On Brexit: Just Call Me Cassandra

On June 12, despite polls indicating the Brexit referendum was too close to call, I predicted it would pass. I concluded by observing, “One thing is clear -- both the EU officialdom and ours are wiser than voters only in their ability to feather their own nests, not in making us safer, richer, or happier. Many predict that if the UK exits Brexit, other European countries will follow.” That, too, seems to be the case. So you can imagine how much fun I had watching the BBC coverage the night (and early morning hours) of the vote tally.

Unable to hide their shock and attributing the vote to many different reasons -- but largely persuaded that their countrymen who voted to leave were uneducated rubes -- the commentators revealed nothing so much as their cluelessness.

To quote a tweet by Sharyl Attkisson “Media & politicians being so shocked about Brexit is like saying, ‘We really have no idea what we’re talking about when we give analyses.’”

Nigel Farage v. Count Herman von Rompuy

I think there have been many great post-referendum analyses, but my favorite is Daniel Greenfield’s, which I urge you to read in its entirety. I will just cite some of what I consider the highlights:

Every propaganda gimmick was rolled out. Brexit was dismissed, mocked and ridiculed. It was for lunatics and madmen. Anyone who voted to leave the benevolent bosom of the European Union was an ignorant xenophobe who had no place in the modern world. And that turned out to be most of Britain.

While Londonistan, that post-British city of high financial stakes and low Muslim mobs, voted by a landslide to remain, a decisive majority of the English voted to wave goodbye to the EU. 67% of Tower Hamlets, the Islamic stronghold, voted to stay in the EU. But to no avail. The will of the people prevailed.

And the people did not want migrant rape mobs in their streets and Muslim massacres in their pubs. They were tired of Afghani migrants living in posh homes with their four wives while they worked hard and sick of seeing their daughters passed around by “Asian” cabbies from Pakistan in ways utterly indistinguishable from the ISIS slave trade while the police looked the other way so as not to appear racist. And, most of all, they were sick of the entire Eurocratic establishment that let it all happen.

British voters chose freedom. They decided to reclaim their destiny and their nation from the likes of Count Herman Von Rompuy, the former President of the European Council, selected at an “informal” meeting who has opposed direct elections for his job and insisted that, “the word of the future is union.”

When Nigel Farage of UKIP told Count Von Rompuy that “I can speak on behalf of the majority of British people in saying that we don't know you, we don't want you and the sooner you are put out to grass, the better,” he was fined for it by the Bureau of the European Parliament after refusing to apologize. But now it’s Farage and the Independence Party who have had the last laugh. 

[snip]

The word of the future isn’t “union.” It’s “freedom.” A process has begun that will not end in Britain. It will spread around the world liberating nations from multinational institutions.

[snip]

Brexit has shown us the weakness of the multinational establishment. Its vast bureaucratic power rests on using the media to suppress political dissent. When the media’s special pleading fails to stop the democratic process, it is more helpless than any dictator when the outraged mob pours into his palace.

What was true of Britain is also true of America.

[snip]

That is the lesson of Brexit. It is the future.

I particularly love the sneering way those interviewed on the BBC as the night wore on -- and the globalists’ doom seemed assured -- attributed their loss to badly educated people. I mean, who educated them? Miners, fishermen, farmers, small shopkeepers, or the elites who control the maleducation machinery here and there? Obviously, it’s aimed at shaming them for not belonging to the “smart set” -- you know, people like Cher and Leonardo DiCaprio and Lindsey Lohan and Count von Rompuy.

B. Elections Turn on Many Things. Here are some other factors besides disgust with Multinationalism

1. Immigration. Cosseted in fancy, well-guarded digs in Brussels and chauffeured about in limousines, the EU officialdom doesn’t seem to have figured out the high cost of unlimited Moslem immigration to the European workers who support them or the even more damaging effect on European civilization of unassimilated migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Gatestone Institute reported on a disturbing survey of Turkish immigrants to Germany:

▪ Seven percent of respondents agreed "violence is justified to spread Islam." Although these numbers may seem innocuous, 7% of the three million Turks living in Germany amounts to 210,000 people who believe that jihad is an acceptable method to propagate Islam.

▪ The survey also found that labor migration is no longer the main reason why Turks immigrate to Germany: the most important reason is to marry a partner who lives there.

