Friday, 1 July 2016

The Blowout from Brexit: The Centre Cannot Hold.

'There is a real danger that we spend the next decade refighting last week’s referendum'.-Former British PM Gordon Brown.
The referendum was lost and the Conservatives now have to deliver Brexit of,with four years in office to go until 2020, call a general Election. Even if the referendum is not legally binding, it would cause outrage and a bitterness against the political elites if the democratic verdict is just ignored.

It was the arrogance of New Labour and then the Blairite style New Tories of Cameron which caused popular disaffection with the EU. That cannot be changed unless elites such as Brown stop warbling on about 'making globalisation work' and producing rhetoric. Many have read the economist Stiglitz and not just Brown.

Peter Hitchens is right that the existing two and a half party system at Westminster has to break up and new parties that reflect the true diversity of political opinion in Britain . The EU is one issue but Brown seems oblivious to the complete failure of the political system to represent a UK that is united in name only.

The Labour struggle with Corbyn and the fact Labour voters in post-industrial towns voted Out reflects the obvious fact the PLP no longer reflects their voters nor the membership which wants Corbyn and more radical social democratic policies instead of unfettered neoliberal free market globalisation.

If Corbyn simply deposed or a leadership election goes his way a second time, the PLP would surely have to reform itself entirely or split to create a new centre-left party.Simply dumping Corbyn without a vote-and he is not going to resign without one-would make Labour look even more undemocratic and not much more electable.

Even if the Conservatives are in disarray at present, they still actually form a government Within Britain the Tories are dominant as there can be no PLP opposition. Blairism is dead and there is no centre ground. He destroyed it over the long term through welcoming too many Eastern European immigrants overnight in 2004.

The impact of the Iraq War after 2003 -for which neither Blair nor Brown have apologised for-has detonated a region wide conflict in the Middle East, spilt over into Syria and caused a colossal refugee and migrant crisis while ISIS is plotting to exploit fears over this with a wave of tactical massacres in Britain.

The events of summer 2015 and Merkel's mismanagement of the influx of migrants into richer EU countries has,in reality, been the final straw for frightened citizens who now reject this as globalisation and want secure borders. Brexit reflects a wider crisis in the EU and the refusal to end the failed Schengen Agreement.

The fact Britain is not in the Schengen zone was hardly enough to staunch anxiety about the migrant crisis. No amount of verbiage and waffle from Yvette Cooper about 'an investigation into immigration' and its impact is going to take away the fact that most British people-and across the EU-want the return of 'proper' border controls.

The fall out from Brexit won't be primarily economic for Britain anyway but political. This is primarily a political crisis of legitimacy and whether nation states can assert sovereignty over matters such as migration and economic policy that are clearly demanded by electors. The EU could fragment if this is not heeded.

Those who cite Parliamentary sovereignty on the decision for Brexit rather than a legally binding referendum are right. Given that Parliament has to decide on Brexit, there is actually time to negotiate the terms of leaving as Britain is not a minor economic power but a major EU economy.

If the crisis drags on without any end in sight, any economic volatility would affect weaker EU economies too even more. So the ball is not only in the court of the EU or, in reality, Germany alone. If Britain leaves, Eastern European states such as Poland would feel Germany and France would have dominant influence.

Poland already has a radical populist far-right regime installing an 'illiberal democracy' and would become even more paranoid and defensive about German dominance if Britain leaves. but EU leaders and Merkel know that if Britain demands further special treatment or Brexit drags on,other states might want the same.

The crisis looks truly intractable.

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