Brexit daily update, 26th June

Posted June 27, 2016 in politics  |  No Comments so far

Last Friday morning—a couple of days ago now—the UK voted to leave the EU. As you can imagine, it’s a time of turmoil. Things are moving so quickly that events from 24 hours ago can seem like musty memories from a bygone era. And most of the conversation is taking place on Twitter and Facebook, those ever-burning fires of our memories, so it’s essentially lost from history.

For this reason I’m going to try to keep a log of what’s going on here, in this blog, on which the pathetic paucity of new content ensures that old material will be perpetually discoverable.

Today has been Sunday. The main news story has been the self-immolation of the Labour shadow front bench which began after Hilary Benn was sacked at 3.30am after telling his boss that he had no faith in him. The resulting torrent of resignations has dominated the news cycle, giving rise to a fleeting meme.

Earlier today there was a flurry of interest in a piece that Nick Clegg had written a couple of days before “Independence Day” or “Black Friday” or whatever you want to call it (I call it “the fash crash”) which has come to seem eerily prescient:

As politicians bicker, you become increasingly unnerved by what’s happening in the economy, too: overseas investors take fright; money flows out of the country; our credit rating is slashed; the interest on our borrowing goes up; unemployment rises; sterling tanks; prices in the shops go up.
Nicola Sturgeon soon announces that preparations have started for a second independence referendum, claiming it is the only way to keep Scotland in the EU. And this time most commentators think that she will win.
Still, at least they will finally sort out our borders, right? After all, ending mass immigration was the Brexiteers biggest claim of all.
So imagine how you’ll feel when you discover that they don’t have a plan for that either?

Nick Clegg’s name hasn’t come up much in conversation since his party was annihilated in 2015 but this article was very much on the money. It works well because it’s very dry: the predictions are delivered without a side dressing of campaign rhetoric so the signal-to-noise ratio is high. It’s basically a list of future events with so close a resemblance to current reality that they almost seem mundane.

There has been a little sideshow too involving a Winnie the Pooh related meme that was doing the rounds. I can’t find the original tweet but here’s the image:




I hate how it combines a twee message (“why can’t we all just get along?”) with a lame attempt at ribaldry in the final sentence. Plus…

Someone came along later and fixed it.

There also seems to have been an upsurge in racist and xenophobic incidents since the referendum, as some Leave voters—unsurprisingly given the tenor of the campaign—begin to act on their perceived mandate to expel all foreigners. Reading about these incidents and then reading the below-the-line comments they attract provides you with an insight into an odious English racism which many thought consigned to history but is now slithering back into full daylight, no longer apologetic or subtextual but proud and emboldened. I’m not going to link to any of those commenters as they’re truly toxic but here are some of the incidents:

(this person is a professional journalist but of course he’s lying about it)

It’s too early for official statistics to confirm if it’s true but it makes sense given how the Leave campaign was constructed. And on that note, here’s some polling from Lord Ashcroft on how the attitudes of Remain voters compare to those of Leave voters:


But it’s all OK though because Boris Johnson has written a column in the Telegraph (he gets about £5,000 a pop for these) in which he tells us we’ll have all the benefits of being in the EU with none of the costs. Sounds too good to be true if you ask me. Here’s a more constructive proposal for getting out of this mess:

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