Friday, June 24, 2016

Great Britain voted to leave the European Union...

Great Britain voted to leave the European Union...  That sure surprised me!  I have no idea what the economic impact will be, either to Great Britain, the EU, or the U.S.  But I've long thought that the whole idea of the EU was fatally flawed – especially the fact that unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats ran the thing.  As Nigel Farage said repeatedly during the campaign: a vote for “Leave” is a vote for independence and democracy.  I'll take that over (possible) negative economic impact – which is most likely short-lived anyway.

For me, perhaps the most exciting possibility this opens up is that the entire EU will collapse.  First, Great Britain was one of the largest net contributors to the EU – and that means that the remaining EU will now have a lot less money per capita to play around with, reducing the attraction for all the net takers.  Second, the independence-leaning politicians of the other EU members are likely to be greatly emboldened by this vote – and even more so if the exit is free of horrible economic consequences.  Third, there will be a contingent within the EU who wants to punish Great Britain for their sin of leaving – and I think that the debate over that issue (whether to punish Great Britain with import/export duties, passport restrictions, etc., or to welcome them as they have Switzerland) will serve to further weaken the collective will to maintain the EU.

Way to go, Great Britain!

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