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What’s Next with the Brexit?

Brexit Puzzle PiecesAlan Renwick of the Department of Political Science at University College London provides The road to Brexit: 16 things you need to know about what will happen if we vote to leave the EU.

Definitely worth a read.

Two points worth underscoring:

5. There is no requirement for the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 immediately after a vote for Brexit. It would be sensible for the UK to work out its negotiating position and construct its negotiating team before setting the clock running. The government might also hope to hold preliminary discussions with other member states – though how far they would be willing to engage at this stage is unclear. At the same time, given the damaging effects of uncertainty, there would be strong reasons for avoiding too long a delay.

And

9. Parliament has no formal say over whether or when Article 50 is invoked, as this lies within the royal prerogative powers that are exercised by government. Government’s powers in matters of foreign policy are very extensive, and parliament has veto rights only in respect of treaties. If parliament were to pass a motion calling on the Prime Minister not to invoke Article 50, we might nevertheless expect him (or perhaps, by then, her) to respect that. But the Prime Minister could claim the authority of the popular vote to justify ignoring such pressure.

So, it will be very interesting to see who the next PM is, as that person will have a great deal of influence over the way this process unfolds.

Parliament does have an important role to play, however (see the piece for more details).

The observations about Whitehall (the civil service) are worth noting, as

The civil service has zero spare capacity after the cuts of the last five years: many departments have seen budget cuts of over a quarter since 2010, and total civil service employment has fallen by almost a fifth in the same period. Further spending reductions for the coming years were set out in last year’s spending review. The UK has no current capacity at all in trade negotiations, as this is a job that has been outsourced to Brussels.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Bottom line: Everybody take a deep breath and a long nap. Nothing is going to change soon.

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  2. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott:

    Indeed. Sky may fall, but it has not yet fallen.

    1) The London market is off about 2% right now, as is the New York market. That is not the drop one expects for armageddon. That’s the drop one expects for a rise in interest rates or a bad Apple product launch. That may get worse, but 2% is just 2%.

    2) The British were derided as short-sighted, nationalistic fools when they stayed out of the Euro. Absolutely no one thinks that anymore, obviously keeping the GBP was a brilliant move.

    3) The EU never took root in British consciousness, certainly not in English consciousness. (The vote among the English was overwhelming.) And there are plenty of good reasons to be dubious of the EU. It does reduce British control over Britain. It is undemocratic. It is a massive bureaucracy. It is stuck dealing with Greece and perhaps Italy in collapse. But the bottom line appears to be that the English wish to remain English and not be Europeans. Anyone shocked by that has not read English history.

    4) No, Britain is not on a path to becoming a fascist country. UKIP took only 12% of the vote in the last national election. That did not suddenly rise to 52%. Those were Tory and Labor voters pulling the plug on the EU.

    5) The passions of the moment will cool. This will take years to work out, and during that time the EU may well come apart. The “EU” is Germany. That’s the reality. Germany runs the EU, more so now with the UK out, and not every member state is happy to be a German vassal state. In any event, a whole hell of a lot of negotiating has to take place and no one knows how that will work out. But I suspect the EU desire to punish the UK will drop precipitously as EU leadership realizes that a bullying approach will just speed the exit of the Netherlands and perhaps others.

    6) Before the usual suspects decide that I’m advocating a new Holocaust or whatever, let me say: I have no position on Brexit. It’s not my country. I don’t know which was the better path to take. I’m just offering observations.

    7) Obviously Angela Merkel’s unilateral decision to open Europe to middle-eastern refugees was an inciting event. If everything in the EU was going swimmingly it would have been just another example of German high-handedness, but things were clearly not going swimmingly in the EU. I said at the time it was a major mistake, that it would fuel the rise of the Right in Europe as well as pushing buttons in this country.

    8) I suspect that this will harm the EU more than the UK. I doubt that the banks will decamp en masse to Paris or Frankfurt – English is the lingua franca of finance, and the UK has the legal structure as well as the talent pool for finance. It may well be that 2 years from now this will just be a case of the UK being the first rat off a sinking ship.

    9) My pity is reserved mostly for British young people who have had their identities forcibly redefined. They had bought into the European model to a far greater extent than older generations. Their world has been disrupted and their world may have been made smaller.

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  3. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    3) The EU never took root in British consciousness, certainly not in English consciousness. (The vote among the English was overwhelming.) And there are plenty of good reasons to be dubious of the EU.

    Well, if you only count English voters over the age of 30 that would be correct.

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  4. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t think the Brits have as much negotiating power as you think they have. The rest of Europe is pretty annoyed with them at present and doesn’t seem to be interested in “renegotiating” anything–the powers-that-be are in fact looking to see if they can kick Britain out earlier than Britain was planning. They’re certainly not interested in getting involved in long-drawn-out negotiations. That’s done. The long-drawn-out negotiations were when they wanted to keep Britain in the EU.

    That’s the problem when you walk away from the negotiating table. The other side may take it as a bluff, or it may say “ok, you want to quit? So do I. Bye.”

    And there’s going to be a lot of pressure from the rest of the EU capitals to not make it easy for Britain. Spain is too terrified about its own separatist movements to play nice with Britain (watch soon for them imposing much more paperwork against all the Brits who have retired on the Spanish seacoast.) There’s no way that London will be allowed to have the same financial benefits with the EU as it has had up to now. There’s also the fact that the chance of one of the other EU capitals now becoming the lead financial hub is something everyone is looking very carefully at and that’s a prize everyone wants. Don’t think that because the language of finance is English means that England automatically gets to be the location–Latin was the lingua franca of Europe for centuries after Rome collapsed.

    Here’s an article pointing out some of the EU’s reactions.

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  5. Gustopher says:

    Given the length of time this will take, and the complexity of separating the economies, and the narrowness of the vote, I would not be surprised if the plan to implement the exit has another referendum to confirm the policy change.

    A 52-48 referendum is just a stupid way to make decisions like this, and the popularity of leaving may drop once the consequences are understood.

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  6. EddieInCA says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This is one of the few times I’m going to disagree with you. The UK takes in more trade from Europe than Europe takes from the UK.

    Overnight, the price of EVERYTHING Brits spend on has increased 10% domestically, and much more in Europe. That cheap vacation to Spain isn’t that cheap anymore.

    The promises made by the leave campaign ($350M per week spent on Europe will now go to our healthcare system) have been shown to be a flat out lie.

    The repercussions of this will be felt for years, and mostly by the poor and elderly in England, as benefits and social safety nets are slashed due to inflation based on the loss of value of the pound.

    It’s gonna be ugly.

    It’s not 1950 in England any more. It’s a world market. And if you’re not a part of it, you’re screwed.

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  7. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: I was thinking that EU countries with a large number of retired Brits might want to impose a separate “health tax” on them to cover them since Britain won’t be dumping money into the kitty any more. They’re probably not going to just throw them off said country’s health system, but the automatic access that they’ve had up to now may get more iffy.

    Whoops.

    Spain is now using the “stay” vote of Gibraltar to argue that Gibraltar should be returned to being a joint Spain-U.K. possession.

    Whoops.

    Ireland has called for a referendum in Northern Ireland of reuniting with the rest of Ireland.

    Whoops.

    Scotland has called for another independence vote.

    Whoops.

    Goldman Sachs is making noises about moving from London to Germany. JP Morgan Chase is making similar noises about moving from London to Paris.

    Whoops.

    The rest of the EU is now trying to see how they can potentially throw Britain out of the club if Britain drags its feet on getting the divorce paperwork in.

    Whoops.

    (I’m not against the Brexit vote. There obviously were problems between Britain and the EU. What I am against is voting in a sense of teenage petulance and “we’re gonna show those elites what we think of them!” And then complaining about the results.)

