Brexit: Must Be Avoided

by: John M. Mason

Brexit will bring enormous economic harm to Great Britain and should be avoided if it can.

The modern world thrives through the spread of information and subsequent spread of resources, including human resources.

And, the spread of information will continue elsewhere in the world, whether or not Brexit takes place; it's just that Brexit will economically hurt the British more, especially the "populists".

Brexit was a bad play from the start.

If not for Brexit, David Cameron would have been prime minister for many more years.

Since the “remainers” were certain to win, Mr. Cameron had only thought about his program going forward and little else.

The “remainers” lost. Mr. Cameron resigned.

The “leavers” had no hopes of winning the referendum, and so the leaders of the “leavers” movement had no plan about how to proceed should they win.

The “leavers” won. Now, what were they to do.

In a typically British fashion, the leaders decided to “muddle” through by “kicking the can down the road” to see what might fall out of the effort.

No one knew which way to turn or what way to proceed.

This Brexit fiasco, to me, has been one of the biggest failures of leadership in the Western world, at least since the end of the Second World War.

And, after two years of “muddle,” the “leaders” in Parliament are still trying to figure out what Brexit is all about.

In my mind, any form of the British “leaving” the European Union will be bad for both England and Europe, although the worst of the deal will fall to the British. And, the people most hurt will be the common people who were most in favor of “leaving.”

There is only one solution to this dilemma, to my way of thinking, and that is to have a second referendum. I believe that a second referendum will end up with the “remainers” producing a convincing victory.

Remaining in the European Union will be to the benefit of both Great Britain and Europe and will result in preventing the “populists” from the losses they would experience if the British actually left the community.

To me, there is only one real issue in this whole battle and that is immigration. However, when this issue produces a referendum like the Brexit vote, all sorts of side issues get tangled up in the mix. The most specific one in the case of Great Britain is the Irish question.

The immigration issue is today’s “biggie” and is present in Europe, the United States and elsewhere in the world. Immigration is threatening to a lot of people.

The way the immigration issue has been treated in the past I believe has led to the current dilemma.

As readers of this post know, I am very much in favor of globalization. I believe that the spread of information is unstoppable, especially in today’s world, and will take place regardless of any efforts to restrain the spread.

I believe that this spread of information is good and, over time, works to the benefit of more and more and more people. For more on this viewpoint, I would recommend people read Steven Pinker’s recently published book, “Enlightenment Now.”

However, it is my feeling that those of us who believe this to be true have done a very, very poor job in relating this fact to people, especially those that are the most hurt by globalization, and I further believe that we have done a very poor job in creating programs and policies and educational efforts that will raise up those most hurt by globalization and help them to be fuller participants in the gains.

Unfortunately, we who believe in globalization have just argued that things will be better for those most hurt by the changes and let it go at that.

This has got to change.

As information spreads worldwide, resources spread worldwide, especially human resources. This is a part of the process.

Closing up this process, or attempting to stop the process, will only make things worse.

Economies blossom with the spread of information, with the spread of resources. Wealth increases and, as Mr. Pinker presents, benefits spread to more and more people, not only in terms of the wealth, itself but also in terms of living standards, health, education, and peace.

The problem with an effort like Brexit is that all the programs and policies that go into building a way to “leave” are negative, are constraining, and are very, very limiting. And, as the prime minister, Theresa May, and others have found out, negative things don’t fit well together, causing problem after problem to those attempting to create a coherent portfolio of programs and policies.

Again, as Mr. Pinker points out in his book, positive programs and policies tend to work together because they attempt to uplift and make people’s lives better. To me, the historical evidence of this statement is very clear. Building up results are “positive-sum games” that produce cumulative growth. Building constraints and restraints result in “negative-sum games” that result in a cumulative decline to players.

Great Britain and the European Union have done really great things together since the community was built. Both have benefited economically, culturally, and socially from the union. Both stand to lose a lot from a break-up.

This is why I believe that the British must have a second referendum. The quicker they get on to this effort, the better it will be for all concerned.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.