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UK votes to leave EU, markets reeling, Cameron resigns, Queen assumes control

The Financial Times  /   June 24, 2016

David Cameron is resigning as prime minister after Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum that has sent shockwaves across Europe and triggered financial market turmoil across the globe.

Cameron said he would resign because Britain needed “fresh leadership” to take it in the new direction chosen by voters. He will stay in office for the next few months “to steady the ship”, with the Conservative party leader choosing his successor by October.

“I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers the country to its next destination,” Cameron said outside 10 Downing Street.

Cameron’s hopes of securing a Remain vote evaporated as working-class voters turned out in huge numbers to deliver a stunning rebuke to the establishment and the status quo.

With all the votes counted, 51.9 per cent voted to sever Britain’s 43-year membership of the EU, 48.1 per cent to stay in.

As the scale of the uprising became clear, the pound dived to a 30-year low.

Bank stocks took a hammering, with Lloyds down 30 percent, Royal Bank of Scotland down 34 percent and Deutsche Bank falling 17 percent.

The Bank of England said it was monitoring market developments closely in conjunction with the Treasury and other central banks and would “take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability”.

S&P confirmed that the UK is likely to lose its final triple A credit rating.

Barometers of risk aversion for investors soared in value, with the 10-year US Treasury yield falling 25 basis points to 1.49 per cent, the lowest level since 2012. The German 10-year Bund yield fell 24bp to a record low of minus 0.14 per cent as periphery EU debt weakened sharply, with Italy’s 10-year yield up 30bp to 1.53 per cent.

US stock-index futures fell more than 5 percent as global equities slumped.

Shares in Japan declined more than 8 percent as the yen appreciated sharply against the pound and dollar. The pound was down about 14 per cent against the Japanese currency.

Eurosceptic parties were quick to draw inspiration. “Victory for liberty!” tweeted Marine Le Pen, France’s far-right leader. “We must now have the same referendum in France and other EU members.”

The Eurosceptic PVV party in the Netherlands also called for a referendum. “Great Britain has shown Europe the road to the future and liberation,” it said.

Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Bundestag foreign affairs committee and a senior member of chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, said the UK vote to leave was “the biggest catastrophe in the history of European integration”.

Cameron has promised to honor the verdict of the British people. Months and years of protracted exit negotiations with the EU lie ahead, but it remains to be seen whether the prime minister will survive to carry them out.

Cameron led a cross-party coalition for Remain, backed by Britain’s biggest companies, leading economists and trade union leaders, but swaths of the country simply ignored the warnings of the economic danger of Brexit.

Just over a week ago, the pound approached $1.40 to the dollar and then surged, peaking at $1.5018 as polls were released soon after voting ended, suggesting a Remain victory. The pound touched a low of $1.3224 on Friday.

During the post-Bretton Woods era of floating currencies, the pound has rarely spent time below $1.40 aside from the mid-1980s era of extreme US dollar strength.

Newcastle upon Tyne, which had been expected to be solidly for Remain, backed Britain’s continued EU membership by a margin of only 51-49. In nearby Sunderland, a traditional working-class city in the north-east, there was a resounding 61-39 majority for splitting from the EU.

London, Liverpool and Glasgow voted strongly for Remain, but in countless rural councils and towns across England — including many traditional Labour areas — there were strong votes for Leave. Sheffield, Nottingham and Coventry were among the cities voting for Brexit.

At dawn, as the victory for Leave became clear, Nigel Farage, the UK Independence party leader who has led the crusade against the EU, told cheering supporters: “Let June 23 go down in history as independence day.”

This was the third UK-wide referendum. The other two both produced a vote for the status quo: in 1975 Britain decided to stay in the EU and in 2011 it opted to stick with its first-past-the-post system of electing MPs.


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2 hours ago, Keith Pommerening said:

You have to give the British commoners much credit.  Vote for the status quo or vote for independence, liberty, and the right for self determination.  We can learn from their course correction.  Notice the big city types vote for dependence on government.  Just like here in Minnesota, we in fly-over-land have one hell of a time trying to keep our freedom from the suburbanites.  Have a talk show man that has made this point:  The closer you get to the worlds tallest buildings, the more screwed up things get.  Thanks,  Keith

Third vote to leave in 43 years, but don't fret, Obama is going over to talk some sense into the resigning PM and the Queen. Than Wonder Boy is off to Scotland to help their up coming re-vote on the same deal. 

