Brexit is something big for the UK, but not only. It is as well crucial for Europe, and for the rest of the world. Just today, as BBC said: “hundreds of thousands of people have marched in central London calling for another EU referendum, as MPs search for a way out of the Brexit impasse”
As proof of this importance, even in Spain, a TV channel (IntereconomiaTV) held a tertulia about the situation, implications, possible outcomes, and comments on the day after’ challenges and opportunities.
I had the pleasure to participate in such tertulia, and below you can find a summary of my intervention and opinions on the different Brexit aspects. The sound is in Spanish with subtitles in English (indulge me for any error on the translation). There are 10 short videos of 1 to 3 minutes each on main matters. I hope you will enjoy them. Comments as always are more than welcome.
Conductor Mr. Xavier Horcajo introduces the matter. The tertulia was titled as “The English Laberynth“. Quite appropriate.
2- More Europe or No-Europe
Brexit is here. The UK has always been navigating between not losing its influence and not losing its sovereignty. Now is leaving, but we shouldn’t blame them for all this mess. We should ask ourselves, the Europeans, what has been done not that well not to attract such a big partner. When World War II was over, one of the main objectives was to ensure this not to happen again. It was agreed that in order to obtain it, Germany shouldn’t be ruling again, and the UK should form part of the European Project. With Brexit, both premises will be unfulfilled.
After Brexit, one thing will be clear, unless Europe becomes really more Europe and form a United States of Europe, or Europe will disappear eventually. The reason is very easy to be understood. Europe is not alone. Other big players are fighting for their place in this new era. Only the stronger and more competitive will be a player in this game. The rest will only be consumers, and followers while they kept resources to spend. After that… irrelevance.
3- Why the UK has not been a full European member and what we have done wrong
It is true that the UK has always been one foot in, one foot out of the European Union. However, they always wanted to influence in European matters. What we have done wrong is not to know how to make the UK an integral part of the European project. There you can find some thoughts about it.
4-Costs and Rewards
For decades, the UK contribution to the European Union has been known as the “English check“. As you can imagine for a grown country, this was not just a cost. In exchange for this, the UK has been receiving a lot of inputs, some economics, some influentials, some of them to keep what they already had. Take a look at what we may think about it.
5- Non-quantifiable impacts
When we speak about numbers and economic impacts, we should not forget that there are plenty of other impacts that are if not bigger at least as important as the ones merely monetary. Rich British people pro-Brexit that leaves the UK for fiscal purposes. Sanitary cost hidden under health treatments abroad (15 million UK people visit Spain per year as tourists, some of them practicing what is called the Health Tourist Tour). Intellectual and brainpower restrictions. Professional careers, etc.
6 – Agriculture and Automobile will be the most impacted sector by Brexit
In particular, to Spain, Oliver Wyman highlights Automobile and Agriculture as the two biggest impacts due to Brexit. We are speaking about €2,500 million per year.
7 Would the “United” Kingdom survive to Brexit?
Brexit could have terrible consequences for the UK itself. Remember that in Scotland referendum whether to stay in the UK was held. Two things should be highlighted, it could be repeated in the future, and when the Brexit referendum was held, Remain was the winning result. This two combinations could be lethal. This not to say about the two other non-British kingdoms.
8- The “Day After”
Everybody talks about the damage to the mutual relationship. Taxes, tariffs, and all these goodies. I hope the day after people will think twice and minimize damages.
9- The opportunities
Europe has been of influence to the UK. From the Buckingham Palace anecdote of its electricity being controlled by a French company to carpets being removed from British airports by Spanish company Ferrovial. When a competitor is removed, opportunities are there, but only for the ones that put his money where his mouth is.