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  8. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Switzerland and Norway seem to be doing rather better outside of the EU than Greece, Portugal and Italy are doing inside it. The UK could end up with a relationship to Europe similar to that of Canada to the US.

    I think the untested assumption here is that the EU is survivable. I don’t know that that is true. Had they managed to reach some kind of true government maybe they’d be in a stronger position, I don’t know. But the EU is increasingly Angela Merkel and everyone else, and I’m not sure how long the Dutch and even the French will go along with that. If Italy starts to circle the drain Brits may look clever to have avoided that bail-out.

    If the EU play hardball with the UK and the UK nevertheless prospers, Brussels will have cut off its own nose to spite its face.

    But way too many unknowns at this point for prophecy.

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  9. Gustopher says:

    I’m not even sure why the UK joined the EU in the first place. I have no opinion on whether they should leave or not.

    I just think a referendum with a 50%+1 threshold is a really stupid way to decide.

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  10. EddieInCA says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Michael –

    I know England. I lived there. I go every year. They have very few national brands left. Very little manufacturing. I’m telling you that they don’t have the resources outside of Europe to fend for themselves any more.

    We can revisit this in five years, when Britain is becoming Italy or Spain. I could be very, very wrong, but I doubt it. This was Texans saying “Let’s leave the USA” and the USA saying “Okay, vote on it. ” Texans would vote on it. They’d vote to leave. What happens with Texas without the USA? Watch Britain without the EU. The two have been intertwined for 50 years. That Britain of 50 years ago, DOES NOT EXIST. You can’t go back. You’re going to see a huge exodus of young people from England. They’re going to go to Paris, Brussels,Barcelona, Toronto, Sydney, etc.

    My closest friends in London, have already started making preliminary plans to move to Vancouver.

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  11. Pch101 says:

    Spain is now using the “stay” vote of Gibraltar to argue that Gibraltar should be returned to being a joint Spain-U.K. possession.

    Gib is a funny place. The Spanish have wanted it back for the last 300 years since losing it as a result of the Treaty of Utrecht.

    Meanwhile, the locals can’t stand the Spaniards, even though the common spoken language is a sort of Romance language dialect. (Everyone speaks English and everything is in English, but they are a bilingual people.)

    They have been having disputes with Spain for ages. Franco had shut down the border entirely for decades, and since then, border crossings by car from Gib into Spain are a royal PITA.

    So resentment against Spain runs deep. In a 2002 referendum to share sovereignty, 98% of Gib’s voters rejected the idea. (That may be the only time in election history that a vote that skewed wasn’t fraudulent.)

    So nothing is going to happen in that regard, Brexit or no Brexit. Spain has this bug up its backsides about getting Gib back, which is something that is never going to happen unless Spain invades the place (and it would be tough to hold once the Brits launch their counterattack.)

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  12. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I suspect that this will harm the EU more than the UK. I doubt that the banks will decamp en masse to Paris or Frankfurt – English is the lingua franca of finance, and the UK has the legal structure as well as the talent pool for finance.

    I’ve worked in finance in Europe — for the major firms and funds, much of business gets done in English whether or not you’re in London. You work at a hedge fund in Frankfurt, you do your work in English. You don’t need to be in London anymore for that.

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  13. Rafer Janders says:

    @grumpy realist:

    There’s also the fact that the chance of one of the other EU capitals now becoming the lead financial hub is something everyone is looking very carefully at and that’s a prize everyone wants. Don’t think that because the language of finance is English means that England automatically gets to be the location–Latin was the lingua franca of Europe for centuries after Rome collapsed.

    Yup. Every finance professional in Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, etc. already speaks English. I was at a meeting last year at fund in Zurich — German speaking city, but the entire trading floor work was done in English, as that was the lingua franca of all the Swiss, French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, Chinese, etc. who worked there. You don’t need London for that anymore.

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  14. Jc says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Switzerland and Norway seem to be doing rather better outside of the EU than Greece, Portugal and Italy are doing inside it.

    They are not truly outside the EU per se. Norway is a member of the EEA and thus must allow for free movement of people – it must follow EU rules but has no vote. Brits will never do that. Plus Norway does this as EU is its huge oil/gas customer – Swiss have that great banking regulation.

    Its brings up the common theme with Europe. You assume Brits will be fine because of Swiss and Norway, but then we fail to forget that these are three vastly different countries economically, socially etc…as is all Europe and which makes the Euro so suspect and likely a long run failure – The Brits are not Norway or Switzerland. And Norway is not far removed from the EU being in the EEA and pretty much doing the things the Brits don’t want to do with free movement etc…

    I guess we have to see how negotiations with the EU play out, but I don’t think Britain is holding pocket aces here, they may think they have a strong hand, but I have serious doubts

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  15. Rafer Janders says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I know England. I lived there. I go every year. They have very few national brands left. Very little manufacturing. I’m telling you that they don’t have the resources outside of Europe to fend for themselves any more.

    One of the key resources that they had was as a major finance and business hub for Europe. And with one stroke they’ve taken that away from themselves.

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  16. Pch101 says:

    The average homeless guy in Sweden speaks better English than much of the US population.

    English proficiency isn’t an issue in northern Europe, particularly for the educated classes.

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  17. EddieInCA says:

    @Jc:

    I guess we have to see how negotiations with the EU play out, but I don’t think Britain is holding pocket aces here, they may think they have a strong hand, but I have serious doubts

    The United Kingdon WAS holding pocket Aces versus the EU. And the EU was holding KK. But the flop (vote) has comes out AKK. So the United Kingdom thinks they’re super strong with a full house AAAKK. But Scotland folded an Ace, so the UK doesn’t know it’s drawing dead against KKKK as it goes all in.

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  18. EddieInCA says:

    @Pch101:

    The average homeless guy in Sweden speaks better English than much of the US population.

    With all due respect, there aren’t many homeless people in Sweden. Although the few there are, would, undoubtedly speak better English than many, if not, most, Americans. So your main point is correct.

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  19. grumpy realist says:

    When you get down to it, what can England offer the rest of Europe any more? A bunch of English-speaking workers? yeah, but you can get that from a lot of the more bilingual countries anyway. British industry? Don’t make me laugh–what do they have left?

    Financial engineering? Yeah, but all those guys in the City of London finance district are perfectly happy to move to other places. Does anyone think that Goodman Sachs is gonna stay plonked down in London for the view and the pretty little birdies if it means a) more hassle every time any of their employees has to jet off to the Continent, and b) transactions in and out of London suddenly have an extra 5% VAT on them?

    You have GOT to be joking. And anyone who thinks that London is going to be able to keep its sacrosanct position and interact with Europe exactly the same way it did before Britain leaves the EU has to have bugs in his brain.

    You think that your financial counterparts over in Berlin and Brussels are going to go to Angela Merkel and beg “oooh Britain’s leaving the EU but we want our competitors over there in London to remain part of the club on the same terms as they always have and keep all the same benefits” when they can GRAB all of our business and run away with it?

    As the man says, Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

    So what does England have to offer the world? At the moment, the only thing seems to be a lot of pretty (rainy) scenery, Imperial Stout. and British nostalgia. Hell of an engine to try to run an economy with.

    (I lived in London for two years. Rainiest and gloomiest period of my life. I’m probably the only person in the world who has ever visited Belgium for the sun.)

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  20. EddieInCA says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (I lived in London for two years. Rainiest and gloomiest period of my life. I’m probably the only person in the world who has ever visited Belgium for the sun.)

    I did the same thing with Paris. Exactly! One of the Januarys I was there the sun came out twice… in the entire month of January. Twice.

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  21. al-Alameda says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    One of the key resources that they had was as a major finance and business hub for Europe. And with one stroke they’ve taken that away from themselves.

