Desmond Lachman’s interesting and knowledgeable article offers a pessimistic view of Britain’s—and America’s—prospects after Brexit. Some might be persuaded, but not all. Here is why it is still in Britain’s interests to vote to leave the EU.
Voting to leave would “ratchet up the rhetoric against globalization.” Not exactly. Nobody is arguing against global trade. A frequent point made by the Leave campaign is that leaving the parochial EU cartel would allow Britain to sign Free Trade Agreements with faster-growing economies all around the world. Globalization in the conventional sense is not the issue. Rather, the objection is to the “globalization” of government: the EU is taking decisions ever further away from the British parliament, in contempt of national democracy. America would never consent to having its laws made overseas by officials it had neither elected nor even heard of. Why should Britain?
“A vote to leave [the EU] would be to take a leap into the dark.” Another view is that leaving would arguably be more sensible for Britain’s stability. It is an illusion that the EU is a stable organisation. We have recently witnessed Euro crises and successive Eurozone bailouts. Some of the supposedly more robust Eurozone countries still have vulnerable or stagnant economies. The continent faces an ever increasing number of migrants from the Middle East, and there is a realistic threat of Turkey joining the EU and being politically linked with Britain. Voting to remain is therefore certainly not voting for stability. The supposed “leap in the dark” of leaving would in fact be a return to the known for a country as important and dynamic as Britain, no longer shackled to a volatile and proportionally shrinking trade bloc that insists on overruling British law.
The EU “is highly unlikely to readily grant the United Kingdom favorable terms.” This would be irrational of the EU, to say the least. Britain has a massive (and rising) trade deficit with the EU – why would they not want to maintain free trade? Withdrawal from the EU does not equal loss of trade or renouncing membership of EFTA. Influential European figures, and even the “Remain” campaign in Britain, have denied there will be any such change. Businesses have denied they will treat the UK any differently post-Brexit. Prophecies of economic meltdown are exaggerated.
“Important parts of the City of London might be relocating to European capitals upon loss of their ‘financial passport’ to the European market.” The key word here is “might.” There’s no good reason to suppose Britain would lose this “financial passport.” Britain is already not part of the monetary union, so there would essentially be no change to the City’s position provided free trade was maintained, which is in the EU’s interests.