You have to be blind and deaf or extremely stubborn to think that Brexit has done the UK any good economically and it hasn't even happened yet. The situation is almost certain to get worse, too. A year ago I was predicting that the pound would be worth less than a euro by the time Brexit arrives. Now JP Morgan are saying the same thing. Actually I think their estimate is probably still over optimistic.

We are still in the first preliminary stage of Brexit negotiations and so far nothing has been decided or agreed upon. Will it ever be? Will the EU side accept the UK withdrawing from the jurisdiction from the European Court that at present protects the rights of EU citizens? Probably not. Will they accept what Britain is willing to pay as severance money? Probably not. Will a satisfactory arrangement be worked out over the N Ireland border? Questionable. And if these things are not settled, there is likely to be a substantial delay before the next stage of negotiations begins. Every failure to agree and every delay will push the pound lower and make the UK position weaker. As everybody says, markets hate uncertainty. 

The trouble is that the country has got itself locked into a crazy position in which intelligent debate is almost impossible, MPs are now no longer allowed to vote according to their better judgement and there is no obvious mechanism by which change can come about. The Conservative Party is tied to Brexit even though 60% of its MPs were for Remain. The Labour Party is extremely muddled and divided. The Liberal Democrats might do better than before with their new leader, but it is extremely unlikely they are going to win a general election. The only strong pro-EU party is the Scotish Nationalists and they only compete seats in Scotland. Currently there is talk of a new centre party forming - encouraged by the example of what has happened in France - but this really seems rather improbable. Another route could be that the government lose its majority through a few of its members giving up the Conservative whip and/or by-election losses, but even this may not be enough to jolt the country out of its lemming like migration. In all probability the situation is going to have to get quite a bit worse before the nettle is grasped.

The public at present seems resigned to Brexit happening. People discuss how the country is going to weather this shock (or even disaster) as if it were a catastrophe that has been inflicted whereas it is actually a course of action chosen by the people, albeit by a tiny majority. It is self-inflicted injury. Then there is debate about whether there should be another referendum - well, why not? If Brexit is such an obviously good thing then the Brexiteers should have nothing to fear however many referenda there are and if one referendum was a good way of settling things, why not another? At the same time one should really conclude that referenda are a stupid way to run a country and there should never have been one in the first place.

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What people generally do not face up to in trying to understand Brexit is the British mentality of perversity. The Chancellor recently said that when the British people voted for Brexit they were not voting to become poorer. He was wrong. This is quite untrue. Before the referendum every single international economic institute was clearly saying that Brexit would make Britain poorer and people went ahead and voted for it. They chose poverty. That may seem irrational, but it is what happened. British people rather like to suffer. They then like to blame others (foreigners) for their self-inflicted misery. Throughout the time that Britain has been a member of the European Union successive British governments have done little other than make trouble. This makes good headlines at home because everybody can then feel that they are valiantly fighting the tyranny of Brussels and suffering. What rubbish! I would think that many in Europe must be quite glad that Britain is leaving. It is not really surprising that, in the so-called negotiations, Britain is finding itself now on the receiving end of its own tactics. Where Mrs Thatcher - you remember, she's the one famous for saying "there is no alternative", no alternative to more suffering, that is, which people loved to hear and kept voting for - used to like saying "No, no, no" to whatever the EU proposed, it is now the turn of Mr Barnier to say "Non, non, non" to all the British attempts to bend the rules and have the cake while eating it. Where will this end? Presumably Brexit will happen since as it approaches it is bound to become more and more clear what a disaster it is. What good headlines that will make! Britain will go ahead and choose to suffer because that's what the people chose and go on choosing. Even when they were given the opportunity of a general election recently they could not really have produced a more disheartening result all round, a result in which, to all intents and purposes, every party except the DUP lost. In the meantime, the British immigration authorities go on inflicting wanton suffering and anxiety upon large numbers of innocent people, making it apparent that when Brexit actually arrives things will get a lot worse. It is an unfortunate thing that people compulsively create dukkha for themselves blindly unaware of what they are doing and then blame it on others. Probably there will be no awakening from this bad dream in the foreseeable future.

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