The Last Brexit Post (Thank God)


‘Brexit Uncertainty’ is the buzz-phrase of the new decade

There’ll be no Brexit posts on the site after today because it’s too divisive a subject and it’s not my job to judge how people choose to protest. Yesterday the knock-on effect of the UK’s decision to dump its largest trading partner showed itself when I attended a wedding breakfast. The guests were a cosmopolitan mix, the groom Muslim, the bride Jewish-Japanese, friends and relatives hailing from Thailand, America, Australia, the UK and Europe. All reside in the UK, and have already been affected in life-changing ways.

One change came from our high street, where an award-winning restaurateur has been forced to raise his prices because the cost of ingredients is sharply climbing as his suppliers relocate to Europe. He fears that diners will not pay the increases, but he won’t survive if they don’t. Another guest works for a company shifting its London office to Holland this spring, so she’s being made redundant. Others are taking up European residence before the end of the year to avoid similar problems. I’m sure the pattern is being repeated across the country, but here it feels hyper-condensed and happening fast.

Mortgages, loans, retirement plans, property sales and travel have all been directly affected by ‘Brexit Uncertainty’ – a euphemism companies often cynically use to cover cutbacks and re-organisation. It’s the buzz-phrase that can be used to hike prices, cost-cut and downsize.

This shakeout is now well underway. Our own personal plans have been radically curtailed in the last two months, so the challenge is to develop alternatives. Friends running companies in the arts and entertainment industries are paralysed until clear guidelines are announced; many won’t survive. How do you plan when there are no rules in place for your trading plans?

As late as the end of 2015, only 1% of UK voters even thought the EU was an issue, before it was turned into a protest vote against the longest period of austerity in our history. Now it’s time to rebuild friendships and find ways of conducting business positively. First we must remove labels like ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’, and concentrate on a new challenge – getting rid of another divisive term – ‘Brexit Uncertainty’.


17 comments on “The Last Brexit Post (Thank God)”

  1. Robert Kay says:

    Good idea Chris. I’m planning to buy the next Bryant and May book with Brexit commemorative coins if that’s any comfort to you! Actually, I think you’re quite a good novelist and I kept up with your books in the early days, Rune being my favourite. I’m now busy catching up with your more recent output and have read Paperboy, Film Freak and Forgotten Authors which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  2. Jan says:

    I’ll promise if you do.x

    I had no idea( being queen of the Slutty slobs) how much pressure this constant cleaning puts on a person.

  3. Colin says:

    I always got the impression from people who voted yes that it wasn’t against austerity but rather considered a referendum on immigration rather than the EU or anything else. UKIP played the immigration card hard in their campaigns. All v depressing

  4. brooke says:

    “Brexit Uncertainty” is an unfortunate phrase. It implies risk which businesses and individuals dislike.
    It will be interesting to uncover the stories of those shaped by this time.

  5. John Griffin says:

    We will never be free of the fallout, alas.
    Today Johnson exalted Adam Smith who (unlike the Institute that seized his name and Johnson) believed government should intervene to prevent terrible wrongs caused by malign actors (Theory of Moral Sentiments), and Ricardo, who had no problem with people starving when all was abandoned to the free market. He is also repudiating the agreement signed with the EU.
    We have now entered the Post-Modern hyper-reality, where lies and bombast are taken as truth and signs of virility. If you add on the 5000 pieces of data held by Google on each of us, the penetration of all but a small amount of interpersonal communication by US and UK listening sites and the failure to confront the greatest threat to humanity of all, it’s a pretty crap outlook.
    I’m glad for B&M for the relief, and to savants like snowy for true enlightenment.

  6. admin says:

    Yes, that’s a point, where is Snowy?

  7. Peter Tromans says:

    Please, everyone, the laments and celebrations are only doing harm. Let’s bury the past, start enjoying what’s good for all in the present and working on the future. Snowy has probably become so tired of us that he’s gone into hibernation or moved somewhere happier and more constructive.

  8. Peter Dixon says:

    Just what is it about history?
    Does anyone actually remember anything?
    I overheard a conversation yesterday between two people who were probably in their late 5o’s about their relief that Brexit was finally over. One of them said that ‘Thatcher should never have got us involved’. The other said that he didn’t really understand it but was relieved that it was over because ‘it has taken too long and everyone was bored’.

