Brexit, Briefly

The British exit from the European Union. It’s a thing that’s happening – or maybe not. Or maybe the United Kingdom is falling apart. There’s a lot going on, so let’s talk about Brexit, briefly. First: How’d we get here? In the UK, voters for UKIP—the UK Independence Party—
grew in number over the last few elections. Now, because the United Kingdom uses a terrible
first-past-the-post voting system, UKIP, rather than getting a proportional
number of seats in Parliament, largely drained votes from the Conservative Party. So, in the 2015 election, Conservatives promised to hold
an in-or-out referendum on the EU if they won, presumably to try and sway UKIP voters to their side. The Conservatives did win, in what was, by the way,
the most unrepresentative election in UK history— —thanks again First Past the Post,
click here for more details— and the promised referendum was scheduled. With huge voter turnout, Brexit won 52 to 48. So what happens next? Well, the EU has a law called Article 50
saying countries can exit. Basically it’s a “press here to leave” button. But the Conservative Prime Minister who promised
upon Brexit victory to press it immediately, instead resigned immediately,
leaving the UK politically doing nothing. There was talk of a second Brexit— “No-but-seriously-it-might-actually-happen-if-you-vote-for-it-this-one-is-legally-binding-Referendum”, or re-electing Parliament. But then the new UK Prime Minister was appointed
and she said that wouldn’t happen. Presumably the UK Parliament
now needs to pass a “Yes we are really pressing the Brexit button law”, but they seem to be in no rush. Meanwhile the EU wants the UK to get on with it,
but the UK wants to pre-decide all the details of what an independent
UK’s relationship with the EU would look like, but the EU doesn’t want to talk
until the UK actually leaves. Not surprising because talking before gives negotiating
advantage to the UK, and talking after to the EU, and since the EU can’t force the UK to press the button, there’s a sort of negotiating stalemate. Finally, because there’s really
no procedure for anything, the only correct answer to
“What happens next?” is… “Who knows!” We are standing in a fog with naught
but speculation, so… Speculation time! Acting as a Brexit bookie, I’m putting 15% odds
on the chance of Maximum Brexit occurring, where the UK is a fully independent nation, with total
control over her trade deals and immigration and laws. The UK is to the EU as Brazil is to the EU:
just another country. If that probability seems low, what with
the new pro-Brexit Prime Minister, and with the required going against
the will of the people and all, here’s my reasoning why.
Speculation the 1st: The Conservatives didn’t want the UK
to really leave the EU. Though they campaigned for the referendum,
they were officially neutral on the issue, and, I suspect, privately against. If you think the Conservatives are
the more business friendly party, the UK leaving the EU would be
bad news for many businesses that prefer larger economic blocs – like banks. Pre-2015 election,
the Conservatives probably thought citizens wouldn’t really vote for Brexit,
so they could safely gamble to sway UKIP voters, but again – surprise! – 52 to 48. Even the new prime minister,
who’s all “Brexit means Brexit”, was against it before she got her current job.
Speculation the 2nd: Some Brexiteers didn’t really want to win either.
The Brexit campaign admitted after winning, they have zero plans what to do, which sounds a lot like
“We never planned to win.” The leadership of UKIP resigned – an odd choice on
what should be a theoretical crowning moment of glory, and after the Conservative Prime Minister resigned, the
most prominent Brexiteers didn’t want to take the job. Funny, that. Also interesting to note:
the referendum was set up to have zero legal power, something all the parties agreed on before hand. It was essentially an opinion poll,
though not at all marketed that way to voters. All this is to speculate the majority of
people in power do not want Brexit to happen. To be clear, while governments could just totally
ignore the vote and still be technically correct, there’s no way that doesn’t look
horrifically undemocratic. But, while Brexit was sold on the idea
of a stronger independent Britain, the international markets and national
economy have strongly disagreed, and the geography of the vote have indicated
it might not be the whole of Britain leaving. After the vote, Scotland immediately said that
if the UK leaves the EU, Scotland isn’t coming. She voted to stay, so she will. If maximum Brexit occurs, I put 97% odds
on Scotland leaving the UK and staying with the EU. Add to that, if Scotland leaves, I give 45% odds
of Northern Ireland leaving as well, rejoining Ireland Ireland. And, crazy as it sounds,
if Scotland and Northern Ireland leave, I’ll actually put 5% odds
on London leaving England and becoming an independent city-state in the EU,
which would be kind of awesome, because who doesn’t love city-states? This would leave England and Wales on their own, and of course while it’s possible they’d do just fine –
there are plenty of comparable independent nations – the international markets have already said
“do not want” to just the UK leaving as a whole, so I wouldn’t bet on it being a rosy future, and it’s probably not something many Brexit voters
would have picked were it on the referendum. But even ignoring the breakup of the Union,
when thinking about the likelihood of Maximum Brexit, on one side are the majority of people
who voted for it, and on the other side are
the businesses and the politicians, even, I speculate,
many who pretend to be for it. The politics of power here is why
I give such low odds to maximum Brexit, and why I give 30% odds to the second option:
literally, nothing happens. The UK government plays the stalling game forever,
pretending to move forward while doing nothing. This politically tumultuous time becomes
a trivia fact for a future video about how the UK has been in the process
of “leaving” the EU for a hundred years, like when countries sometimes discover
they’re technically still at war because there’s an old declaration they forgot to annul. It’s not a great outcome, because governments and
businesses and people don’t like uncertainty, but never underestimate the human ability to
procrastinate on paperwork. Even Miss “Brexit means Brexit”
is also Miss “Mustn’t be too hasty” about actually pressing the Article 50 button. But the last option I think is the most likely: 55% odds on a non-Brexit Brexit. The European Union has many asterisks
and layers to her membership. The UK could leave the European Union, slide over into the European Economic Area,
and be technically correct that she’s left the EU. Actually, before this whole brouhaha,
the UK had arranged a deal with the EU to become more like an EEA member,
that was dropped once the referendum started, but that deal is lying on a table somewhere…
(just saying) This would be the most pure compromise,
leaving both sides… unhappy. Nothing Brexit voters actually
cared about would change: Immigration, EU membership fees and binding EU laws,
all this would remain the same. The only thing different would be the UK giving up
all her representatives in the EU Parliament, so she would have zero influence on EU law
she would still have to follow, which is not something pro-EU voters
probably wanted either. But nonetheless, I give the greatest odds
of this happening because nothing would change for businesses,
making them happy, and for politicians it’s a face-saving maneuver
to have “listened to the people” and to “leave” while doing neither and possibly avoiding
the breakup of the United Kingdom. Who wants to be prime minister during that? In conclusion: None of these outcomes are clean wins. The first is very probably the end of the United Kingdom, and goes against what seems to be
economic self-interest – but maybe not, who knows? – and the other to go against, like, the idea of democracy. The UK stands at a path that splits into many futures. Maybe the EU burns herself to the ground
due to all her problems, and “Wales-gland” rises from the ashes
a mighty phoenix. Maybe the UK gets the worst of everything;
maybe literally nothing changes. Which leads where? Which is the best?
It’s impossible to know. The UK can only stand in the fog,
speculate, and pick a path. Good luck, United Kingdom,
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to let them know that you came from this channel. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.
Place your bets.