    Dead on right.

    Also, as expected, Trump stepped forward to express his solidarity with those who voted for Brexit.

    … that the people of the United Kingdom have “taken their country back,” musing that it could benefit his Turnberry resort and arguing that running a nation is a lot like running a golf course. “I think it’s a great thing that happened,” Trump told reporters shortly after his helicopter landed at Trump Turnberry. “People are angry, all over the world. People, they’re angry.” … “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly … ”

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  22. michael reynolds says:

    And yet at close the London market was down just 3% and some European markets closed lower than that. And the pound recovered a bit to $1.37, down from around $1.44 a week ago. That’s what, a 5% drop? So for whatever reason the markets are not – despite the scare headlines – freaking out. 3% on the London exchange, 5% in the GBP, that’s a whole lot of investors not buying into the downside.

    Here’s a list of top 10 UK exports:

    Machines, engines, pumps: US$63.9 billion (13.9% of total exports)
    Gems, precious metals: $53 billion (11.5%)
    Vehicles: $50.7 billion (11%)
    Pharmaceuticals: $36 billion (7.8%)
    Oil: $33.2 billion (7.2%)
    Electronic equipment: $29 billion (6.3%)
    Aircraft, spacecraft: $18.9 billion (4.1%)
    Medical, technical equipment: $18.4 billion (4%)
    Organic chemicals: $14 billion (3%)
    Plastics: $11.8 billion (2.6%)

    That’s a bit more than excellent candy bars and mediocre beer. And it all just got a 5% discount.

    Obviously most of that trade goes to the EU, so the question now is whether Merkel will cut off her nose to spite her face and try to bully the UK to keep Netherlands and France in line. As I said, I suspect passions will cool and the Germans will behave in their own best interests – do they still want to sell Mercedes in the UK? I suspect they do, and that will mean reaching a reasonable deal, because Japan will be happy to ship more Lexuses.

    Interestingly, I would expect to see immigration to the UK increase from former colonies India, Pakistan, Kenya, Jamaica, etc… The UK has the same birth rate issues we do, so they’ll need workers at the bottom end of the pyramid. UKIP may not like the end result because they may be trading Slovenia waiters for Pakistani waiters.

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  23. MikeSJ says:

    My gut instinct is Merkel’s disastrous decision allowing millions of ME migrants & refugees into Europe was the breaking point for many.

    I’ve seen reports that the majority of ME migrants in Sweden are still unemployed 5 years after admittance and the illiteracy rate is tremendous (80% for Afghani’s) Merkel seemed to have not given this a seconds consideration when she decided to impact all of the EU.

    Making horrific mistakes at work will often result in getting fired; I think the same thing happened here.

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  24. Grumpy Realist says:

    @michael reynolds: I suspect that oil percentage will disappear when Scotland votes to go its own way. Ditto for a sizable chunk of the rest.

    Look–you can’t expect to quit your membership in a club and expect to maintain the same benefits. I bet France’s Airbus is slavering at the possibility of picking up that aerospace percentage. And there will be a lot of incentive to add extra tariffs.

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  25. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Oil: $33.2 billion (7.2%)

    That oil belongs to Scotland, not England. When Scotland leaves the UK to re-enter the EU it’s taking the North Sea oil with it.

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  26. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    It is undemocratic. It is a massive bureaucracy.

    This bullshit drives me up the wall. The EU has about as many employees as the state of Rhode Island and an administration cost of about 6% of budget. That beats most charities. It’s also about as undemocratic as the post of secretary of state.

    If Italy starts to circle the drain Brits may look clever to have avoided that bail-out.

    If Italy tanks it’s over. They’re too big to save. In that case it’s irrelevant if they left or not.

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  27. michael reynolds says:

    @MikeSJ:

    I don’t think it was the cause – that runs deeper – but it was what we in fiction would call an ‘inciting event.’

    It was disastrously stupid and high-handed. As I said at the time to a vociferous chorus of denunciation.

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  28. MikeSJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I see that David Brooks agrees with me.

    I’m not sure if I should be happy about that.

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  29. PJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Switzerland and Norway seem to be doing rather better outside of the EU than Greece, Portugal and Italy are doing inside it. The UK could end up with a relationship to Europe similar to that of Canada to the US.

    Switzerland and Norway, while both not being members of the EU, are both part of the Schengen Area, the borderless area of the EU that every new country joining the EU has to join, and that every current EU state is a member of, with two exceptions, Ireland and the UK. (With Ireland staying out because the UK is staying out and wanting to keep their borderless agreement.)

    Switzerland and Norway have to follow a lot of EU regulations and laws without actually being able to have any kind of say about these, not being members of EU.

    They also have low populations (Switzerland 8.2 million, Norway 5.2 million), but a very high GDP per capita (Norway $97,013, and Switzerland $67,560). Both countries wouldn’t be able to have much say even if they were a part of the EU and they can afford to stay outside.

    But, somehow, the UK is going to get a deal allowing the free movement of capital, goods, and services, but be able to restrict the movement of people?

    And somehow they will not have to follow the regulations that Norway and Switzerland have to follow.

    The UK now leaving the EU will, if the UK wants to keep being a part of the EU inner market, mean less control over its own borders and having much less to say about EU regulations than today.

    Both things that seem to be important to you when commenting about Brexit.

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  30. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Based on the articles from both Dr, Taylor and grumpy realist, the tack you suggest may be a day late and a dollar short. It appears that they have painted themselves into the proverbial corner.

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  31. PJ says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    That oil belongs to Scotland, not England. When Scotland leaves the UK to re-enter the EU it’s taking the North Sea oil with it.

    Yeah, if anything in the UK should be compared to Norway, it’s Scotland.

    (On the list of things that Norway has but not the UK, an oil fund with a total value of $873 billion.)

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  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders: @Grumpy Realist:

    You’re assuming Scotland will leave. And you’re assuming the Dutch, Danes, Swedes and French won’t leave the EU. I don’t have any prediction to offer on any of that.

    However, Brexit lays bare the fact that the EU is really just Germany – a Germany unwilling to bail out other member states, a Germany that is very much all about Germany. How long will other member states be willing to bend the knee to the Germans? Because that’s the EU now – it’s Germany dictating terms and everyone else saluting. That does not sound or feel stable to me.

    As for membership in the club, let’s back up a bit here. The ‘club’ was formed in large part because Europeans couldn’t stop murdering each other. American military power left them weak and various institutions like the EU (and many others) formed a web of connection meant to perpetuate peace and prosperity.

    But when Europeans joined that club they joined other Europeans. They looked around and said, “OK, we can join this club with the French and the Germans and the Scandawegians.” And then the club was extended to Eastern Europe and suddenly the Brits and others realized the club membership was changing. Then, as the UK and Sweden and Denmark were absorbing Poles and Slovenians and Estonians, they are told by Ms. Merkel that the club membership was changing again, and was now to include whoever could reach Europe.

    It was probably a mistake to extend the EU to Poland, would have been a disaster to extend it to Ukraine, would likewise be a disaster to extend to Turkey, and quite obviously cannot be opened to endless numbers of refugees. Merkel refused to face any of that. And she refused to face the fact that her treatment of Greece revealed German selfishness to the rest of the continent. The EU was already sick before this, and sick in large degree because of Merkel and the endless arrogance of Germans.

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  33. michael reynolds says:

    @MikeSJ:

    It’s never reassuring to find David Brooks agreeing with you, but he’s right. And he’s right that liberals need to sober up about immigration. I have tried in vain to get various loud liberals around here to explain just what our policy should be, what criteria we should apply to immigration. And I get zip in response. The Left has nothing to offer on the subject but sentiment. I’d like to think maybe this and the rise of Trump will focus minds, but I doubt it.