Obama Defends European Union After Brexit Vote

President Barack Obama waves as he walks toward Marine One while departing from the South Lawn of the White House, June 23, in Washington, DC. President Obama is traveling to San Jose, California to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit on Friday. (Photo by )
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

by Charlie Spiering  24 Jun 2016

President Barack Obama reacted to the United Kingdom decision to exit the European Union, praising the globalist organization as an important force for change.

He celebrated the European Union as a political body that had “done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond.”

But Obama signaled respect for the United Kingdom’s decision, even though he visited London in April to urge the country to stay in the EU.

“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,” he adding that “the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring.”

Obama warned in April that the United States would put the UK in the "back of the line for trade agreements" if they decided to leave the EU. But he tried to call for global stability in spite of the shocking vote.

“The European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship with the United Kingdom to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world,” he said.

Obama is currently traveling in California, planning to deliver a speech on job ceation at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit later today


Edited by 41chevy


 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’


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After Voting to Leave, Brits Were Googling What the EU Is...

Leah Barkoukis
Leah Barkoukis    Washington Post online oped June 24, 2016
Seriously? After Voting to Leave, Brits Were Googling What the EU Is  

The UK made history on Thursday by voting to leave the European Union, but based on Google searches after polls closed, it seems many Brits had no idea what they were voting for.

At approximately 1 a.m. Eastern time, long after the last vote had been cast, Google Trends reported that searches for “what happens if we leave the EU” more than tripled.     

Moreover, the second most asked question in the UK after the referendum results came in was, “What is the EU?” Seriously.


"What is the EU?" is the second top UK question on the EU since the #EUEefresults  were officially announced  pic.twitter.com/1q4VAX3qcm

— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) June 24, 2016

And it seems some people woke up with a case of buyer’s remorse. "Even though I voted to leave, this morning I woke up and I just — the reality did actually hit me," one woman told  a local news station. "If I'd had the opportunity to vote again, it would be to stay."


If your country is voting on a major issue like the presidential election, it’s probably best to do all your research before you head to the polls. Just  my thought.     Paul

Edited by 41chevy
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 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’


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15 hours ago, mrsmackpaul said:

Hmmmmmmmmmmm seems some people like tell everyone else what to do reckon he should but stop trying threaten the rest of world and pull his head in

Maybe he needs to sort his own crap  in his own back yard before telling everyone else what to do this crap really gives me the jimmy brits 



You have little faith in the head dole bludger??

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 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’


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seems that a certain populace is not happy about the outcome and is now calling for a "do over"

this time they want not just simple majority, but 60%

Success is only a stones throw away.................................................................for a Palestinian

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The Iron Lady saw the EU for what it was, and wisely began in 1984 retracting the UK's footprint in the affair. Thanks to the UK "rebate" she demanded, the UK pays US$18.7 billion annually instead of US$26 billion.

Note that French president and primadonna Charles De Gaulle vetoed the UK's entrance into the EEC (European Economic Community) in 1963 and 1969. Only after he died (in 1970), was the UK admitted in 1973.

The EU's demised was posted on the wall in 2004 when it admitted 10 economically-troubled countries that did NOT qualify to be members.


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2 hours ago, 41chevy said:

You have little faith in the head dole bludger??

I dont have much faith any of the show anywhere these days even here none of them have any spine and need to constantly wipe their chins for all shit that dribbles out their mouths 

And as far as the UK and the EU go I couldnt really care the UK screwed the rest of the commonwealth all those years ago and caused untold financial hardship for the rest of the commonwealth all so a greedy few could screw the rest for a bit more money well its still hurting Australia today and goes to show your close allies arent really your friends and will bend you over and give the rough end of the pineapple  at a moments notice if big business tells them to 

But I think they maybe needed to think this thru a bit more before they voted 


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A respected government figure (one of the very few)..........calling a spade a spade.


CNBC  /  June 24, 2016

Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan says the U.K. voting to leave the European Union "is just the tip of the iceberg."

"This is the worst period, I recall since I've been in public service," Greenspan said.

"There's nothing like it, including the crisis — remember October 19th, 1987, when the Dow went down by a record amount 23 percent? That I thought was the bottom of all potential problems. This has a corrosive effect that will not go away."