100 Replies to “Brexit, Briefly”

  1. Hello British, I am pro EU and I am very happy that you will leave (hopefully). UK was never really part of EU. UK always voted against all proposal to improve the unification of the EU. We will not miss you.
    Soon or later you will want to reenter in the EU, and when it will happen, you will enter at the same conditions of all the other Countries, without all your unjustified privileges, which you got. Bye bye UK. EU doesn't need you.

    And I am very disappointed, that in 2019 you are still not out. After 46 years in the EU you still even don't know the 4 basic rules of the community. To get what you want (no free circulation of people), you can't keep the advantages of the single market. You are wasting time like children since 2016. Just exit and go.

  2. 2:44 Grey do your research. The government said they would implement what the people would decide. The vote was overruled by an EU judge who had the audacity to say that the UK’s rules are irrelevant.

  3. Just to point out majority of Scottish employment is public sector reliance on England and Wales, too much for them to actually dissolve the Union Jack. They would have a worse economic status then Greece if they broke the Union. (which disqualifies them from staying being in the European Union)

  4. Scottland leaving is nothing new; Northern Ireland, ditto, although not without renewed "troubles", I am afraid. But London leaving is new, and, frankly, an appealing idea. :o)

  5. This video didn’t age well… yay Boris Johnson and the breakup of the UK. Also it’s kinda satisfying that the people who voted against mays deal got voted out of office. Karma, people

  6. It's taken us three years to get our shit together but now we are leaving full steam ahead, the EU is likely to go into shock. Mark my words.

  7. August 15, 2019

    With Boris in office, May's deal thoroughly dead, and waaaaay to little time to negotiate a new deal from scratch (plus an EU which is unlikely to significantly change what its offering, or drop the backstop), here's what I predict:

    60% Total Brexit of October 31st by default, since despite parliamentarians not wanting "No Deal", they still wont have a deal that they're willing to get behind in the next 2 months.
    10% Boris doesn't actually want no deal, and is also able to get enough changes to May's deal in the next two months (maybe rewording the backstop somehow) to get it to pass Parliament
    30% Labour, the SNP, the Independent Group/Change UK/ Whatever they're called this week, plus a few Torrey rebels cause a vote of no confidence and form a govnt. of national unity, at which point they ask for an extension where:
    a) 40% chance of a peoples vote scenario with the options being May's Deal, No Deal, and Call off Brexit, in which case the latter probably wins, causing a massive schism in UK politics where half the country feels betrayed for the next generation, eventual leading to a further breakdown of political trust and good will.
    b) 50% chance they pass May's deal (or something incredibly similar to it) themselves
    c) 10% that they also can't agree to pass any sort of deal, causing No Deal once more by default.