▪ A new statistical survey of Germany -- Datenreport 2016: Social Report for the Federal Republic of Germany -- shows that ethnic Turks are economically and educationally less successful than other immigrant groups, and that more than one-third (36%) of ethnic Turks live below the poverty line, compared to 25% of migrants from the Balkans and southwestern Europe.

▪ "In our large study we asked Muslims how strongly they feel discriminated against, and we searched for correlations to the development of a fundamentalist worldview. But there are none. Muslim hatred of non-Muslims is not a special phenomenon of Muslim immigration, but is actually worse in the countries of origin. Radicalization is not first produced here in Europe, rather it comes from the Muslim world." -- Ruud Koopmans, sociologist.

Nearly half of the three million ethnic Turks living in Germany believe it is more important to follow Islamic Sharia law than German law if the two are in conflict, according to a new study.

One-third of those surveyed also yearn for German society to "return" to the way it was during the time of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, in the Arabia of the early seventh century.

The survey -- which involves Turks who have been living in Germany for many years, often decades -- refutes claims by German authorities that Muslims are well integrated into German society.

Around Europe people are being tossed out of their homes to make way for (often ungrateful) immigrants. Women and children are being raped and assaulted by them. The streets are full of these wretches demanding the institution of sharia law in Europe. And there seems to be no end to the stream of them, most of who cannot and will not be employable or assimilate.

2. The War On Tea Kettles

Besides rendering countless British fishermen unemployed by fishing regulations, the thing that seemed to annoy most British voters was the threat to ban the ubiquitous high-powered electric tea kettles. Threats to ban them caused a rush to buy more of them -- and other small appliances, like toasters, before Brussels destroyed their breakfasts and afternoon teas just as it had earlier forced them to replace incandescent bulbs and proper vacuum cleaners.

"The only thing that should be toast is our EU membership," said Brian Monteith, Leave EU's chief spokesman, "They may take our tea and toast but they will never take our freedom, but we can have both when we vote to leave.

"We are constantly told leaving the EU is a leap in the dark but the real unknown is just how much more depressing and grim life will be in the homogenised, soulless EU. They are already taking menthol out of our cigarettes, next they'll be saying oil of bergamot causes cancer and Earl Grey Tea will be no more."

"Brussels is storing up all barmy regulations, power grabs and budget demands it can delay until after the referendum," added Robert Oxley, a spokesman for Vote Leave, "But if we vote remain quicker than you can boil a kettle the same damaging proposals will be back on the table and we will be powerless to say no. The only safe way to avoid a referendum hangover is to Vote Leave."

“What we want is to let the free market reign, not this diktat by bureaucrat,” said David Coburn, a UK Independence party MEP from Scotland who highlighted the proposals set out in the EU’s “Ecodesign” consultation.

Mr. Coburn, who recently purchased a new kettle and toaster on moving house, has grumbled that his new appliances no longer seem to have the ‘oomph’ they once did. “I think I must have bought a euro-toaster, I have to put the bread in five times and it’s still pale and pasty. Perhaps it’s powered by windmills,” he told The Telegraph, “And the kettle? Watching a kettle boil has never been so boring.”

Widespread objection induced the EU to halt implementation of the teakettle diktat in February but they didn’t shelve it, just cynically pushed it back until after the referendum.

That there was nothing too small for the EU to tax and regulate was made clear by this effort to regulate every household appliance from light bulbs to vacuum cleaners to hair dryers, but striking at the beloved electric tea kettle seemed to really ignite voters.

3. The Certainty of even More and More Disturbing Power Grabs by the EU

The ineluctable tendency for all unelected bureaucracies to grow out of control and end up biting the hand that feeds them could not be more obvious than in the example of the EU. Give them a trade and customs treaty and they’ll rule you forever in every possible way.

The EU is like the Hotel California. Up to now voters across Europe have rejected the expansion of the original customs and trade treaty -- limited scope of the original European Economic Community (EEC) -- to no avail. In 1992 Denmark voted against the Maastricht Treaty and was made to vote again, In 2001 Ireland voted against the Nice Treaty and was made to vote again. In 2005 France voted against the EU Constitution and the vote was ignored. In that same year the Netherlands voted against the EU Constitution and, that, too, was ignored, In 2008 Ireland voted against the Lisbon Treaty and was made to vote again. In 2015 Greece voted against the EU bailout and that vote was ignored. The lesson to voters must have been obvious -- spend your life voting, or just lie back and think of Brussels -- until now.