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  34. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You’re assuming Scotland will leave.

    Of course they will leave. Scotland voted 60% Remain. One major reason Scotland voted to stay in the UK two years ago was because they were already an EU member. Once Britain Brexits, Scotland’s independence is a matter of when, not if.

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  35. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I have tried in vain to get various loud liberals around here to explain just what our policy should be, what criteria we should apply to immigration. And I get zip in response.

    That is a bald-faced lie.

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  36. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    OK, then you tell me what criteria we should apply to immigration in the US. Not what we shouldn’t do, but what we should do.

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  37. @Rafer Janders: @michael reynolds: While it is too early to say it is a foregone conclusion that Scotland will leave, I think that the odds has increased greatly that they will. I would expect another referndu, on independence soon. In 2014 Scotland voted to stay in the UK by a 44.6-55.3 margin, but yesterday voted 62-38 to stay in the EU. If the Brexit vote leads to not only to a less favorable economic position for the UK (which I think is likely) and it leads to the breakup of the UK (at least the exit of Scotland and perhaps problems in Northern Ireland, which also voted to Remain) then it is hard to say that this has been a positive outcome for the UK.

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  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That is a very lame attempt to distract from being caught in another of your lies where you pathetically categorize yourself as The Last Honest Man speaking truth to whimpy liberals who are too stupid and cowed to listen to The Genius of Michael. You know very well that you have had many, many exchanges on this topic with commenters on this site who have time and again told your their opinions. It is simply a lie to claim you got “zip in response.”

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  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    They’re already talking referendum in 2017 or 2018. By which point passions will have cooled, and Scots will have t ask themselves whether the EU – and God knows what shape it’ll be in by then – is more important than their largest market, England.

    2 million Scots voted to stay in the UK, 1.6 million voted to stay in the EU. Maybe they’ll get out – JK Rowling thinks so – but maybe they won’t.

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  40. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    My gut instinct is Merkel’s disastrous decision allowing millions of ME migrants & refugees into Europe was the breaking point for many.

    Ok, this is boilerplate text from every single conservative American commenter. Could anyone point me to the source of this?

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  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    And now, Rafer, you’ve proved my point.

    Because this is exactly the non-response I got in a long thread the other day. The fact is the Left has not thought about immigration beyond an emotional reaction. That’s why I get zip.

    And don’t waste time calling me a liar. I don’t lie. Used to, haven’t in a long time. And why in God’s name would I lie about politics? How would that put a dollar in my pocket?

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  42. Jc says:

    @michael reynolds: I’d say the 2007 immigration bill, that I believe GWB supported and it still died. If that type of reform cannot even get a vote, I don’t really know what kind of reform will unless it was passed by a party with a large supermajority in all branches.

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  43. grumpy realist says:

    @Rafer Janders: Also don’t forget that Britain was rattling the spectre of Scotland being thrown out of the EU if Scotland went ahead with a vote for independence. “Stick with us, we’ll keep you in the EU!”

    Now Britain has voted to leave the EU and Scotland really really wants to stay in the EU. You think that this hasn’t just increased the independence movement? HA HA HA. They’re PISSED with the recent shenanigans.

    Oh, and now it looks like noises are made about England’s biggest steel corporation moving because it’s Tata Steel (the Indian one)…..

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  44. michael reynolds says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    Here’s the BBC analysis of reasons, and BBC is quite left-wing: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36574526

    They list 8 reasons, third being immigration. The rest are basically to do with failures of leadership and Britain’s fundamental euroskepticism.

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  45. MikeSJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The best explanation I can come up with for the Lefts worship of Diversity is for them it’s a religious belief.

    Facts, numbers, results…none of it matters. An illiterate Pakistani or Afghani is no different than a Ph.D. from Taiwan in their eyes. Nothing will shake their belief in the pure and perfect results of third world immigration. No thought is made to bring in populations that can integrate vs. those that will struggle. ( e.g. Catholics from the Philippines vs. Muslims from Iraq & Syria & Sudan)

    If half of what I read about robotics and automation comes true, even in the next 20 years we are going to have a very difficult time figuring out what to do with these people.

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  46. stonetools says:

    Boris Johnson, Brexit leader:

    Britain should not immediately trigger article 50 to start exit negotiations with the EU after the momentous referendum verdict.

    In sombre tones and accompanied by fellow Brexit campaigners Gisela Stuart and Michael Gove, the former mayor of London said there was “no need for haste” and “nothing will change in the short term” in his first press conference since the vote.

    The EU:

    Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, told the Guardian that EU lawyers were studying whether it was possible to speed up the triggering of article 50 of the Lisbon treaty – the untested procedure for leaving the union.

    As the EU’s institutions scrambled to respond to the bodyblow of Britain’s exit, Schulz said uncertainty was “the opposite of what we need”, adding that it was difficult to accept that “a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party”.

    “I doubt it is only in the hands of the government of the United Kingdom,” he said. “We have to take note of this unilateral declaration that they want to wait until October, but that must not be the last word.”

    Schulz’s comments were partially echoed by the president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said he there was no reason to wait until October to begin negotiating Britain’s departure from the European Union.

    “Britons decided yesterday that they want to leave the European Union, so it doesn’t make any sense to wait until October to try to negotiate the terms of their departure,” Juncker said in an interview with Germany’s ARD television station. “I would like to get started immediately.”

    Sounds to me that the EU is PISSED. Boris Johnson is saying , “Leave? Let’s take it slow. No need to rush. Let’s think this over.”

    EU: You want to leave?Bye!’

    The EU has every reason to make Brexit as tough as possible, especially since they think the referendum are all about an internal struggle in the Conservative Party and not any deep-seated desire of the British people to leave.

    I’m betting that Boris Johnson is like the dog who caught the car. He doesn’t have the faintest idea of what to do next. Meanwhile the Scots and the Northern Irish are considering their options.

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  47. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @michael reynolds: Criteria are pretty much irrelevant. The relevant point is flanking mechanisms. From the top of my head:

    1. Mandatory E-verify for any kind of employment
    2. Mandatory minimum wages for all contracts
    3. For higher-end positions: Foreign hirees must be paid at least the existing median income for the position
    4. Stop the whole conservative “family first” bollocks. No family reunification beyond children.
    5. Legalize all existing illegals without criminal (not felony) convictions
    6. Enough administrative and legal resources to ensure that all immigration / asylum cases are processed within at most 6 months
    7. All immigration must be tied to either a job offer or to a decent score in an Canada-like points system

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  48. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Any Scottish referendum will be 2 years down the road. What Cameron said to convince Scots to stay will be irrelevant. The question will come down to money and identity, and it will rest to a large degree on the economic picture in the UK and in the EU.

    Again, you’re all making the assumption that the EU will survive and prosper and thus Scotland will want to join. But what if Denmark and Netherlands are out by then? What if Italy crashes? I don’t think it’s a safe assumption that Scotland 2 years from now will abandon its biggest trading partner for Germany. Maybe yes, maybe no.

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  49. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    While I agree with those who think the EU, as it was constructed until yesterday, was not viable in the long term, that Merkel and Germany really screwed things up, and that the Euro is not a good idea and England was right to keep the pound, I also think this is going to be a disaster for both if it is carried through. Not immediate, as Michael keeps reminding us (some of why I think markets aren’t down as much as the doomsayers predict is because there is still hope Britain will change their minds), but in the long run, if this actually goes through, I don’t see a happy outcome for anyone.

