The abduction of Europe -

The abduction of Europe

At midnight on January 31, Britain told the EU the last forgiveness.

The abduction of Europe

Three and a half years of torment ended. To describe in its entirety the drama of the disaster that fell on the heads of the British could only be subject to the brilliant pen of the great Shakespeare. "To be or not to be in the European Union?" - that’s how the crucial question for the country was posed. The answer to it turned out to be perhaps the most difficult in the entire stormy and multifaceted history of the United Kingdom.
The fateful day happened on Thursday, June 23, 2016, after holders of British passports lowered their ballots into the ballot boxes with the answer to the question whether they want to leave the EU or wish to stay in it. Judging by how local citizens reacted to the referendum on further EU membership, they did not show due seriousness and responsibility to their future. Maybe because they were busy with other things or too lazy to get to the polling station. It is also likely that few people would have thought that the question of whether or not to be in the EU would be decisive for the future of their country and for everyone personally. Which is understandable - the British lived in a single team with Europe by then almost 43 years. Simply put, this cohabitation was taken for granted.

But the impossible happened. The answer to the referendum was the decision of the majority of Albionians to withdraw from the European Union. 48.1% voted for the backlog, 51.9% voted for the exit.
The incident resembled a destructive earthquake. British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a shock and fell into despair: a similar outcome was not expected in the country's leadership. The owner of the office on Downing Street in a terrible dream could not have imagined that the British would vote for the Brexit. The referendum announced by him was supposed to only confirm the status quo of Great Britain as a powerful authoritative partner of the European Union - and nothing more. All that remained for the losing prime minister was to resign. Which he did immediately. Teresa May, who previously headed the Department of the Interior, drove into Cameron's place on the residence on Downing Street.

The reaction of the people was also impressive. The upcoming break with Europe did not fit into the head. Having met the next morning after the referendum my housemates and, later, my colleagues, I found myself in a circle of people who did not want to believe what had happened. And it happened that in one fateful night the country was fragmented into two irreconcilable camps - Europhiles and Europhobes. The familiar peaceful life has cracked. The confrontation between the parties designated by the referendum as “liveries” (immigrants from the EU) and “remainers” (remnants from the EU) has become a new and unexpectedly harsh reality for Britain.
More than three years after the referendum, recently resigned Speaker of the House of Commons of the British Parliament, John Birkow, will call this parliament’s decision to break with the European Union "the greatest foreign policy mistake of the entire post-war period." There is no doubt that millions would be subscribing to this verdict today.

“It is frightening to consider the extraordinary changes in the behavior of our nation that occurred after the referendum as a norm. We, being a strong, confident and reliable country, have turned into one that shows all the symptoms of extremely low self-esteem and a sincere fear of the state of politics throughout our continent, not experienced since the Cold War. No other country has benefited as much from our membership in a single market. Today we enjoy the relative prosperity in our country, which previous deer could wish for "- this assessment of Britain's membership of the EU has put in his article emerged in Britain in the wake of" brekzita "pro-European edition of The New European (" New European "). The decision to withdraw or remain in the European Union was called by the opponents of "Brexit" "the most significant moment in the history of our nation."

A logical question arises: how and why is Britain, the sixth largest economy in the world, a member of the largest free trade bloc, a country known to the whole world for its achievements in science, culture and business, came to a world that surprised the world to close its borders for Europe? Why was it so tempting for the British to leave the prestigious European club, with which they existed side by side in mutually beneficial cooperation for nearly half a century?
It is possible that the aplomb syndrome of the former empire worked, in whose vast possessions “the sun never set”. It is possible that Britain, which had no doubt in its abilities, considered that it would be more profitable for it to establish laws and make decisions, rather than get them from Brussels. It must be assumed that it worked in favor of “Brexit” and “approval” of Britain’s divorce from the European Union, received from the American president. Donald Trump, who is not too fond of Europe, seems to prefer to see the British "cousins" in his own, rather than in a European company. Moreover, for the British prime ministers, their special relations with the United States have always been a priority. Therefore, we can assume that the American vector was considered more important than the European vector.

As for ordinary Britons, they, apparently, are not too inclined to be friends with America at home, fearing that they will send chlorinated chickens from across the ocean, and will also make free British medicine paid. Although Trump on the possible privatization of the British National Health Service to this day has not made any sensational statements.