If you think I’m being hyperbolic about the scope of the unelected apparatchik dream in Brussels consider this: until their reign seemed to be crumbling by the Brexit example, the EU seemed on its way to establishing its own army.

The EU was holding up until after the Brexit vote a trillion-dollar budget and a raft of unpopular new regulations, including what appears to be the groundwork for a EU army. Here’s Frederica Mogherini, a far-left Italian politician at the EU helm on the subject:

On Friday EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will present top-secret plans which would see new European military and operational structures, including a headquarters.

Ms Mogherini's proposals say, “Security and defence is where a step change is most urgent.

“The EU can step up its contribution to Europe’s security and defence. 

"Our external action must become more joined up across policy areas, institutions and member states. Greater unity of purpose is needed across the policy areas making up our external action.”

However three years ago David Cameron said he would resist such a plan.

He said: "It makes sense for nation states to co-operate over matters of defence to keep us safer.

"But it isn't right for the European Union to have capabilities, armies, air forces and all the rest of it. 

"We need to get that demarcation right."

4. The Cost to Britain of Keeping this Undemocratic Nonsense Afloat

The UK pays dearly for membership in the EU. Last year it paid 13 billion pounds to the EU budget. In return the EU spent 4.5 billion pounds on the UK. And actually, its tab would have been 18 billion pounds (for a 4,5 billion return) were it not for a ‘rebate” the EU granted it. At some point it must dawn on those with math skills that this is a lousy return on an investment, especially one that is destroying native industries and production and limiting the country’s ability to enter into trade agreements with more dynamic parts of the world than the decaying Europe members of the EU.

5. The Youth Vote

The BBC on election night and others have made much of the divide between younger and older voters. I was young once, too, and know that kids are dumber than I am, but another factor in this split (especially among university students) is something called the Erasmus Program. The students and the Guardian seem to love it, in the same way college students love Sanders’ free college proposals, but how valuable it is, except in promoting globalist ideas, prolonging adolescence, and subsidizing “cross-country lovemaking “remains to be seen. Here’s the Guardian in its impassioned defense of the program which subsidizes from the pockets of taxpaying Europeans college students working and traveling outside their own country:

Erasmus is a European Union exchange programme established in 1987, which is widely popular on the continent but barely mentioned in the business sections that lead the way on European coverage in the UK. More than 2.5 million students from across Europe have taken part in it since its inception The UK is one of the most popular destinations, but one of the less active participants, considering its size: in the 2009/10 academic year, the UK received 22,650 foreign students under the Erasmus exchange scheme, while sending abroad only 11,723.

There are spades of people who have gone on these schemes and never come back. Germans who fell in love with Spaniards, Greek women who ended up marrying Frenchmen, Poles who have kids with Portuguese mothers. The Italian novelist Umberto Eco last year said that "Erasmus has created the first generation of young Europeans." He describes it as "a sexual revolution: a young Catalan man meets a Flemish girl -- they fall in love, they get married and they become European, as do their children."

Personally, I can't imagine that these parents and their children would be able to listen to a nationalist rabblerouser calling for war and just listen in silence. They would speak up. What's more important: some of them are likely to become leading figures in the media, in business and in politics over the next 20 years, and they will increasingly think outside national boundaries. If the eurozone crisis can be overcome -- and that's a serious if -- then there are good chances that it will be followed by a period of peace so prolonged that the last 67 years will look short by comparison.

British EU-sceptics will say that all that cross-country lovemaking was brought about not by stuffy EU bureaucrats, but free trade between nation states. But who has ever fallen in love in a business meeting? The beauty of a scheme like Erasmus is that it has enabled meetings between young people before they start to think about such encounters purely as the means to an exchange of capital, before they slip on the cold mask of commerce. And at any rate, who's to say that a prize shouldn't be romantic? If you really believe that nothing guarantees intercultural harmony as effectively as free trade, then you might as well hand the Nobel peace prize to Ronald McDonald.

That would really inspire the continent.

How quickly will Britain actually exit the EU and how many states will follow in its wake is still unclear. I predict the split will come sooner than the two-year period set out in Article 50 of the EU Constitution and that other states will follow on. The EU’s fate is far from clear. I certainly think it will fare worse than the UK, which will long outlive it.

For the beneficently compensated gang in Brussels, this has got to be a tragedy. In the meantime, they can amuse themselves by taking advantage of the free monthly ration of Viagra for which all EU officials are reimbursed. 