    For England–Scotland will leave, and take the North Sea with them. The various EU financial centers have EXTREMELY strong incentives to let London wither, and it’s way too easy for those industries to move (see, Goldman and JP Morgan news this morning). The financial promises the Leave campaign made are pretty much of the same quality as Trump’s pronouncements over here about how awesome he’ll be for the economy. As a direct example, at my company a multi-million dollar expansion of our London subsidiary that has been in the works for the last 6 months just went officially on hold (unofficially of course it has been for the last month), because we don’t know if the London office will be able to serve the whole EU properly any more.

    That said, I don’t really fear the consequences for England, because I think those will mostly hurt them and, well, you reap what you sow. I feel bad for them, but it’s their lives. What scares me is the rest of the EU falling apart. The world is unstable enough, and it doesn’t need a return to Europe’s historical norm of constantly shifting alliances and chaos. Hopefully this vote serves as a wakeup call for the EU (especially Germany) to realize how wrong it’s gone and find a better path forward (unfortunately while I can envision where I would like Europe to go, I have no idea how to get from here to there). Unfortunately I think it far more likely the EU will die messily rather that get itself straightened out, and when it does it won’t be good for anyone.

    You can bet Putin is cheering this development, and really wants the whole EU to crash and burn. So much for economic sanctions and a concerted response to Russian aggression in non-NATO countries. And when your enemies cheer your actions, maybe it should make you question them. Not that the US is great at that either (see, Iraq, invasion of).

    Sometimes I think the most depressing thing about studying history (my degree and hobby, not my job) is it’s so obvious that humanity never really seems to learn anything about it’s own behavior.

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  50. MikeSJ says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    Ok, this is boilerplate text from every single conservative American commenter. Could anyone point me to the source of this?

    For me the source is my gut reaction. I was horrified by Merkel’s decision and what happened in Cologne has just reinforced my belief that her decision is an ongoing train wreck.

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  51. PJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Then, as the UK and Sweden and Denmark were absorbing Poles and Slovenians and Estonians

    Well, Slovenia and Estonia are both countries low populations and with low migration rates, both in percentage of their population and also in absolute numbers. So, not very much to absorb.

    Maybe you got Slovenia confused with Slovakia, and Estonia from previous comments that it’s the next country that Russia is going to invade?

    At least you got one country right.

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    I’m good with that as a starting point, but of course that’s not the liberal position, it’s closer to being a center-right stance, I think – hard to say given that no one is actually discussing the issue in practical terms anymore.

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  53. michael reynolds says:

    @PJ:

    No, actually, I was riffing on a smart-ass comment made on BBC. That’s why Slovenia. It’s a place holder because I was tired of picking on Poles.

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  54. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    And you already see some interesting follow up. Johnson going “hey, let’s take this slow”, and the EU saying “Bye”. The EU, for it’s own survival, has EVERY reason to try and make Britain an object lesson. And the Leave faction doesn’t really have a plan. To the shock of no one who actually followed this.

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  55. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Wouldn’t bet against Angela Merkel. She can be one tough b#tch if crossed, and I meant that in a good way. A heck of a lot of people have gone up against her, and they’ve all ended with her tire tracks all over their backs.
    My prediction: after a few months of market chaos, and a lot of political turmoil in Britain, Article 50 never gets invoked, Parliament moves to reaffirm the EU treaty, and there is another referendum down the road with an emphatic Remain vote

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  56. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @michael reynolds: Given that I’m a German Green Party voter I seriously doubt that I would be located at the American center-right :D.

    A large part of those are classical “worker rights” positions. I think a lot of people overvalue the influence and relevance of the kumbaya-left. Left immigration policy is not throwing the gates open but rather letting people in without regards to colour or religion and to stop deporting people who haven’t been to their supposed home country in decades if ever.

    There is a reasonable left position between “welcome the world” and “shoot the brownies”.

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  57. michael reynolds says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    Sometimes I think the most depressing thing about studying history (my degree and hobby, not my job) is it’s so obvious that humanity never really seems to learn anything about it’s own behavior.

    There’s a rule in fiction writing (my gig) to the effect that character is first. Character drives everything. For 70 years now Europe has had peace of a sort – actually the Cold War. Post Cold War peace and harmony lasted from 1989 to the present day, 27 years. But the Brits are still British and the Germans are still German. Neither became “European.”

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  58. michael reynolds says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    Hah! No, I would not say a German Green is center right. But our center and your center are different things. Here the Left is concerned about creating an underclass through guest worker programs and the like. And of course the Right doesn’t like Mexicans or Muslims.

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  59. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    Hmmm, bold prediction. But if Boris is the new PM I don’t see how that happens.

    As for Merkel, she may be tough, but she’s also been stupid at least twice: hammering the Greeks and opening the gates. Both revealed German arrogance. No offense to @Ebenezer, but Germans are not universally loved, especially not when they hold the whip hand.

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  60. @michael reynolds:

    I’m good with that as a starting point, but of course that’s not the liberal position, it’s closer to being a center-right stance

    It all depends on how you are defining your terms, since left-right as descriptors can be relative. Certainly in the US case, what was the center-right position in the 1990s (or even the early 2000s) is considered more the center-left position.

    The “liberal” position at the moment seems to be willingness to reform, while the non-liberal position seems to be a combination of status quo + complaining (if we are talking about broad categories).

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  61. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @michael reynolds

    But the Brits are still British and the Germans are still German. Neither became “European.”

    I absolutely agree with that. And the EU’s clumsy attempts to pretend otherwise are part of what caused this result.

    From a historian’s perspective, I think we have been blessed/cursed to live in interesting times. I believe political allegiances all round the developed world are in flux, as the people of each nationality react against an internationalized elite that has sucked up WAY too much of the economic prosperity of the last 30 years. I sympathize with those frustrations everywhere–not just the British, but Bernie supporters here and even the non-racist/sexist Trump fans (yes they exist). But almost by definition mobs who are frustrated and angry don’t make good decisions, and the political leadership of all parties in the US, England, and Europe shouldn’t be particularly proud of how they’ve handled things the last few decades (particularly since the disintegration of the Soviet Union–a positive thing with consequences that were horribly mis-managed). The mob will overreact, but the frustrations are real and often very legitimate.

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  62. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    I’m betting that Boris Johnson is like the dog who caught the car.

    Johnson has been offering himself as the voice of reason for Brexit. A cynic might be inclined to think that he been trying to position himself as Cameron’s successor in the event that Brexit was passed, as it was obvious that Cameron would quit if the referendum won. (Did I mention that I am generally a cynic?)

    At this juncture, it would appear that the EU leadership is putting up a fight so that the dialog in the UK gets moved instead to the anti-Brexit parliamentary majority. Negotiating with the Tories only empowers them, so it’s best at this point to push back hard and to give them no quarter.

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  63. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @michael reynolds: None taken. Every German who spends time outside Germany gets a pretty good idea of our standing :D.

    On the other hand I find it endlessly funny that when Germany keeps spending on other countries but insists on having some end to it on the radar it’s “German hegemony” and “proof of German arrogance”.

    When Farange tours the UK with a bus plastered with “let’s keep British money in Britain instead sending it to foreigners” it’s an example of British democratic excellence and their plucky resistance to the man :P.

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  64. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    Thank you.

    @michael reynolds:

    And Michael’s arguing with the Strawman Liberal again.

    This was a good howler too.

    The Left has nothing to offer on the subject but sentiment. I’d like to think maybe this and the rise of Trump will focus minds, but I doubt it.

    While the Right has nothing to offer on the subject but cold-eyed rationalism, right? Or maybe it’s just the sentiment that appeals more to you, the “Nuke Raqqa” sentiment.

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  65. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Dunno if Merkel is loved. I do know she is feared, and according to Machiavelli, that’s better.
    I think Europe will back her, because Europeans-especially the small nations-are committed to the idea of a united Europe. They have a lot of experience of what a disunited Europe is like and they don’t want to see that movie again. I think quietly, Obama will back her play, along with Clinton too.
    Still, I’ll defer to Ebenezer on all this. He’s the expert on Germany and Europe here.

