The Brexit vote has exposed (not caused) the bankruptcy of the entire western financial system, but also the political bankruptcy of the Blair/Cameron era of the British Empire.
Cameron has resigned, but won’t leave for at least four months, and Britain won’t file the “Article 50” required to activate the rewithdrawal from the EU until after the new PM takes over.
The Blairites in the Labour Party have unleashed a blitz against Jeremy Corbyn, demanding that he resign for not having campaigned hard enough for staying in the EU. Since the vote on Brexit, 21 members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet have resigned (out of nearly 50), following Corbyn’s dumping shadow Foreign Minister Hillary Benn, who openly denounced Corbyn over his role in the vote. Corbyn refused to resign, saying that only an election within the Labour Party national membership could replace him, and that he would run in any such election.
Tony Blair, himself, is thoroughly distraught. In a June 24 New York Times op-ed, he says the vote is the result of anti-immigrant sentiment on the right and anti-banker sentiment on the left, concluding (correctly, if ironically) that “underlying it all is a shared hostility to globalization.”
In Scotland, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said that the regional legislature could vote to reject the Brexit (although they would be overridden by the national legislature); that Scotland may appeal to the EU to keep them in; and that a new independence referendum could be initiated. Northern Ireland may make similar moves.
The bank stock collapse continued Monday, with both Barclays and RBS falling the legal limit of 8%, causing a temporary freeze in trading, only to then fall further. Barclays is now down 32% since the Thursday vote, RSB by 31%, and Lloyds by 30%. The pound is down 12% since the vote.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s Telegraph column yesterday desperately called for a “soft-Brexit” in which the City of London “could still thrive” — namely, “by switching efforts to global bodies that increasingly set the rules above the EU level, such as the Financial Stability Board, the Basel Committee, or the WTO.” Bankers’ dictatorship, undisguised.