On June 12, despite polls indicating the Brexit referendum was too close to call, I predicted it would pass. I concluded by observing, “One thing is clear -- both the EU officialdom and ours are wiser than voters only in their ability to feather their own nests, not in making us safer, richer, or happier. Many predict that if the UK exits Brexit, other European countries will follow.” That, too, seems to be the case. So you can imagine how much fun I had watching the BBC coverage the night (and early morning hours) of the vote tally.

Unable to hide their shock and attributing the vote to many different reasons -- but largely persuaded that their countrymen who voted to leave were uneducated rubes -- the commentators revealed nothing so much as their cluelessness.

To quote a tweet by Sharyl Attkisson “Media & politicians being so shocked about Brexit is like saying, ‘We really have no idea what we’re talking about when we give analyses.’”

Nigel Farage v. Count Herman von Rompuy

I think there have been many great post-referendum analyses, but my favorite is Daniel Greenfield’s, which I urge you to read in its entirety. I will just cite some of what I consider the highlights:

Every propaganda gimmick was rolled out. Brexit was dismissed, mocked and ridiculed. It was for lunatics and madmen. Anyone who voted to leave the benevolent bosom of the European Union was an ignorant xenophobe who had no place in the modern world. And that turned out to be most of Britain.

While Londonistan, that post-British city of high financial stakes and low Muslim mobs, voted by a landslide to remain, a decisive majority of the English voted to wave goodbye to the EU. 67% of Tower Hamlets, the Islamic stronghold, voted to stay in the EU. But to no avail. The will of the people prevailed.

And the people did not want migrant rape mobs in their streets and Muslim massacres in their pubs. They were tired of Afghani migrants living in posh homes with their four wives while they worked hard and sick of seeing their daughters passed around by “Asian” cabbies from Pakistan in ways utterly indistinguishable from the ISIS slave trade while the police looked the other way so as not to appear racist. And, most of all, they were sick of the entire Eurocratic establishment that let it all happen.

British voters chose freedom. They decided to reclaim their destiny and their nation from the likes of Count Herman Von Rompuy, the former President of the European Council, selected at an “informal” meeting who has opposed direct elections for his job and insisted that, “the word of the future is union.”

When Nigel Farage of UKIP told Count Von Rompuy that “I can speak on behalf of the majority of British people in saying that we don't know you, we don't want you and the sooner you are put out to grass, the better,” he was fined for it by the Bureau of the European Parliament after refusing to apologize. But now it’s Farage and the Independence Party who have had the last laugh. 

[snip]

The word of the future isn’t “union.” It’s “freedom.” A process has begun that will not end in Britain. It will spread around the world liberating nations from multinational institutions.

[snip]

Brexit has shown us the weakness of the multinational establishment. Its vast bureaucratic power rests on using the media to suppress political dissent. When the media’s special pleading fails to stop the democratic process, it is more helpless than any dictator when the outraged mob pours into his palace.

What was true of Britain is also true of America.

[snip]

That is the lesson of Brexit. It is the future.

I particularly love the sneering way those interviewed on the BBC as the night wore on -- and the globalists’ doom seemed assured -- attributed their loss to badly educated people. I mean, who educated them? Miners, fishermen, farmers, small shopkeepers, or the elites who control the maleducation machinery here and there? Obviously, it’s aimed at shaming them for not belonging to the “smart set” -- you know, people like Cher and Leonardo DiCaprio and Lindsey Lohan and Count von Rompuy.

B. Elections Turn on Many Things. Here are some other factors besides disgust with Multinationalism

1. Immigration. Cosseted in fancy, well-guarded digs in Brussels and chauffeured about in limousines, the EU officialdom doesn’t seem to have figured out the high cost of unlimited Moslem immigration to the European workers who support them or the even more damaging effect on European civilization of unassimilated migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Gatestone Institute reported on a disturbing survey of Turkish immigrants to Germany:

▪ Seven percent of respondents agreed "violence is justified to spread Islam." Although these numbers may seem innocuous, 7% of the three million Turks living in Germany amounts to 210,000 people who believe that jihad is an acceptable method to propagate Islam.

▪ The survey also found that labor migration is no longer the main reason why Turks immigrate to Germany: the most important reason is to marry a partner who lives there.

