Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit Surprise

Brexit Surprise

by Stephen Lendman

Polls predicted a close vote. London bookmakers put odds strongly against Brexit. State controlled BBC and other major UK media one-sidedly promoted remaining in the EU, suggesting disaster otherwise.

The final vote, announced early Friday morning, was leave 51.9%, stay 48.1%. Turnout was 71.8%, 30 million Brits voting, the highest electoral participation rate since 1992.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage hailed what he called Britain’s “independence day.” The Tory-led remain camp called it a “catastrophe.”

Farage called for Cameron’s immediate replacement, saying “(w)e have to have a Brexit prime minister.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty should be invoked straightaway, the legally binding mechanism for permitting the lengthy Brexit process to begin. A previous article explained. 

In the cold light of day, nothing so far changed or likely will - despite a hugely negative market reaction, including sterling plunging to a 30-year low.

The Bank of England said it’s working with other central banks to preserve financial stability as markets plunged following the Brexit vote.

ECB president Mario Draghi earlier said he was “ready for all contingencies.” UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he’ll resign in October.

“I will do everything I can…to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he announced. 

In my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.”

A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister, and I think it's right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU.”

Former Tory London mayor Boris Johnson reportedly wants his job. Claims about a historic divorce, Britain in “unchartered territory” are wildly exaggerated. 

Thursday’s vote was non-binding. Parliament alone has final say on Brexit or remaining in the EU - the latter extremely likely as things settle down in the weeks and months ahead.

Invoking Article 50 begins the legal process for Brexit, a lengthy procedure lasting up to two years maximum unless extended by unanimous agreement.

Money-controlled special interests will decide what happens ahead, not a popular majority calling for Brexit. Ordinary people have no say over affairs of state. Believing otherwise is foolhardy. 

Odds strongly favor Britain remaining in the EU. Rupturing the union is unlikely in the cards.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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