My wife is Swiss so I tend to notice Swiss news. The EU and Switzerland have been fighting lately, with this update today, the Swiss banning EU stock exchanges in retaliation for the EU locking Switzerland out of its exchanges: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/06/24/swiss-ban-eu-stock-exchanges-row-brussels-escalates/
The Swiss are a small nation compared to the UK, France or Germany, but they seem to do a hell of a lot with few people: banks, CERN, hosting the Global Economic Forum and acting as a neutral base for very many international negotiations, as well as being famous for chocolate, coffee, coffee machines, cheese, fondues, steel, numerous high tech industries, as well as their winter sports prowess, scenery….. And now they’re falling out with the EU, for the severalth time. So I wonder, when we leave the EU, and are making strategic alliances with other nations of compatible cultural values (strong work ethic, freedom, tolerance of others, democracy) with whom we can do great things, Switzerland ought to be pretty high on our natural allies list. Norway also has a not-quite-perfect arrangement with the EU, so they too would make a good nation to invite to a new economic alliance. So, the UK, Norway and Switzerland potentially forming a new Common Market, you know, just like that thing that formed ages ago that everyone wanted to be in, before the idiots-in-residence decided to force us all into a United States of Europe and eradicate democracy.
Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, probably Finland but I don’t know Finland well (Belgium, who cares?) would also be very tempted to say goodbye to the EU and join us. That would leave Germany to pay for everyone else, and various surveys have suggested most Germans would be happy to leave the EU even before that, which is why they don’t get asked. The French are the same, their leaders boasting about how clever they are not offering a referendum because they’d get the wrong answer, being even more exity than the Brits. But the pressures would increase too far if these other countries were leaving and joining a better club. So given a few years of the EU heading down hill and the grass on the other side getting greener and greener, the EU might not be able to keep any of its Northern countries.
The new Eastern countries have mixed approaches to life. Some have a very strong work ethic, encouraging hard work and risk-taking to get a better life, and they might well form their own block, or join the new one. The others are more similar to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, and would likely join with them and possibly Turkey too, to make a less prosperous Southern Union. In fact, France might find it hard to decide which of the two to join, the Northern or Southern Unions.
Every time I see another news headline about internal EU problems, relative economic decline, shutting of borders and a more aggressive attitude by un-elected bureaucrats toward forcing a United States of Europe, this end game looks more and more likely. It’s what I predicted before the referendum, and I have even more reason to think that way now.
The EU will die, maybe over 10, 15, 20 years tops. By 2050 we will have some sort of Northern Union and Southern Union, perhaps an Eastern Union too, or they might just divide between the other two. Brexit is just the first domino in the line.
Last one out, turn off the lights.
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