▪ A new statistical survey of Germany -- Datenreport 2016: Social Report for the Federal Republic of Germany -- shows that ethnic Turks are economically and educationally less successful than other immigrant groups, and that more than one-third (36%) of ethnic Turks live below the poverty line, compared to 25% of migrants from the Balkans and southwestern Europe.

▪ "In our large study we asked Muslims how strongly they feel discriminated against, and we searched for correlations to the development of a fundamentalist worldview. But there are none. Muslim hatred of non-Muslims is not a special phenomenon of Muslim immigration, but is actually worse in the countries of origin. Radicalization is not first produced here in Europe, rather it comes from the Muslim world." -- Ruud Koopmans, sociologist.

Nearly half of the three million ethnic Turks living in Germany believe it is more important to follow Islamic Sharia law than German law if the two are in conflict, according to a new study.

One-third of those surveyed also yearn for German society to "return" to the way it was during the time of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, in the Arabia of the early seventh century.

The survey -- which involves Turks who have been living in Germany for many years, often decades -- refutes claims by German authorities that Muslims are well integrated into German society.

Around Europe people are being tossed out of their homes to make way for (often ungrateful) immigrants. Women and children are being raped and assaulted by them. The streets are full of these wretches demanding the institution of sharia law in Europe. And there seems to be no end to the stream of them, most of who cannot and will not be employable or assimilate.

2. The War On Tea Kettles

Besides rendering countless British fishermen unemployed by fishing regulations, the thing that seemed to annoy most British voters was the threat to ban the ubiquitous high-powered electric tea kettles. Threats to ban them caused a rush to buy more of them -- and other small appliances, like toasters, before Brussels destroyed their breakfasts and afternoon teas just as it had earlier forced them to replace incandescent bulbs and proper vacuum cleaners.

"The only thing that should be toast is our EU membership," said Brian Monteith, Leave EU's chief spokesman, "They may take our tea and toast but they will never take our freedom, but we can have both when we vote to leave.

"We are constantly told leaving the EU is a leap in the dark but the real unknown is just how much more depressing and grim life will be in the homogenised, soulless EU. They are already taking menthol out of our cigarettes, next they'll be saying oil of bergamot causes cancer and Earl Grey Tea will be no more."

"Brussels is storing up all barmy regulations, power grabs and budget demands it can delay until after the referendum," added Robert Oxley, a spokesman for Vote Leave, "But if we vote remain quicker than you can boil a kettle the same damaging proposals will be back on the table and we will be powerless to say no. The only safe way to avoid a referendum hangover is to Vote Leave."

“What we want is to let the free market reign, not this diktat by bureaucrat,” said David Coburn, a UK Independence party MEP from Scotland who highlighted the proposals set out in the EU’s “Ecodesign” consultation.

Mr. Coburn, who recently purchased a new kettle and toaster on moving house, has grumbled that his new appliances no longer seem to have the ‘oomph’ they once did. “I think I must have bought a euro-toaster, I have to put the bread in five times and it’s still pale and pasty. Perhaps it’s powered by windmills,” he told The Telegraph, “And the kettle? Watching a kettle boil has never been so boring.”

Widespread objection induced the EU to halt implementation of the teakettle diktat in February but they didn’t shelve it, just cynically pushed it back until after the referendum.

That there was nothing too small for the EU to tax and regulate was made clear by this effort to regulate every household appliance from light bulbs to vacuum cleaners to hair dryers, but striking at the beloved electric tea kettle seemed to really ignite voters.

3. The Certainty of even More and More Disturbing Power Grabs by the EU

The ineluctable tendency for all unelected bureaucracies to grow out of control and end up biting the hand that feeds them could not be more obvious than in the example of the EU. Give them a trade and customs treaty and they’ll rule you forever in every possible way.

The EU is like the Hotel California. Up to now voters across Europe have rejected the expansion of the original customs and trade treaty -- limited scope of the original European Economic Community (EEC) -- to no avail. In 1992 Denmark voted against the Maastricht Treaty and was made to vote again, In 2001 Ireland voted against the Nice Treaty and was made to vote again. In 2005 France voted against the EU Constitution and the vote was ignored. In that same year the Netherlands voted against the EU Constitution and, that, too, was ignored, In 2008 Ireland voted against the Lisbon Treaty and was made to vote again. In 2015 Greece voted against the EU bailout and that vote was ignored. The lesson to voters must have been obvious -- spend your life voting, or just lie back and think of Brussels -- until now.

