by a political system that they feel allowed disingenuous appeals to populist fears. Some are angry at the electorate themselves, particularly those that voted to leave and now say they wish they hadn’t, because they didn’t think their vote mattered or they didn’t understand the consequences. For some of us, the existence of #regexit hurts the most. We honestly thought we were smarter than that.

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  1. shinichi Post author

    Brexit: Risks to the Knowledge Economy and the Money Scrum

    by Phill Jones

    https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2016/06/30/brexit-risks-to-the-knowledge-economy-and-the-money-scrum/

    Britain woke up to a bit of a shock last Friday morning. As you have no doubt heard by now, the British people defied expectations and narrowly voted to leave the European Union. The event known as “Brexit” sent a shock wave through financial markets and caused the pound to drop sharply and then oscillate as the market readjusted. Over the weekend, portions of the British financial industry were already reportedly enacting contingency plans to move some operations out of Britain and Moody’s downgraded the British credit outlook to negative.

    Boris Johnson, who led the Vote Leave campaign, went on national television shortly after the result was announce to make a very strange victory speech. Some of it seemed positively pro-Europe; Johnson claimed the UK would be no less united and no less European. He also claimed that this was not an isolationist outcome and that Britain would continue to take a leading role in at least some areas of European policy. As my 9 year old son would say, it must be opposite day. More substantively, Johnson agreed with outgoing Prime Minister, David Cameron, that there was no need to invoke Article 50, the clause in the Lisbon treaty that sets out the exit mechanism for member states.

    By far the strangest aspect of the speech for me, however, was Johnson’s apparent lack of enthusiasm in the face of his victory. As this tweet pointed out, he seemed at the very least to be as shocked as the rest of us and as some have suggested, almost looks like he’s regretting his part in the mess.

    As Friday turned to Saturday, the mood among at least some people who voted to leave began to change. Nigel Farrage, another leading light in the Vote Leave campaign, and founding leader of the UK independence party (UKIP) admitted that at least one of the key promises of the leave campaign, that of an extra £350m a week in NHS spending, had been a mistake. Similar backpedaling on another key Brexit issue by pro-Leave MEP Daniel Hannan, that of free labor movement and immigration, followed. The twitter hastags #regrexit and #whathavewedone began trending on Saturday Morning.

    Britain seems in a fairly odd place psychologically right now. The denial and shock are subsiding but many of my friends and colleagues are still angry. They’re frustrated by a political system that they feel allowed disingenuous appeals to populist fears. Some are angry at the electorate themselves, particularly those that voted to leave and now say they wish they hadn’t, because they didn’t think their vote mattered or they didn’t understand the consequences. For some of us, the existence of #regexit hurts the most. We honestly thought we were smarter than that.

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