    But if Boris is the new PM I don’t see how that happens.

    If he becomes PM, I bet it won’t be for long. We’ll see

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  66. michael reynolds says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    While the Right has nothing to offer on the subject but cold-eyed rationalism, right? Or maybe it’s just the sentiment that appeals more to you, the “Nuke Raqqa” sentiment.

    Spoken like another guy with no answer.

    If I ask what the Left has to say on immigration, it’s because I already know what the Right has to say, but I don’t know what the Left has as a counter. See how that works? Did no one teach you about the dialectic?

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  67. michael reynolds says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    We all carry the burden of history. It’s like when we say, “Don’t worry, we’ll stick with you to the end,” and everyone knows we’re already booking seats on the last helicopter out of town.

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  68. grumpy realist says:

    Looks like quite a lot of Brits are now running around trying to figure out what it was that they actually voted for.

    This was more a “cock-a-snook-at-the-elites” vote than anyone realized. Oh well. People gotta learn the hard way that voting simply to stick-it-to-the-man doesn’t mean that you’re going to end up with a great situation.

    It is pretty funny watching all the so-called “Conservatives” on this side of the pond jumping up and down in glee. I’m going to use their support of Brexit the next time they pull that “conservatism is prudent per Oakshott” line. Yeah, let’s rip up a 43-year marriage without a clue as to what we’re going to replace it with. That’s “prudence”.

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  69. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Reform but how? With what priorities? To what end? Don’t we need to have some clarity on that? Are we allowing immigration because we need workers? Are we doing it to benefit the people of Mexico or Syria? What are we doing and why?

    What I get from people when I ask this is a bunch of mush or random anger.

    Look, part of the reason Remain failed was that they offered no vision of the future. It was all scare tactics and they didn’t work in the end. We on the Left have been getting by on the imbecility of the GOP. We define ourselves as Not-Those-Assholes. But we have stopped asking questions like what is the US, what are we about, what do we think we should become, what is the future like? How do we get from A to B? I love Hillary but she’s running as Not Trump, and I’m not seeing a lot of ‘future’ in her speeches.

    But when I ask my fellow liberals to talk about core definitional issues, or even complex political issues like immigration, what I get is, “Grrr, you must support Trump and be a KKK member!”

    Many long years ago when I first started coming here I was almost alone in warning that the GOP was increasingly a racist party. Many of the liberals now denouncing me as some closet Rightie denounced me then as ‘over the top.’ But I was right, as evidenced by the fact that even James now agrees with my original assessment.

    And I was right when I said that Merkel’s immigration action was going to make trouble across Europe and even the US.

    Not to say I’m always right, but I believe I’m right in warning that the intellectual weakness of Democrats is like leprosy that no one notices because the GOP cancer is so much worse. Their wrongness does not make us right. Their refusal to deal with reality does not mean that we are illusion-free. We are not doing our job when all we can do is compete to see who can pile the most calumny on Republicans.

    We have got to figure out where we are going as a party, independent of the Republicans. Where do we stand? What do we want? How are we going to make life better? And if all our answers are, “Well, we won’t do this bad thing like Repubs,” then we have a problem.

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  70. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    It is pretty funny watching all the so-called “Conservatives” on this side of the pond jumping up and down in glee. I’m going to use their support of Brexit the next time they pull that “conservatism is prudent per Oakshott” line.

    Yeah, one of my weirdest takes from reading TAC is the extent to which teenage glee about people being assholes has taken root even on the serious, christian/realist side of conservatism.

    As long as it hits the right people (political correctness, “elites”), you have distinguished people in three-piece suits behaving like spoilt internet teenagers. I mean I can’t be the only one who finds it a mite bit disturbing when a 50-something with a six-figure salary nearly salivates at the possibility of a student being expelled days from graduation for facilitating a sit-in in the administrative building.

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  71. @michael reynolds:

    Reform but how? With what priorities? To what end? Don’t we need to have some clarity on that? Are we allowing immigration because we need workers? Are we doing it to benefit the people of Mexico or Syria? What are we doing and why?

    Well, I would say that (in no particular order):

    a) We need a policy regime that recognizes that there is a flow of labor across the Southern border whether we like it or not (and that largely is beneficial, if one is objective about it) and therefore there needs to be policy about crossing, migrating, and allowing people to work in the US that actually incentivizes behavior that would allow the US government to know who is here.

    b) We need a policy that recognizes someone who was brought here as a small child and then grew up here (and only knows here) ought to be allowed to stay here.

    c) We need a policy that makes it easier to import needed labor, whether it be manual labor or software engineers.

    d) We need a policy regime that is not so byzantine that it takes years upon years for productive, contributing members of society to find a pathway to legal status.

    e) Yes, we need a way to adequately manage refugees. But you and I differ on how much of an issue that actually is. Last time I checked, we have admitted less than 1,300.

    f) If we are talking Mexican immigration (which tends to be the main issue) we need, at some point, to acknowledge, not only do we currently have a large Mexican-American population, but that a lot of those individual live in the US not because they came to the US to dilute our whiteness, but rather the US came to their ancestors in the late 1840s.

    FWIW, I am not trying to defend Hilary, the Democratic Establishment, or even “liberals”–I just know that while I am sure it is true that one rarely gets especially helpful, well thought out policy responses in the comments sections online, I think it is incorrect to state that no one, nowhere has coherent views on immigration.

    I do agree that much of public discourse is bereft of solid thinking. (And I will acknowledge that the above is just quick off the cuff stuff in between trying to get work done, so I am hardly extolling its high quality).

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  72. michael reynolds says:

    Part of what we saw with Brexit is a disconnect between the “elites” and a large section of the population. Cameron and his people simply did not know how to communicate with working people. And working people, feeling they’d been lied to once too often, rejected Cameron’s pleas.

    We’re seeing similar things here in the US – the GOP elite woke up one day to find they had lost their party to the mob. Democrats had a near-death experience with Bernie, and you began to see a racial and generational divide within Democrats. We’re like a bicycle – keep moving or fall over. We do not seem to know where we’re steering the bike and working people suspect we’re going to ride it right over them.

    We need a mission statement other than, “Let’s find another oppressed minority we can ‘help,'” or “Let’s find a new source of outrage.” This pudding has no theme. This story has no plot.

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  73. In re: elites v. mass: while I think that there is something to that dichotomy here, I would note that near 50-50 vote is telling us something beyond just elites v. mass.

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  74. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, the Dems haven’t had control of a house of Congress for over half a decade, so let’s not pretend that there’s been golden opportunities for progressive reform, and the left has just been silent. But looking at what has been proposed…

    Here’s the Schumer/Graham framework, written by Schumer, that had a chance before the 2010 elections: http://www.progressive.org/news/2013/07/183149/what-real-immigration-reform-would-look

    And of course the DREAM act was largely supported by progressives, and while it wasn’t comprehensive (is anyone holding out hope that our Congress can pass something comprehensive?) it was a damn good start. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_Act

    The center for american progress has been writing extensively on immigration reform…

    I dunno. It strikes me that your question might be too literal. That is, you are asking blog commentors to outline the loose-knit, loosely-defined “left” game plan in detail, and when they don’t, you see it as evidence that there has been no thought on the issue.

    From where I stand, the left was pushing fairly strongly for immigration reform, were shellacked in 2010, and haven’t been in a position to push for reform, legislatively, ever since. By that same token, the left hasn’t ever considered what to do about global warming.

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  75. grumpy realist says:

    Looks like at least some of the Brexit vote in Northern Ireland had a religious foundation.