If you think I’m being hyperbolic about the scope of the unelected apparatchik dream in Brussels consider this: until their reign seemed to be crumbling by the Brexit example, the EU seemed on its way to establishing its own army.

The EU was holding up until after the Brexit vote a trillion-dollar budget and a raft of unpopular new regulations, including what appears to be the groundwork for a EU army. Here’s Frederica Mogherini, a far-left Italian politician at the EU helm on the subject:

On Friday EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will present top-secret plans which would see new European military and operational structures, including a headquarters.

Ms Mogherini's proposals say, “Security and defence is where a step change is most urgent.

“The EU can step up its contribution to Europe’s security and defence. 

"Our external action must become more joined up across policy areas, institutions and member states. Greater unity of purpose is needed across the policy areas making up our external action.”

However three years ago David Cameron said he would resist such a plan.

He said: "It makes sense for nation states to co-operate over matters of defence to keep us safer.

"But it isn't right for the European Union to have capabilities, armies, air forces and all the rest of it. 

"We need to get that demarcation right."

4. The Cost to Britain of Keeping this Undemocratic Nonsense Afloat

The UK pays dearly for membership in the EU. Last year it paid 13 billion pounds to the EU budget. In return the EU spent 4.5 billion pounds on the UK. And actually, its tab would have been 18 billion pounds (for a 4,5 billion return) were it not for a ‘rebate” the EU granted it. At some point it must dawn on those with math skills that this is a lousy return on an investment, especially one that is destroying native industries and production and limiting the country’s ability to enter into trade agreements with more dynamic parts of the world than the decaying Europe members of the EU.

5. The Youth Vote

The BBC on election night and others have made much of the divide between younger and older voters. I was young once, too, and know that kids are dumber than I am, but another factor in this split (especially among university students) is something called the Erasmus Program. The students and the Guardian seem to love it, in the same way college students love Sanders’ free college proposals, but how valuable it is, except in promoting globalist ideas, prolonging adolescence, and subsidizing “cross-country lovemaking “remains to be seen. Here’s the Guardian in its impassioned defense of the program which subsidizes from the pockets of taxpaying Europeans college students working and traveling outside their own country:

Erasmus is a European Union exchange programme established in 1987, which is widely popular on the continent but barely mentioned in the business sections that lead the way on European coverage in the UK. More than 2.5 million students from across Europe have taken part in it since its inception The UK is one of the most popular destinations, but one of the less active participants, considering its size: in the 2009/10 academic year, the UK received 22,650 foreign students under the Erasmus exchange scheme, while sending abroad only 11,723.

There are spades of people who have gone on these schemes and never come back. Germans who fell in love with Spaniards, Greek women who ended up marrying Frenchmen, Poles who have kids with Portuguese mothers. The Italian novelist Umberto Eco last year said that "Erasmus has created the first generation of young Europeans." He describes it as "a sexual revolution: a young Catalan man meets a Flemish girl -- they fall in love, they get married and they become European, as do their children."

Personally, I can't imagine that these parents and their children would be able to listen to a nationalist rabblerouser calling for war and just listen in silence. They would speak up. What's more important: some of them are likely to become leading figures in the media, in business and in politics over the next 20 years, and they will increasingly think outside national boundaries. If the eurozone crisis can be overcome -- and that's a serious if -- then there are good chances that it will be followed by a period of peace so prolonged that the last 67 years will look short by comparison.

British EU-sceptics will say that all that cross-country lovemaking was brought about not by stuffy EU bureaucrats, but free trade between nation states. But who has ever fallen in love in a business meeting? The beauty of a scheme like Erasmus is that it has enabled meetings between young people before they start to think about such encounters purely as the means to an exchange of capital, before they slip on the cold mask of commerce. And at any rate, who's to say that a prize shouldn't be romantic? If you really believe that nothing guarantees intercultural harmony as effectively as free trade, then you might as well hand the Nobel peace prize to Ronald McDonald.

That would really inspire the continent.

How quickly will Britain actually exit the EU and how many states will follow in its wake is still unclear. I predict the split will come sooner than the two-year period set out in Article 50 of the EU Constitution and that other states will follow on. The EU’s fate is far from clear. I certainly think it will fare worse than the UK, which will long outlive it.

For the beneficently compensated gang in Brussels, this has got to be a tragedy. In the meantime, they can amuse themselves by taking advantage of the free monthly ration of Viagra for which all EU officials are reimbursed.