The former Fed chairman said that the root of the "British problem is far more widespread."

He said the result of the referendum will "almost surely" lead to the Scottish National Party trying to "resurrect Scottish Independence."

Greenspan said the "euro currency is the immediate problem." While the euro and the euro zone were major steps in a movement toward European political integration, "it's failing," he said.

"Brexit is not the end of the set of problems, which I always thought were going to start with the euro because the euro is a very serious problem in that the southern part of the euro zone is being funded by the northern part and the European Central Bank," Greenspan said.

Even with that in mind, the European Central Bank is limited in what it can do because these fundamental problems like the stagnation of real incomes don't have easy solutions, Greenspan said.

"There's a certain amount that monetary policy can do, but our problem is fundamentally fiscal," he said, adding that this is true in the United States as well as "every major country in Europe."

Part of the problem is that the "developed countries are all aging very rapidly," which is leading to a higher ratio of government spending in the form of entitlements, Greenspan said.

The 90-year-old Greenspan presided over the Federal Reserve for 19 years, starting with the administration of President Ronald Reagan through that of George W. Bush.



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May promises to make Brexit ‘a success’

The Financial Times  /  July 11, 2016

New Tory leader to become PM on Wednesday after rout of Leave group

Theresa May will become Britain’s prime minister on Wednesday, promising to make a success of Brexit after she completed a dramatic rout of the rival Conservatives who led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU.

Mrs May, the 59-year-old home secretary, was part of the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, but now finds herself picking up the pieces after the last remaining pro-Brexit Tory leadership candidate threw in the towel.

Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister, announced at 12.15pm that she could not command the support of the party and abandoned a shortlived campaign that had been dogged by mis-steps and controversy.

Mrs Leadsom’s friends said she had been in tears over the weekend and felt “under attack” after suggesting in a newspaper article that she was better placed than Mrs May to become prime minister because she was a mother.

Her decision short-circuited a leadership contest only due to conclude on September 9 but the denouement reassured markets spooked by the leadership vacuum in Britain following the Brexit vote.

The FTSE 250 stock index, the most UK-centric of the main London equity benchmarks, was 2.5 per cent higher after the identity of the next prime minister became clear.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.9 per cent to a day-high of 6,654.59, led by strong gains in property-related stocks that have been hit hard since the vote for Brexit. Taylor Wimpey was the best single gainer, up 9.5 per cent.

Speaking outside the Houses of Parliament, in her first public comments since becoming PM-in-waiting, Mrs May said she was honoured and humbled.

Surrounded by those who will now be her MPs, she pointed to the need for strong leadership in what would be “difficult times”. Faced with uniting her party after a bitter referendum, she said: “Brexit means Brexit and we are going to make a success of it.”

But Mrs May has said she will not invoke the Article 50 EU exit clause this year, and could yet come under pressure from Eurosceptics to pull the trigger to formalise Brexit.

Mrs May will replace David Cameron in two days, once the formalities of the transition of power have been completed. Mr Cameron is set to chair his final cabinet meeting on Tuesday and hold a last Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons on Wednesday, before going to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation. Then Mrs May should head to the palace to “shake hands” and be formally invited to form a government.

The home secretary will be only the second woman to occupy Number 10, a quarter of a century after Margaret Thatcher’s tearful departure.

Pro-Brexit Tories had been confident they would inherit the party’s crown, but the ambitions of the campaign’s leaders have all been dashed in the tumultuous weeks that have followed the Leave vote. Boris Johnson, the former London mayor, had appeared set to be prime minister but was betrayed by Michael Gove, whose own leadership chances were thwarted when he finished a poor third in the ballot of Tory MPs. Mr Johnson had offered his support to Mrs Leadsom but has been low key in his backing in recent days.

Mr Johnson, Mr Gove, Mrs Leadsom and the other leading Tories who campaigned to leave the EU have all issued statements of support for Mrs May.

Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee, announced that the leadership contest would be halted and that Mrs May would become party leader and prime minister without a ballot of members.

Mr Johnson and Mr Gove are likely to be offered jobs in a May cabinet, while her old ally Philip Hammond, foreign secretary and a former businessman, has been mooted to replace George Osborne as chancellor.

Mrs May launched her campaign to become prime minister in Birmingham on Monday with a promise to preside over a more responsible form of capitalism, tackling boardroom excess and predatory corporate takeovers.

