The voters of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. The question is: what comes next? The EU is threatening to impose tariffs on British goods unless the UK agrees to accept most of the EU regulations, such as free movement of people. Also, Scotland is considering another vote on whether to leave the UK.

If Scotland leaves the UK it could help England in two ways. First, it would put enormous pressure on the EU to agree to a customs union with what's left of the UK. Otherwise there would be tariffs between England and Scotland, which would be disastrous for Scotland. The second advantage is that it would remove the Scottish MPs from Parliament. That would give the Prime Minister greater freedom of action for negotiating with the EU and for exploiting the greater latitude in setting (or repealing) regulations.

The threats from the EU can be countered by exploiting the weaknesses within it. Hungary especially is unhappy with the EU, primarily because of its regulations on immigration. The EU wants to force Hungary to accept refugees from Syria. Other countries that might have problems with the EU include France, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden. Britain could announce it was forming a new trading bloc which would require the elimination of tariffs but would not impose other regulations. That would put pressure on the EU to accede to Britain's demands. Otherwise it could spell the end of the EU.

Posted 2016/July/26