    Sort of like how most of the Y2K hysteria in the US turns out to have had Rapturists behind it.

    We’re too stupid to live.

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  76. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    FWIW, I am not trying to defend Hilary, the Democratic Establishment, or even “liberals”–I just know that while I am sure it is true that one rarely gets especially helpful, well thought out policy responses in the comments sections online, I think it is incorrect to state that no one, nowhere has coherent views on immigration.

    There you go again. Saying things I want to say, only better, and before I do.

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  77. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I agree with all those specifics. Personally I think we’re exploiting Mexicans, not the other way around. We’ve had basically a massive reservation of cheap labor we can alternately use and demonize. Come work. . . get out! No, come back. . . and now get out! It’s testament to the amazing American capacity for self-justification.

    I think the Syrian refugee number is 2800 so far – which makes my point that it was silly to risk all immigration for a token gesture. But that cake is baked.

    My sticking point with Trumpian immigration policy came not on the Muslim ban but on the earlier threat to forcibly evict 11 million people. That’s not a policy, that’s a crime against humanity. It’s ethnic cleansing. Syrians are beside the point when we are threatening to send ICE into schools to drag children across the border.

    On immigration I would add something I think of as predatory or perhaps profit-seeking immigration. For example, when Hong Kong reverted to China I’d have thrown the doors open to Hong Kong entrepreneurs. But that’s a minor point.

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  78. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Any Scottish referendum will be 2 years down the road.

    That’s wishful thinking.

    Sturgeon announced that she was instructing Scottish government officials to draft fresh referendum legislation for Holyrood, only two years after her party lost the first independence vote in 2014, to ensure it could be held quickly if enough Scottish voters backed it.

    Sturgeon’s cabinet will meet in emergency session on Saturday morning at her official residence Bute House, and is expected to agree plans to put forward referendum legislation in September’s programme for government.

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  79. michael reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I only ask definitions from people who seem dead damn sure they know right and wrong and have extremely strong opinions on topics they’ve never spent 10 minutes thinking about. I don’t like tribalism on the Left, and I don’t like orthodoxies enforced by people who know fwck all about the topic.

    Besides, you’re one of the people I think is quite capable of offering a more nuanced view. There are others. But attempts to have interesting discussions are increasingly bogged down by heretic hunts. (Don’t say heretic hunts real fast.) Why should people interested in actual politics or policy leave the floor to people only capable of regurgitating the party line? We have our own jacks and bills. Can we not occasionally have adult conversation?

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  80. Andre Kenji says:

    The problem of immigration is that America is not only a country, is a continent. Marco Rubio was not being ludicrous when he said that “America” was an idea. It´s an idea that´s larger than the United States of America.

    My Grandparents came from Japan, not unlike the family of George Takei or Daniel Inoyue. The Jews that founded Manhattan first settled in Dutch Pernambuco. There are many people in Mexico that have American ancestors.

    Three of the Ten Largest cities in the United States have Spanish names, something like half of the country used to be a part of Mexico. There are large Transnational metropolitan areas in the border – San Diego/Tijuana is one of the largest metropolitan areas of both countries.

    There are large numbers of Americans that have relatives in Mexico and in the rest of the continent. You can´t simply build a wall to keep out something that´s an enormous part of the identity of the United States.

    I like to joke that Republicans don´t have a problem with immigrants from Latin America, they have a problem with Brown people coming from Latin America. But I also think that everyone on both sides of the continent ignores the fact that there is a continent called “America”. You can´t have countries without any kind of legitimate institutions in Central America and expect to keep these problems away with a wall or somekind of immigration policy..

    Immigration is just part of that.

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  81. michael reynolds says:

    @Davebo:

    Dude. Do you think I just pulled two years out of the air?

    NICOLA Sturgeon has put Scotland on course for a second referendum within the next two years and three months in a bid to achieve independence before the United Kingdom exits the European Union.

    The First Minister said a second Scottish independence referendum was now “highly likely” with Scotland facing withdrawal from the EU despite a strong Remain vote north of the border.

    And from the Guardian article you quote:

    Sturgeon was careful to avoid giving any guarantee, however, that a second referendum would be held, stressing that the challenges of leaving the UK were complex and still unclear because the UK-EU negotiations had not yet begun.

    The SNP would face significant economic, legal and political questions about leaving the UK. With the collapse in oil prices but high levels of public spending, it has a structural deficit of £15bn, and a weak economy hovering close to recession.

    It would need to strike a deal with London about paying off its share of the UK’s £1.6tn debt. It would also face losing Scotland’s share of the UK rebate, having to find the cash needed for Scotland’s contribution to the EU, and require the EU’s agreement on its currency. EU members may expect Scotland to join the euro.

    They’re talking about putting the legislation together by September, after which they’ll need to allow a year for politicking and organizing. And of course they’ll wait and see how it plays out between the UK and the EU.

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  82. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    On immigration I would add something I think of as predatory or perhaps profit-seeking immigration. For example, when Hong Kong reverted to China I’d have thrown the doors open to Hong Kong entrepreneurs.

    That opportunity passed well over 20 years ago once Honkey’s realized re-unification wasn’t the end of the world.

    Today someone from Hong Kong can travel freely to China while the Chinese require visa’s and face pretty stiff restrictions when visiting the SAR. And with around 30 years remaining on the clock for HK’s SAR status I don’t see much in the way of concern among them.

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  83. wr says:

    @MikeSJ: “The best explanation I can come up with for the Lefts worship of Diversity is for them it’s a religious belief.”

    Thanks for this. Now I know I never have to waste a second reading anything you write.

    Ta!

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  84. @michael reynolds:

    Personally I think we’re exploiting Mexicans, not the other way around. We’ve had basically a massive reservation of cheap labor we can alternately use and demonize. Come work. . . get out! No, come back. . . and now get out! It’s testament to the amazing American capacity for self-justification.

    I tend to agree with this. At a minimum it is absurd when some talk of Mexican immigrants as if they come here to suck resources without any acknowledgement of the economic benefits they create.

    My sticking point with Trumpian immigration policy came not on the Muslim ban but on the earlier threat to forcibly evict 11 million people. That’s not a policy, that’s a crime against humanity. It’s ethnic cleansing. Syrians are beside the point when we are threatening to send ICE into schools to drag children across the border.

    I concur: a crime against humanity and ethnic cleansing (not to mention economically stupid and fiscally irresponsible).

    The Syrian thing is, I think, a blip. But that is really a side discussion, in my opinion, to the larger issues of immigration policy.

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  85. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They’re talking about putting the legislation together by September, after which they’ll need to allow a year for politicking and organizing.

    What on earth makes you think that? This is a country that has replaced entire governments in less than 40 days!

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  86. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “There’s a rule in fiction writing (my gig) to the effect that character is first. Character drives everything.”

    And yet, somehow you haven’t noticed that just about all the leaders of the Brexit movement are liars, fools, crooks or poltroons.

    Look at the leader of UKIP. All the way through the campaign, he’s been lying about the huge amount of money Britain pays to the EU every day and claiming that once Britain is out, all that money goes to the National Health Service.

    Today? Those statements are no longer operative.

    And then you have Boris Johnson… and the late David Cameron…

    It’s like you coming here and saying you just hear this great new plan from Trump without ever noticing that he comes up with new promises every five seconds, never has a detail, and then abandons them in a flash.

    Yes, character is king. For some reason, though, you’ve decided that the only character that matters here is Merkel’s.

    Honestly, I don’t get it.

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  87. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “Here the Left is concerned about creating an underclass through guest worker programs and the like.”

    I assume you mean that the left is concerned that we DON’T create an underclass.

    Are you saying we should be creating an underclass?