However, towards the big politics. Let us turn to the British people, who, under the banners of the European Union, have marched through thousands of demonstrations for the past three and a half years in cities and towns in the hope of stopping their divorce from Europe. Outside the walls of the parliament, dating back to the 13th century, meanwhile there were fierce battles between the ruling conservative party and the opposing opposition in the form of Labor, liberal democrats, greens and the Scottish National Party. In ancient Westminster, there were demands for a second referendum, a proposal for a “soft” compromise “Brexit,” as well as early parliamentary elections. Passion in the citadel of democracy often went wild for all conceivable norms of decent behavior, but the servants of the people were no longer up to the ceremony.
Brexit has given rise to precedents that yesterday seemed impossible. So, the allies in opposing the withdrawal from Europe were former irreconcilable political opponents. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who proclaimed the era of “new Labor” and headed for “cool Britain” during his premiership, stood shoulder to shoulder with former conservative Prime Minister John Major. At the pre-election rally on the eve of the general parliamentary election, Blair, without hiding his emotions, said: “There are five words that I would never have believed that I would say them:“ Thank the Lord for John Major. ”And he added:“ I appeal to John, to Michael Heseltine. For years I have been opposed to you, today it is an honor for me to stand next to you. "

Meanwhile, Europe, with which Britain divorced for the fourth year in a row, slowly but surely crawled to fatigue and despondency from the never-ending saga of Brexit. Jean-Claude Juncker, who resigned at the end of the year as president of the European Commission, scorning diplomatic ceremonies, bluntly stated: “If this does not happen, if Great Britain does not leave before the end of March, then we are in God's hands. And I believe that even God sometimes comes to the limit of his patience. "

To the limit of patience came, as one would expect, and British business. Economists were unanimous that leaving the European Union in the medium and long term would adversely affect the British economy. Experts agree that Brexit is more likely to cut real income per capita. Studies show that estimates of a possible reduction in GNP will range between 1.2-4.5%. Revenues for every Briton will also fall by 1-10%. These estimates differ depending on whether Britain goes to hard or soft "brexit". From an analysis leaked in January 2018 by the British government, it follows that the UK’s economic growth will “wither” by at least 2-8% over the 15 years since the Brexit. Again, depending on the exit scenario.
It is expected that after leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom will significantly lose in foreign trade. Studies by economists at the University of Cambridge showed that with a hard brexit, when Britain would have switched to WTO rules, only one third of all British exports to the European Union would become duty-free, while a quarter of exports would most likely come across high trade barriers.

Following a referendum on Britain's exit from the EU, an impressive number of companies have moved their assets, offices and business operations from Britain to continental Europe. By early April 2019, banks withdrew more than 1 trillion US dollars from Britain. Insurance companies transferred $ 130 billion from Britain. 269 companies of the banking and financial sector, running away from the Brexit, moved part of their business to foreign lands. The main destinations were Irish Dublin (30%), Luxembourg (18%), Frankfurt (12%), Paris (12%) and Amsterdam (10%).

Along with the departure of British capital to safe areas, companies began to flee from Foggy Albion. Billionaire James Dyson, a manufacturer of high-class vacuum cleaners, preferred Brexit Britain to distant Singapore. Goodbye was told to Sony by Britain, having relocated its headquarters to Amsterdam. Panasonic went there too. Partially, if not completely, such giants as Airbus, British Steel, Ford, Toyota, BMW, Honda, Philips, Rolls-Royce, Unilever evacuated their enterprises from Albion. The list of eminent resignees could be continued. However, a certain logic in the flight of companies and capital is obviously present: sitting on an awakened volcano, although it is a game of chance, is not safe.

Another headache fell on Britain - Scotland's officially declared intention to secede from the United Kingdom. The Scottish National Party, determined to lag behind in the European Union and won by a large margin in recent parliamentary elections, said Westminster was ready to hold a divorce referendum. Johnson replied categorically “no,” but the Scottish question remained hanging in the air.

Meanwhile, the very sad consequence of Brexit was the inevitable changes in the lives of people - both British and Europeans. All three and a half "Brexit" years, both the British themselves and the European citizens living in their country spent under high voltage, not knowing what they should expect from the "Brexit". 3.6 million Europeans, whose home was the Foggy Albion, and more than a million Britons who settled in Europe were held hostage to grandiose political upheavals. Pensioners from Britain, who moved to live their lives in the warm regions of Spain or Portugal, would no longer be able to urgently sell their homes and begin to equip life at home again. And Europeans who moved to Britain would have to urgently look for work in their "former" country, parting with friends, work and the usual way of life.

There are no hopes for the return of the United Kingdom to the European Union today and, perhaps, will not be in the coming decades. Unless a miracle happens. In the recent general parliamentary elections, Britain voted overwhelmingly for the pro-Brexit Conservative Party and its charismatic Prime Minister Boris Johnson. And therefore, thereby - for a divorce from Europe.

Source: Russian newspaper

31.01.2020 12:26:53
(Automatic translation)

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