In a series of criticisms of Mr Osborne’s tenure at the Treasury, Mrs May said he had neglected productivity problems. She suggested that government-backed project bonds could be used to boost infrastructure.

She called for a “proper industrial strategy” and a plan to develop all of Britain’s great cities, implying the chancellor had concentrated on boosting “one or even two of our great regional cities” — a reference to his focus on Manchester.

Ms May also called for the government to take more powers to block predatory takeovers of important companies — citing Pfizer’s failed bid for AstraZeneca — and made another promise to tackle corporate tax evasion.

Her speech made it clear that she saw high executive pay, irresponsible corporate behaviour and a widening gap between London and the rest of the country as significant factors in the Leave vote.

“If you’re from an ordinary, working-class family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realise,” she said in an address reminiscent of some of the rhetoric of Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, before the 2015 election.

But as she finished her launch speech it was already emerging that Andrea Leadsom was about to hand the keys of Number 10 to her.

Mrs Leadsom said she had been inspired to run for the leadership in the “best interests of the country” and felt the UK had a “bright future” outside the EU. But she added that she did not have sufficient support to lead a strong government.

“A nine-week leadership campaign is highly undesirable,” she said. “A strong and unified government must move quickly to set out what an independent UK framework for business looks like.”

Within hours of Mrs Leadsom’s announcement and Mrs May’s accession, the Tories were facing calls from Labour and the Liberal Democrats for a snap general election.

Mrs May said she will not hold an early election to seek a new mandate but will continue as prime minister until the next scheduled poll in 2020.

Jon Trickett, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said there would be a “coronation” of an unelected prime minister.

“It is crucial, given the instability caused by the Brexit vote, that the country has a democratically elected prime minister,” he said. “I am now putting the whole of the party on a general election footing.”

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said it was “inconceivable” that Mrs May should be crowned without winning an election in her own party — “let alone the country”.

“There must be an election. The Conservatives must not be allowed to ignore the electorate. Their mandate is shattered and lies in ruins,” he said. “Britain deserves better than this Tory stitch-up. May has not set out an agenda, and has no right to govern. She has not won an election and the public must have their say.”



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  • 4 months later...

Associated Press  /  May 15, 2016

Former London mayor and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson sparked fury Sunday after he compared the European Union (EU) to Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Johnson made his remarks in an article in the Sunday Telegraph in which he warned 'that while bureaucrats in Brussels are using "different methods" from the Nazi dictator, they share the aim of unifying Europe under one authority'.

Johnson said that the past 2,000 years of European history had been characterized by repeated attempts to unify Europe under a single government.

He says the EU's "disastrous" failures have fuelled tensions between member states and allowed Germany to grow in power, "take over" the Italian economy and "destroy" Greece.

"Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.”

“But fundamentally what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe."

"There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void."

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Trump's first UK post-election interview: Brexit a 'great thing'

The Guardian  /  January 15, 2017

US president-elect tells Michael Gove that Britain voted to leave EU because people ‘want their own identity’

Donald Trump has pledged to secure a rapid trade agreement with Britain and offered to end sanctions against Russia as he predicted that leaving the European Union would be a “great thing” for the UK.

In an interview with the Times, the US president-elect said people voted for Brexit because they “want their own identity”. He also used the interview to signal his desire for a new arms reduction agreement with Russia saying the numbers of nuclear weapons should be “reduced very substantially”.

In contrast to Barack Obama, who said Britain would be at the “back of the queue” when it came to a trade deal with the US, Trump made clear it would be a priority for his administration. “We’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides,” he said.

He made clear that – unlike his predecessor who urged British voters to back remain – he welcomed last June’s referendum vote. “People, countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity,” he said. “Brexit is going to end up being a great thing.”

Despite having prompted fears of a new arms race last year when he said the US needed to “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear capability, Trump indicated he would like to strike a new nuclear deal with Russia. “For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it,” he said.

The president-elect – who will be inaugurated on Friday – also spoke of his belief that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had made an error when she opened Germany’s doors to migrants. “I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals,” he said.

Trump said he wanted nuclear weapons arsenals of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers – the United States and Russia – to be “reduced very substantially”.

“They have sanctions on Russia – let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it,” Trump was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Trump also criticised Russia for its intervention in the Syrian civil war, describing it as “a very bad thing” that had led to a “terrible humanitarian situation,” according to the Times.