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  88. Andre Kenji says:

    @Davebo:

    And with around 30 years remaining on the clock for HK’s SAR status I don’t see much in the way of concern among them.

    That´s a huge concern in Hong Kong. There is large opposition to the government of the PRC and there is all kinds of worries with the Chinese control of the island:

    http://www.scmp.com/topics/hong-kong-bookseller-disappearances

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  89. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “For example, when Hong Kong reverted to China I’d have thrown the doors open to Hong Kong entrepreneurs.”

    If you happened to speak to a Candian citizen of Vancouver, you might discover that this would not be as enormously popular an idea as you might think.

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  90. Guarneri says:

    @MikeSJ:

    GD xenophobic Trumpian Brits.

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  91. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s what Canada did and got a huge number of Chinese entrepreneurs.

    Having a whole bunch of non-WASPy entrepreneurs come to the US would really tick off a lot of people here, however.

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  92. Davebo says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    I can only say that it’s nothing like the uncertainty of the late 1980’s and that I haven’t seen the huge concern among my friends and extended family there during my recent visits.

    While certainly there has been opposition to the PRC for now they’ve lived up to the terms. Meddling over the elections was obviously a flash point but that’s a bit ironic being there had never been an election in Hong Kong before.

    The largest populace protests there have been more of the occupy nature.

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  93. JohnMcC says:

    @michael reynolds: @MikeSJ: Not David Brooks. David Frum. In my opinion, even worse.

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  94. MikeSJ says:

    @wr:

    I state this because religious belief is predicated on faith rather than evidence. Support for third world immigration driven diversity to me seems the same.

    No evidence to support the benefits, just blind faith that it is a correct policy. A hundred illiterate Somali’ Muslims are in all ways equal to a hundred Christian Chinese with advanced degree’s.

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  95. grumpy realist says:

    Whoopsie ding. It looks like even the head cheese was thinking more of this as political shadowboxing than anything real.

    Yup, the dog caught the car. Now what?

    (If nothing else, I hope this teaches people that a vote is a vote, even if you think it’s just a protest vote. Take responsibility for your actions, guys.)

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  96. wr says:

    @MikeSJ: “I state this because religious belief is predicated on faith rather than evidence. Support for third world immigration driven diversity to me seems the same.”

    The key phrase here being “seems to be,” which is the battle cry of someone who has never actually bothered to engage the arguments of those who don’t agree with him. It’s a way of shutting down discussion and shutting down your own brain.

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  97. Guarneri says:

    Hmmmmm. The end of the British finance industry, eh. Same argument made about adopting the euro….

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  98. Barry says:

    @grumpy realist: “I don’t think the Brits have as much negotiating power as you think they have. The rest of Europe is pretty annoyed with them at present and doesn’t seem to be interested in “renegotiating” anything–the powers-that-be are in fact looking to see if they can kick Britain out earlier than Britain was planning. They’re certainly not interested in getting involved in long-drawn-out negotiations. That’s done. The long-drawn-out negotiations were when they wanted to keep Britain in the EU.”

    There was a statement by the heads of the EU this morning to the effect that the UK government has now triggered Article 50.

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  99. MBunge says:

    @EddieInCA: I’m telling you that they don’t have the resources outside of Europe to fend for themselves any more.

    That may be the single greatest indictment of the EU I’ve ever read. It’s like you’re describing a Roach Motel. “Countries check in, but they don’t check out.”

    Mike

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  100. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: One of my managers and mentors taught me that when confronted with an ultimatum, it’s often desirable to pick “else” based on the notion that “if I’m not getting out of this ok, you’re not either.”

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  101. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JohnMcC: In fairness, I have to note that in the era of Donald Trump, David Frum has, at least seemingly, become wiser than he appeared before. In the case of this particular article, not so much, but in general, rabid idiocy seems to have moved farther down the line now.

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  102. Barry says:

    @Gustopher: “Given the length of time this will take, and the complexity of separating the economies, and the narrowness of the vote, I would not be surprised if the plan to implement the exit has another referendum to confirm the policy change.”

    Or the other way around – right now, there’s a massive uncertainty, and a lot of people want it resolved quickly.

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  103. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Fair enough. I do agree there has been an increase in knee-jerk liberalsim/tribalism thought recently. I think it coincides with the rise of Trump, and is fueled by the fact that our new standard bearer is just not all that great.

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  104. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Actually, Michael, if you use the Google, you’ll find Clinton has a detailed plan on many issues. Let me do it for you.

    Now the problem is that Hillary is up against a carnival barker who has the media practically at his beck and call and it’s hard for her to get her message out.But Clinton and the Democrats do have a plan and a program that goes beyond just sentiment.

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  105. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “I’m betting that Boris Johnson is like the dog who caught the car. He doesn’t have the faintest idea of what to do next. Meanwhile the Scots and the Northern Irish are considering their options.”

    On Balloon Juice a poster commented that this was a perfect example of the difference between tactics and strategy. The Leave campaign was tactically competent, but strategically – not incompetent, but not even aware of what would come next.

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  106. An Interested Party says:

    My gut instinct is Merkel’s disastrous decision allowing millions of ME migrants & refugees into Europe was the breaking point for many.

    More fallout from Bush’s disasters…how the world turns…

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  107. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “That may be the single greatest indictment of the EU I’ve ever read. It’s like you’re describing a Roach Motel. “Countries check in, but they don’t check out.””

    No, it’s pointing out the fact that the UK no longer has an empire.

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  108. Barry says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: “In fairness, I have to note that in the era of Donald Trump, David Frum has, at least seemingly, become wiser than he appeared before. ”

    He learns, but literally at one quarter of the rate of an average person.

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  109. Barry says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “In re: elites v. mass: while I think that there is something to that dichotomy here, I would note that near 50-50 vote is telling us something beyond just elites v. mass.”

    In addition, I believe that there were a whole bunch of billionaire press barons using their megaphones to support Brexit, and for some reason feeling that only lies would persuade people.

    Of coure the right has a lot of experience defining who is and who is not an ‘elite’.

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  110. MBunge says:

    @Barry: No, it’s pointing out the fact that the UK no longer has an empire.

    You don’t need an empire to be a functioning country. He’s saying that the economic infrastructure of Britain has declined so severely under the EU that they can’t survive without it.

    And I have to ask, is anyone else getting whiplash? How did we go from young people being unrealistic fools when it came to Bernie Sanders to being the source of all wisdom when it comes to the EU? Some of the comments from the Remain kids sound like they don’t understand the very concepts of democracy or self-government.

    Mike

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  111. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Well after reneging on the “we will fund the NHS” today apparently conservative MPs said that they also want to keep free movement of labour. In their opinion the vote was really about the location of political power centres , not immigration or social services funding 😀

    Seems like the classic conservative bait & switch. Dangle some pithy slogans before the rubes then use their votes to grab more power before shafting them 😛

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  112. stonetools says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:

    Color me shocked.

    This indicates to me that Boris Johnson was really more concerned with advancing his political career than in taking the UK out of the EU.
    I think there is still a chance that the UK remains in the end. I could see PM Johnson getting a few token concessions in negotiations with the EU, them proudly declaring victory and trumpeting that he had secured Britannia’s sovereignty without the need for Brexit. Now the racist core of the Tory support will see through this and cry foul, but everyone else will probably breathe a huge sigh of relief and go along with the climb down.

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  113. E neumann says:

    @michael reynolds:

    As a German-American I totally agree that Germany has incongruous EU policies. They should have forgiven Greek debt and given financial incentives for corporations to move to the poorest EU countries. The EU should have been slower to incorporate more Eastern block countries and been more restrictive with migrants.

    They have developed an unbalanced economy and an illegitimate bureaucracy. To the dissapointment of Poland the EU will probably degenerate to a modern Austro-Hungary.

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