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Brexiteers Have Figured Out What Brexit Means, And It’s Not What The Prime Minister Says It Means

So in the great tradition of Brexit, they’re taking their balls and going home.
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England's Donald Trump: Pro-Leave, obviously.

England's Donald Trump: Pro-Leave, obviously.

Boris Johnson is right about one thing: Brexit is and always has been a dream. For its most ardent supporters, of whom Johnson rather belatedly became one, the dream was of a United Kingdom enjoying essentially all of the benefits of European Union membership without the pesky, sovereignty-denying costs of having to deal with Brussels bureaucrats. For its dumbfounded opponents, it was a nightmare of economic ruination and motorways backed up with lorries having to endure the vagaries of French customs officers and a Little England sinking into irrelevance, with Scotland and Northern Ireland and maybe London eventually slipping away and back into the warm embrace of the EU. British people of all stripes have had all kinds of dreams about Brexit, all of them united by their common fate: They have all been dashed.

Actually, then, Boris Johnson is right about two things: The Brexit dream is dying, which is to say Brexit is dying. And, in fairness, Johnson has done a lot of the killing. He complains that it is being “suffocated by needless self-doubt,” and a man who goes out in public looking like Boris Johnson does every day is not a man generally possessed of much self-doubt. Except, when more or less given the opportunity to try and make of Brexit that dream he speaks so fondly of, he punted, to Theresa May, who he now accuses of doing the suffocating a few hours after reportedly speaking “passionately in favor of making it work.” This is perhaps not surprising of a man who wrote two editorials in advance of revealing his position on Brexit, the one that got published backing it and the one still in his pocket rejecting it. His resignation, along with that of not-terribly-well-informed Brexit secretary David Davis, less than a year before the U.K.’s exit from the EU is set to become official, seems somewhat in the same vein: a vainglorious and self-aggrandizing move that appears to be in support of the Brexit dream, but one which actually places another suffocating pillow over the face of the dreamer.

But nevermind all that. Let’s make the almost certainly false assumptions that Theresa May is able to survive and see through the Brexit vision that united her party for all of two days. Surely, this would be great news for the great British financial services industry….

Speaking in a boisterous House of Commons, Mrs May defended the Brexit plan agreed on Friday, which would see the UK agreeing a "common rulebook" with the EU for trading in goods, but not services, after Brexit…. But she warned that if the EU did not engage with her plan, there was a "serious risk" of the UK leaving in March 2019 without a deal in a "disorderly" manner.

Under her proposal, a treaty would be signed committing the UK to "continued harmonisation" with EU rules - avoiding friction at the UK-EU border, including Northern Ireland.

Jamie Dimon, at least, has gotten that memo.

The several dozen employees—in JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, asset-and-wealth-management unit and corporate functions—have been asked to consider moving before the March 2019 Brexit deadline, according to the memo….

“Before asking other employees to consider relocating, we will wait for further political and regulatory clarity in line with our overall post Brexit strategy,” according to the memo. “The timing of these further moves is entirely dependent on whether an agreed transition arrangement is finally confirmed.”

In other words, everybody start packing and checking out schools in Paris, Madrid and Milan.

Boris Johnson tells PM she is suffocating Brexit ‘dream’ [BBC]
Boris Johnson Resigns as U.K. Foreign Secretary Over Brexit Discord [NYT]
David Davis resigns as Brexit secretary in blow to Theresa May [FT]
Theresa May faces Tory anger over soft Brexit proposal [Guardian]
JPMorgan Asks Several Dozen Staff to Move Due to Brexit [WSJ]


By Robert Sharp / englishpen (Simon Singh Press Conference) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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