  8. Interested in Brexit? My latest video looks at the psychology behind leave and remain and how both were answering very different questions with their vote

  9. So… it appears that Boris will be the serving P.M. that sees a hard brexit and the break up of the U.K. that's right in line with him

  10. Leave means leave – anything else represents social unrest on a scale not seen in this Country since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, The British people will not hand control of this Country to a foreign power.

  11. Corbyn’s a weak non-entity who’d turn Britain into a weaker non-entity of a nation of non-entities than it already is if he had half a chance…. God,Britain really has gone to the dogs over Brexit…

  12. Well, 3 yrs later and you were nearly spot on. Believe it or not , UK wants relationship worse than Turkey has , UK picked red lines . UK PM did a deal with Extreme Unionists to prop up her Government. So its actually messier than you predicted now in 2019!!

  13. Yeah um… Theresa May has resigned too hehe so it’s Boris Johnson and he is saying that Brexit is gonna happen on the 31 of October.

  14. You know, coming from three years in the future, I think my bet is pretty solidly on "Nothing happens" and it's going to stay that way until everybody forgets about it and/or dies, so nobody would remember it anyway.

  15. 26.8.2019…. the least probable 15% option that will dissolve the UK, go against its economical interests an will leave it completely destroyed is the most probable course of action under current PM (from today on I will be updating the current position brexit is in at least once a week under this video)

  16. The vote was stupid more no sense to have ppl uneducated in a particular subject make a decision on that subject.
    Also needs to be made more public but Putin interfered with brexit and pushed for it just like he pushed for Trump. Presumably for maximum disruption of competition
    Also countries should have laws that require politicians to have qualifications like job experience in lower level government and education.
    I didn't know that the vote was no legally binding just an opinion poll.

  17. Well Grey, this video is still quite relevant three years after. You saw it right, including the endless procrastination.
    Maybe it is time for a second 'Brexit: Briefly, REVISITED' video?

  18. Brexit beach party at the seaside resort of Wijk aan Zee on October 31

    Netherlands (Ps make shure you can get back) for the rest of the world everyone is welcome. Europe is ready lets hope or Britsh friends are ??

  19. Prominent brexiteers not wanting to take the job is a false statement. Andrea Leadssom, Liam Fox and Michael Gove and to a lesser extend maybe Stephen Crabb were all brexiteers that stood for the leadership election. Teresa May wasnt just handed the position. Boris was major till the 9th of may but was appointed Foreign Secretary but resigned due toays performance and persuasions on brexit. She was a remainer at heart. And thats where our problems started as she lied through her teeth to win leadership election saying all the right things but doing none of them.

  20. Why are you rushing through it like your house is on fire? I had to play the audio at 0.5 speed and even then most of the sentences were so badly formed to be politically correct that it didn't make any sense. You don't have to be politically correct when simplifying a concept. Just focus on the concept and speak directly.

  21. Well… still standing in the fog… non-Brexit – Brexit is now illegal… and there's no PM who will want to extend beyond October 31st…

  22. This video didn't age well. You still haven't corrected your misinformation. The leader of UKIP stepped down because Brexit won. The vote on Brexit was the party's only goal. You could have verified that yourself. The Liberals, Conservatives, Labour, the Mass Media, academics and your own government campaigned against it, and they still lost. You can't accept a democratic outcome even when it is an absolute majority. (FYI: Over 50% is a majority) May was selected by her party democratically. Unfortunately she won but she did win. And May was able to call the 2nd election because an overwhelming majority of MPs supported it. She won that election with a plurality. Are you really going to drag out that tired canard about "first past the post" in regard to that election? You obviously don't care about democracy. "After the Prime Minister resigned the most prominent Brexiteers didn't want to take the job." What a lying scum bag. Wow.

  23. Brexit was irresponsible but effective use xenophobia as a political tool. It was sold on "let's keep those brown people out" and "We're giving money to people who aren't us!" And it's kind of just spiraled out from there.

