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Old 05.02.2016, 16:27
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Because as the second largest net contributor to the EU budget, most of the other countries would rather the UK stayed in. Also it sounds rather undemocratic; Only Scottish residents were able to vote in their referendum as it was determining the destiny of the place where they live. Which in your case, is a non-EU state.
Oh I support their right to vote on it and I support their right to exit the union. But then I would support measures from the union to impose the same rules on the UK as the rest of the world when it comes to access to the internal EU markets. I don't think the "special rules for special countries" that the UK and Switzerland get are going to fly long term. It is nice while it lasts, but it is going to disappear. Non-homogeneous tax and legal regimes are not in the interest of big power blocks and thus I'd fully expect that at one point there'll be an ultimatum.

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The USA and China are Japan's biggest trading partners. Does that mean they have to have a political union to get along? Chinese judges interfering in US legal cases? The US dictating Japan's asylum policies?
That's entirely different. They are trading partners, but let's not forget that all three are much bigger economies than individual EU countries. You can't compare any of the three countries you mention to the UK (or any EU member). What you could compare it to is say a single US state. Let's say California. I'd argue that over the whole, the individual states in the US have greatly benefited from the union. Sure, some of them are net contributors to the federal budget, and some are net beneficiaries. However, the massive internal free market is undeniably an incredible boon and is rivaled only by the likes of China. It does require fairly close integration though, otherwise it just won't work.

UK has a very strongly service based economy concentrated strongly in London. I can tell you that plans are already being considered to relocate in case things start to turn sour. How long do you think the London miracle would last if the money starts flowing out? The London housing market is in a bubble even bigger than what was before 2008.

This is not about worst case scenarios here. Any prospect of instability is bad and so even if the UK can in the end negotiate individual agreements with EU members states after a Brexit, the benefit of these has to be weighed very carefully against the cost of destabilizing all the current business relationships. Many of these relationships exist because of favorable legal climate AND very good access to the mainland EU economies. If that access is jeopardized, or even just possibly jeopardized, big businesses will start looking at greener pastures.

I've been working in the financial industry for a number of years now. I don't claim to know how the world works, and I don't claim to be an expert on geopolitics or economics. It is all far too complex for any person on earth today to understand. However, I like to think that I have some insight into the industry and the only thing I can say for sure is that I haven't got the faintest clue as to what sort of impact a potential Brexit would have. People in finance get skittish when they don't know what to expect. Uncertainty is the ultimate enemy. Known bad news is no longer bad, it is only the question of solutions. Uncertainty is what kills you.

So here we have a situation where nobody really knows what can happen, so nobody can properly judge whether the cost of Brexit is going to be outweighed by the long term benefits. We can't even judge whether there are really going to be any benefits! We do know that UK and every European country are tiny in the global politics and they could have a much bigger voice if they stick together.

Europe needs to stay together to prosper. The combined economic potential of Europe is immense, if only we weren't a bunch of block headed, prideful and irrational nutjobs
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