He said that he would appoint Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to broker a Middle East peace deal, urged Britain to veto any new UN security council resolution critical of Israel and repeated his criticism of Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said Nato was obsolete because it had not provided a defence against terrorist attacks but that the military alliance was still very important to him. “I took such heat, when I said Nato was obsolete,” Trump told the newspaper. “It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of [terrorism]. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right.”

Trump added that many Nato members were not paying their fair share for US protection. “A lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States,” Trump said. “With that being said, Nato is very important to me. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much.”

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Will Trump Rescue Theresa May?

Matt Purple, The National Interest  /  January 26, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May touched down in America on Thursday and spoke at a Republican retreat in Philadelphia. How would she react to Donald Trump? She offered accolades for his election, pledged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him in fighting radical Islam, and agreed that Europe needed to pull its weight within the NATO alliance. Yet she also contradicted his nationalism, touting Britain’s overseas humanitarian aid and reiterating her intention to become “even more global and internationalist in action and in spirit.” It was a tightrope of a speech and her upcoming huddle with Trump will have to be just as carefully balanced, given the single word that underscores all of this: “Brexit.”

May is often compared to Margaret Thatcher. It’s a clunky analogy—the prime minister’s preference for conservatism lite has more in common with John Major—but the similarities are still there: both are Tory women, both have imperturbable demeanours, both regularly batter their hapless Labour counterparts in Parliament. On this, though, the comparison falls apart: whereas Thatcher came to office able to define her own circumstances, turning the British ship of state as she saw fit, May’s job has been largely defined by forces beyond her control. The bulging Brexit portfolio was dropped in her lap by the British people, who voted “out,” and by her predecessor David Cameron, who called the referendum and then skedaddled when it didn’t go his way. Leaving the EU is consequently her primary concern. It is also her secondary concern and her tertiary concern. Its success or failure will define her premiership.

In a speech earlier this month, more candid than the one she gave in Philadelphia, May acknowledged that the most likely outcome for Britain was a “hard Brexit,” crashing out of the EU’s free-trade single market. This is probably realistic: the European Union can’t let Britain slip away without leaving a scar first, lest they empower nationalists in other countries. That means May needs to start laying the groundwork for trade agreements with other nations, especially Anglophone ones, to compensate for whatever post-Brexit trade impediments the EU throws up. New Zealand and Australia have both expressed interest, but the United States, the world’s largest economy and the UK’s top national trading partner, is the crown jewel. A strong bilateral relationship with America, free of any lingering post-Blair hangovers, is a necessity for Britain.

I rather doubt the polished May is particularly keen on Trump’s brand of politicking and I’d bet money that she winced when he referred to her recently as “my Maggie.” And yet, in a perverse way, Trump is valuable to May. The European Union has indicated it intends to take a very hard line indeed toward the UK during the Brexit talks. Brussels has appointed to its negotiating team ruthless operators like Martin Selmayr and hardline federalists like Guy Verhofstadt. In Trump, May will have an invisible bully in her corner, one who snarls with contempt for the EU, one who clinched the most powerful job on earth by waving the same banner of populism that now threatens European elites. There is approximately zero chance that Trump will let the boys in Brussels sway him out of prepping a trade deal with Britain, an assurance that May needs.

The devil will be in the details of that trade deal. The United States and United Kingdom share a language, true, but there are still plenty of divergences in the two nations’ policies, over the environment (Britain is more committed to renewable energy than America), health care (open market access for the United States could draw cries of NHS privatization from May’s Labour opponents), agriculture (the use of growth hormones in meat is illegal in Britain), and financial services (the UK will want its powerful City of London advantaged). There’s also the matter of timing. Britain is forbidden from formally negotiating trade deals until it’s free from the EU, which lessens the pressure May and Trump can apply on Brussels.

But something else is becoming clear: the Brexit negotiations aren’t between a slingshot-deprived David and a club-thumping Goliath, as many EU elites would like to portray it. In order for the European Union to effectively punish Britain—which is the objective, make no mistake—it has to turn the UK into an isolated hostage, walling it off from the rest of the planet and slamming it with tariffs.