    Today’s news suggests that Boris can negotiate any deal we want. Unfortunately I would speculate that we will get the deal that other countries want.
    The idea of uncoupling ourselves from Europe might seem like a good idea to some people – but you need to believe that there is a workable and advantageous situation to work from.

    Don’t suppose that I have always supported the EU – I voted against entering in the 70’s because I thought we could have established a more inclusive alternative (for the Uk) with major development of the Commonwealth.

    We abandoned most of the Commonwealth 40 years ago, they owe us nothing. We’re throwing ourselves, in the 21st century, on a raft controlled by the USA and China. The US is being operated , not for the first time, by a bunch of intelligent people who prefer to be represented on the world stage by a narcissistic, deluded and positively dangerous individual who attempts to belittle those who disagree with him.

    How do we think that we can operate on a world stage when anything we had of value has been traded off and sold over the last 30 years by the very people we’ve just supported, who think that food banks are acceptable in the 21st century and can’t sort out an unacceptable housing crisis other than giving money to to already creditworthy people to buy overpriced homes?

    Not my 21st century I’m afraid.

  9. brooke says:

    On a different note– just received England’s Finest–audioversion. Fantastic.

  10. Jan says:

    it’s probably something to do with Imbolc and consuming the sloe and dark chocolate roulade
    Concoction of which he spoke that’s caused his absence.

    Or he’s migrated South for the remainder of winter + is now awaiting a more pleasant climate.

  11. Wayne Mook says:

    well I don’t blame you for staying away from politics, BoJo has already changed his tune on the deal he wants just in this year, and negotiations don’t start until March, so only 10 months to get a deal.

    I don’t think the walls will come tumbling down, but the uncertainty will continue.

    Remember 28% didn’t vote and those that did vote it was 51.8% vs 48.2, and the area that supported leaving is actually the Midlands and East, not as much as a North-South divide as noted. So remember a lot of areas are split fairly evenly, and there are a number of reasons for what was chosen. On the left wing EU = big business and actively stops nationalisation in most cases.

    Hopefully people will see it that way and come together more.


  12. Ed DesCamp says:

    I’m sorry for all the trouble and uncertainty of the past few years, and hope some form of predictability makes itself the new normal. Those of us in the Pacific Northwest who have friends and/or family in the UK have had our own Brexit discussions over the years, and we all wish you well. Thanks for B&M…the best antidote!

  13. Liz Thompson says:

    All we’ve got is the future. Recriminations don’t rewind history. What I voted and why is no longer relevant, nor are my friends’ voting decisions relevant. I’ve still got the penfriend from Ohio I’ve been writing to for 40 years. I’ve still got my political and ethical standards, plus my volunteering at my local community centre, my trade union membership and activities. I want to look to what I can do, not lament over what is no longer possible. I can’t change immigration policy, I can welcome and help immigrants who are here already, or survive the dangers and the lottery of getting here in the future. I can continue to enjoy the literature, the music, the culture, the folklore from everywhere in the world. I don’t have to see myself as a little englander. I never did see myself as a patriot, a misused and abused word, usually signalling a blindness to reality.
    And I’m definitely looking forward to Oranges and Lemons, Mr Fowler! Books and reading are a great comfort in my bleaker moments.

  14. eggsy says:

    Snowy no doubt is off skiing again. Enjoying while it lasts, I suppose.

    A.V. Dicey, constitutional theorist of the late 19th C, on referenda:
    “First, they could reduce complicated political questions to simple and impractical YES-NO propositions.
    Second, they could promote schizophrenic rule, with a government enacting policies it did not believe in, while the people who pushed through the change washed their hands of any consequences and sniped at the leadership.
    Third, they might promote absolutism, with anyone who disagreed with the outcome branded an “enemy of the people”.
    Hm. Yes.
    >looks at shoes<
    Just because you're dead doesn't mean you're not relevant…

  15. Ian Luck says:

    Oh, Mr Dicey – you were bang on the money, weren’t you?

  16. Wayne Mook says:

    Well there is only one more comment and it should go to Monty Python and their Galaxy Song

    Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
    And things seem hard or tough,
    And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,

    And you feel that you’ve had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,

    Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
    And revolving at 900 miles an hour.
    It’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it’s reckoned,…

  17. Wayne Mook says:

    todays news: Football is changing the summer transfer window so it mirrors the rest of Europe, haven’t these people heard we are moving away, idiots.


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