Fear will never build a long term project: Jean Claude Juncker must go.

Huffington Post /Georges Ugeux —  By putting the debate on economic issues, British leaders have made the Brexit debate an economic one while it is fundamentally a political one. It is England that decided the fate of the referendum, infuriating Scotland and Norther Ireland.

Britain’s independence is a myth

Being part of Europe, for Britain, is a journey towards a common goal: looking in the same direction. It was explicitly inspired by former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1946. “There is a remedy which … would in a few years make all Europe … free and … happy. It is to re-create the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”

One of the biggest illusions in politics is the independence of a country. It is necessary to justify the political programs that ignore one of the crucial facts of this century: countries are independent. What the Brexit partisans tried to preach is that Britain needs to “recover” its sovereignty.

Furthermore, by blaming the problems of Britain on Brussels, they misrepresented the fact that both benefit from a Union. The rule of unanimity makes it impossible for a country to be imposed unacceptable rules and Britain, for one, has the record of opt-outs.

Fear will never build a long term project: Jean Claude Juncker must go.

What I mostly resent, is the inability, in Britain and on the continent, to express a view of Europe that would be positive, enthusiastic and constructive. When Jean Claude Juncker, the Commission President, said that the “deserters will face the consequences”, he disqualifies himself for the two year process that will start when Britain will deliver its notice to Brussels: was he drunk again? He bears the responsibility of immobility and intransigence: he is the President who let Britain leave Europe. He should , like David Cameron, resign from his job. He has done enough damage.

The absence of a positively articulated program used on both sides of the Channel is a further demonstration of the serious disease of a self-centred European Union.

The British leadership, on both sides of the political spectrum, managed to be as inept as its European counterparts. Going into a referendum without a solidly built consensus was irresponsible: David Cameron had the decency to draw the lesson and resign.

We should never forget that during the “Battle of Britain” it is the capacity of resistance of the British people that saved Europe. Threat does not work.

The European Union is further weakened.

It is an understatement to say that Europe does not have a stellar reputation. While Britain has decided to sail in high waters -as foolishly as it might be- does not change the fact that Europe has done nothing to avoid the amputation of a 43-year old partner. The shrinking of Europe from the only English speaking and global country on the continent is a net loss.

Some dreamers thought that it would give Paris or Frankfurt the financial leadership of Europe. It is pure blindness and ignorance. The City of London managed to be the leader of the markets in Euro while not being in the Euro. It will be the center of European finance without being part of the European Union.

The European Free Trade Association will limit the commercial damage of Brexit

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The organization operates in parallel with the European Union and all four member states participate in the EU’s single market. It was initially spearheaded by Britain and the agreement of that Association will soon include Britain. The European Economic Area includes those countries with the exception of Switzerland.

The markets are intoxicated by the political logomachy

Why did the Nikkei close down 8% or the Nasdaq index lose 3% is only attributable to the ignorance of Japan and the United States of the European realities.

The dramatic reaction of the markets teaches us a lesson: the British Index FTSE 100 dropped by 2.41% while the index of the Eurozone Eurostoxx 50 dropped by 8.62%. It certainly shows that the world shares our view that it is Europe who will be the net loser. Italy, the systemic risk of Europe, dropped by 12.5%.

The explosion of the post war Europe?

It will take a courage and a wisdom that European leaders have not shown to avoid the implosion of the European Union: the exit door is open for a major member. Why would Greece remain? who will be next?

But Britain is playing Scotland at the Russian roulette: the Scots have massively expressed their desire to remain in the European Union. They now ask a referendum to provide them independence from Britain. They are ready to join the EU as a new member, and use the Euro.
All this shows that, in this horrible game, there are no winners, and many apprentice sorcerers. Will the Brexit bomb be strong enough to wake up Europe and Britain and be reasonable in their separation? That requires new people and new vision on both sides. There is no winner in this debacle. There is only shame for the betrayers of the European ideal.

Georges Ugeux Chairman and CEO, Galileo Global Advisors and Adjunct professor at Columbia Law School