In our globalized and open world, that simply isn’t possible. With the United States still a heavyweight, China rising in the east, and Europe’s own economies expanding at a glacial pace, Britain has plenty of attractive alternatives to pursue. London can also retaliate against any punitive actions taken by the EU. May, in her Brexit speech, warned that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal” and hinted that her Conservative government could drastically lower UK taxes to poach business from the continent. For France, where GDP growth is anemic, and Germany, already timorous over Brexit denting its exports, that’s a resonant threat indeed.

Trump might be a difficult partner, but it could be that he helps May make a success out of Brexit yet.


"The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene."

British Prime Minister Theresa May



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  • 4 months later...

May clings to power as Tories threaten to split over Brexit

The Financial Times  /  June 9, 2017

Theresa May was clinging to power last night after her gamble on an early election went disastrously wrong and pro-EU MPs prepared to pounce on her weakness to try to stop the prime minister pursuing a “hard Brexit”.

Mrs May was humiliated at the polls as UK voters refused to give her the “strong mandate” she sought to negotiate a divorce from the EU, leaving her scrambling to form a government with 10 pro-British MPs from a Northern Ireland party and facing a new Tory civil war on Europe.

The prime minister believed that she could crush Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn in a seven-week election campaign, but she ended up losing seats and securing just 318, eight short of the 326 needed for an outright Commons majority and 12 fewer than the outgoing parliament.

In a sign of her weakness, Mrs May left her most senior ministers in their jobs rather than risk making new enemies, amid speculation that she could face a leadership challenge later in the year.

Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer whom she repeatedly failed to back during the election campaign, remained atop the Treasury, while home secretary Amber Rudd, foreign secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit secretary David Davis and defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon stayed in post.

The hung parliament has thrown the already-fraught Brexit process into question, with one minister saying that Mrs May will now find it impossible to push through a mountain of legislation needed to smooth Britain’s exit. “In practical terms, Brexit is dead,” the minister said.

Pro-EU Conservatives seized on Mrs May’s weakness to argue that she must now pursue a business-friendly “soft Brexit” which would keep Britain in the EU’s common market and customs union.

Greg Clark, the pro-Remain business secretary, summoned leading business groups to co-ordinate a push for a softer Brexit, according to those at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader celebrating a 12-seat gain for the Conservatives north of the border, called on Mrs May to pursue “an open Brexit” that “puts our country’s economic growth first”.

Ms Davidson said that Mrs May should listen to “other parties in parliament” about the best way forward, suggesting that Scottish Tories might make common cause with Labour, the Scottish National party and Liberal Democrats who want to minimise the rupture with the EU.

Mrs May must also deal with her new Northern Irish allies, the rightwing Democratic Unionist party, which backed Brexit but has urged remaining in the EU’s customs union to maintain cross-border trade with the Republic of Ireland.

But John Redwood, the veteran Tory Eurosceptic, pointed out that both Labour and Conservatives had ruled out staying in the single market, a sign the Conservatives were once again threatening to fracture over Europe.

“We were honest with the British people and there is no option to stay in the single market without accepting all of the European laws, the superiority of the European Court of Justice, the freedom of movement and the budget contributions,” Mr Redwood said.

Mr Johnson, who abandoned a challenge to Mrs May last year, was said by Tory MPs to be on leadership “manoeuvres”; his supporters said it would be wrong to launch a leadership bid now, but one said it was hard to see how Mrs May would “pull this off” in the medium term.

The prime minister arrived back at Number 10 on Friday afternoon after an audience with the Queen, claiming that she was best able to provide “certainty”, but making no mention of her disappearing majority.

Markets are sceptical that Mrs May can govern effectively. After falling sharply on Thursday night when an initial exit poll showed a hung parliament was likely, the pound remained below $1.28 throughout the London trading day, finishing down 1.7 per cent to $1.2737.

Nomura foreign exchange analyst Jordan Rochester noted the pound had not fallen lower during the uncertain day, a sign it has reached a new level of support because of the likelihood of a “soft” Brexit in divorce negotiations with the EU.


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On 6/10/2017 at 5:49 PM, kscarbel2 said:

BC, this is your "neck of the woods". Could you explain what is happening back home?

totally stumps me why she called an election with three years left in her term... gave the labour party a chance to exploit the "Brexit remorse" factor and they came up with a favourable platform that brought the young voters out... and now Boris is sniffing around should the party give her the boot from the PM job...

we've got the same pantomime going on here in BC...

the world's gone barmy...!!!!

BC Mack

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