Saturday, 25 June 2016

Likely Scenarios after the Brexit vote?

By Girish Menon

Now that a majority of Britons have voted to leave the EU, Nigel Farage has denied his claim to fund the NHS, David Cameron has resigned and the markets have fallen; so what happens next?

Scenario 1: The Status Quo

The Conservative party will elect a leader who will try to develop a national consensus on the EU. . S/he will then embark on negotiations with the EU and this time the spooked EU leaders will concede enough to make a difference. S/he will conduct another referendum in 1-2 years time and the UK will continue to be a part of the EU.

Scenario 2: The Nightmare

True Eurosceptics with strong neoliberal leanings will come to power. They will fan xenophobic forces to mask the budget cuts to public services. They will negotiate trade deals from a weak position, dilute workers' rights and help their rich funders convert England into another Russia.

Scenario 3: The Ideal

There will be intense and honest soul searching across the EU. A realisation will dawn that inequality is the major cause for the rise of fissiparous forces. The EU will become a transparent organisation with accountability. It will ensure a Universal and Unconditional Basic Income, Free Education, Free Health and subsidised Housing for all its citizens.

There could be many more scenarios which will be variations on the above themes. I hope the EU will choose scenario 3 but as a betting man I think it will choose scenario 1. The case for scenario 1 becomes stronger as the government is in no hurry to invoke Clause 50 which is the next step to start the Brexit negotiation and Boris Johnson appears subdued after the victory.

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