Well, isn’t this just ducky. If anyone has money in the stock market, I’m sorry most of your money is on fire. After news broke out the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, the United States stock market is tumbling, the Canadian dollar is trending downwards, and the British Pound is taking a pounding. The pound hit thirty year lows, which is really not a good thing. The world’s markets are still recovering from the 2008 crash, and Brexit didn’t help the situation. The crazy got dialed up a notch when the Prime Minister David Cameron tearfully resigned after the news was announced. It was an incredibly tight race. 52% wanted to leave the EU, 48% wanted to stay.
Judging from my feeds, anyone who thought the UK leaving the EU was a good idea is also the kind of person that invests in gold bars, has a bug out bag, and is secretly hoping one day the whole planet goes to hell so they can live out their Mad Max style fantasy. Romantic for a crazy person, sure, but if you happen to like living in a city and getting sushi every once and a while, the Brexit vote simply added further destabilization in a market that was already hurting.
Let’s talk about what the EU really is, first of all. It started out after WW2, when people decided that two world wars fought on their soil wasn’t a whole lot of fun. They figured that extreme nationalism was an issue, and wanted to create an environment of cooperation between nations as opposed to feuding. The Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, and more and more nations got on board with the idea of working together on the same playing field. A whole bunch more treaties were signed (there was some serious litigation going on here, check out the Wikipedia page if you’re interested) and today we now have the European Union, which comprises of 28 nations.
If you’re a citizen of one of those nations, you can freely move from nation to nation without the use of a passport. You can also work in any one of the nations as well. It’s great for allowing the nations to keep their cultural identity while still allowing people, information and money to move freely in the union. Scientific information is easier to share in the Union, with numerous universities working together to further our pursuit of scientific gains. Mostly though, it’s about trade. The EU has adopted one currency, the Euro, and can trade freely within the EU as if it were one country. Countries that are constantly trading with each other are less likely to go to war, the theory is. The UK has always been a bit of an outlier, as it refused to adopt the Euro in favour of the Pound.
Now that the UK has left the EU, it’s going to have to spend a lot of money putting those fences back up. It’s going to cost the UK money to trade with the EU. New laws are going to have to be drafted, sanctions might be passed for a period of time. People from France, Sweden, Germany and a host of others are going to have to get out their passports if they want to head to Britain. The UK has decided to isolate itself further, and they were already on a damn island to begin with.
Scotland gave out a massive “Stay” vote, and now that the UK is leaving, they have announced they’re going to be having another referendum to determine whether or not to leave the UK. The United Kingdom may no longer be a united kingdom. Also to note, young people voted mostly to stay with the Union, and they are the ones who will have to live with the decision. So Scotland might leave, but the younger generation might take flight as well, leaving England to be a bastion of curmudgeons and sourpusses.
Here’s the weird thing. A lot of people who voted to “leave” are now regretting their decision. ‘What is the European Union’ became a massive Google search in the UK after the voting took place. It boggles the mind that people would do their research after the vote. This is another example of a select few fear mongers shouting Globalization and Soros and Illuminati out to scare a bunch of terribly misinformed people to vote in a manner that isn’t going to help them. In fact, I’m having a really hard time thinking who exactly is going to benefit from the Brexit.
The facts remain. The Brexit will hurt the UK’s economy, it could trigger the breakup of the UK itself, it forced the Prime Minister to resign, and it could cause trouble for the migrant workers in the UK, and the British workers abroad. The process will take years, though, so who knows? Maybe they’ll vote again to stay if enough old people die in the next couple months.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. George Soros actually bet the UK would leave and planned accordingly. He warned of the Brexit, but still managed to walk away smelling of roses. So, yay hedge fund managers? I mean, it’s nice to see someone having a good day while the rest of us pour gasoline on our savings.