  24. 🇪🇺   BREXIT Summary   🇬🇧

    🇬🇧 UK: We want a unicorn. 🦄
    🇪🇺 EU: Unicorns do not exist. Instead, you
    can have a pony. 🐎
    🇬🇧 UK: We vote against your pony. 😤
    🇪🇺 EU: We already discussed this in details:
    it's a pony or nothing.
    🇬🇧 UK: We vote against your pony 😡
    🇪🇺 EU: Alright! Then you get nothing.
    🇬🇧 UK: We vote against your nothing.
    🇪🇺 EU: .you really don't get it, do you? 😐
    🇬🇧UK: We need more time to think about it.
    🇪🇺 EU: About a pony or about nothing? 😒
    🇬🇧 UK: We want a unicorn. 🦄

  25. I know it's a cluster mess… but can we have an update? It's very funny what is going on with Borris at the momnet. PS; Im british (for now).

  26. Excellent evaluation. The uncertainty was, and remains, enormous. Even three years later, anything could still happen, although the political meltdown is intense now that Boris has taken over.

  27. This is factually somewhat incorrect. First of all the "button" has been pressed, A50 went through royal asset and into UK law that we would leave on a given date and unless some other external action such as cancelling it or extending it occurs then by default, we leave with no deal. To extend the deadline of A50 requires the consent of the EU member states, in fact it can be veto'd by just 1 country. So the EU does have the power to end the stalemate by simply refusing to extend the negotiating deadline. Which comes back to your point about negotiating leverage.

    It's wrong to say that we have the benefit negotiating before leaving and the EU has it after, this is basic negotiation 101, in order to get what you want in a negotiation you have to have leverage, you have to be willing to do something against the interest of the opposing party in order to encourage them to shift in the negotiation, the UK has to be willing to leave the EU and show we can go it alone before we'll ever get a fair deal. The analogy or comparison I use is negotiating for a raise at work. If you ask for a raise your boss is generally going to want to know what is the downside of simply saying no to you, if your argument is that there is no downside you'll just go back to work, then you aren't getting a raise. If instead what you do is you find another offer at another business and hand in your notice and say you're leaving, you've demonstrated your skills are in demand in other places and you're in a stronger negotiating position and you're more likely to get the raise you want in the form of a counter offer.

    This is why Boris quite rightly stated that the UK government tying its own hands by taking a no-deal off the table is a very bad thing. If you're pro remain but want to honor the democratic vote your best bet now is a good deal and to get the very best deal in the long run is to have as much leverage as possible and that means leaving cleanly, establishing trade deals with the US and other places and then we have the leverage to speak to the EU and reject bad deals from them. It's short term pain for long term gain and what we should all be interested in is the long term benefits of being able to do good trade deals with the US and other non-EU countries and then negotiate something with the EU afterwards.

    Criticisms of the leave campaign not having a plan are just silly, winning the referendum was never going to give the leave coalition any actual power to enforce any kind of plan, so having a plan other than "we've demonstrated a majority want to leave" would have been pointless. Besides a huge number of the people who are pro brexit want to leave with no deal.

    On Scotland, they've just had a referendum on leaving the UK which failed to pass. And last I checked Scotland doesn't meet the requirements for entry to the EU as an independent nation, so the idea that they can leave the UK and join the EU seems remote to me, maybe the EU will make an exception or change the rules, who knows.

    Lastly on nothing changing. That won't happen, and it wont happen for the same reason that we got the referendum in the first place, and that's the 2 party system is threatened in a general election when voters defect to protest parties like UKIP and now the Brexit party. The conservatives offered the referrendum to stop members leaving to UKIP and they'll honor the result because when the next GE rolls around if they've not got this sorted they face losing a majority. One of the biggest problems we have is that as a representative democracy the ultimate power doesn't lay with government but with the MPs, and the views of the MPs do not track with the general public on this matter. So to resolve the deadlock what we need to do is cycle out a lot of the pro remain MPs who are sabotaging our ability to leave with those who better reflect the public and then with a proper majority in the commons we'll get this sorted.

    Nothing happening is just as much as an affront to the democratic decision and refusing to leave and completely unacceptable, the idea that this can be won on a technicality like "technically we've left but actually we don't have control over our markets or borders" is just silly. Like the idea of the Brexit party and Nigel Farage and all the pro brexit people being satisfied with that shows a serious lack of understanding of the people who wish to leave. If flushing out the MPs doesn't work then my prediction is that it will come down to the EU breaking the deadlock by refusing to extend the deadline any further, and with A50 still being in law, a no deal would be literally the default action when the deadline passed. And that either means a no-deal or that MPs would vote on whatever deal remains on the table.

  28. Roadmap to optimal solution: Boris is forced to request a delay on brexit. Conservatives are voted out. Three more years of procrastination. By the next election cycle, politicians are starting to say that the situation has changed since the time of the referendum. Another referendum has to be made with more specificity about the terms for leaving. More procrastination.
    10 years after the referendum, another referendum is held. Enough baby boomers have died of cardiovascular diseases for the result to be 48-52.
    More procrastination.

  29. EU: Walalzoy (UK) you did not file your paper work last night.
    UK: Oh that darn paper work, would it not be better if it just went away?

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