What if the Brexit vote had never happened?

Today’s headlines…

Cameron To “Step Down As PM in 2020”

David Cameron's Last Day As The UK's Prime Minister

Prime Minister, David Cameron today gave his strongest hint yet that he intends to step down as Prime Minister within two years of winning the forthcoming General Election. Speculation has been mounting that Mr. Cameron is close to announcing the date of the next election as May 22nd. This would coincide neatly with the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament.

The last General Election in May 2015, resulted in a surprise overall majority of 12 for the Conservatives. This has since fallen as a result of recent by-elections although Mr. Cameron has resisted calls to strike any sort of deal with either Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats or the similarly-sized Democratic Unionist Party.

Having entered Downing Street in June 2010, Mr Cameron is now the third longest serving Prime Minister since 1945, after Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. At 52, he remains younger than Mrs Thatcher when she became Britain’s first (and to date, only) woman prime minister in 1979.

According to a report in the London Evening Standard, Mr Cameron’s cabinet colleagues, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Michael Gove are expected to join the race to succeed him.

Labour’s Jo Cox has been amongst those urging unity in her own party, ahead of the expected election announcement. UKIP has, meanwhile, renewed calls for a referendum on continued UK membership of the European Union. Opinion polls currently indicate support for a UK exit from the EU, but also that it is low on the list of voter priorities at this time, ranking way below concerns over the NHS and education.

Opponents of a vote suggest it would be a colossal waste of time, money and energy, inviting economic uncertainty, political uncertainty and disunity at a time of growing prosperity.

Meanwhile, in New York, maverick billionaire and 2016 Republican Party nominee, Donald J. Trump has announced plans to challenge President Hillary Clinton for the White House in 2020. Trump, who will be 74 by the time of next year’s election has made repeated claims of foul play surrounding his 2016 defeat although no evidence has thus far emerged.

In 2017, Trump resumed his role on the US version of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’.

Campaign 2016 Debate

 

 

 

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Brexit: Ten Years On (2026)

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It has now been a full decade since Britain voted 53 to 47 to leave the European Union.

Opinion polls now indicate that over 75% now regard this as a bad decision with many of the architects of Brexit such as the former Prime Minister Lord Cameron expressing regret at the move. It is unlikely Cameron’s seven undistinguished years in Downing Street will be remembered for much else. Like Thatcher before him, his premiership both began and ended with severe economic recession.

The pound began dropping before the celebrations had even ended. Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne were able to briefly use the cover of the mounting economic crisis to cling to power into the new year. He was assisted in this by the ructions in the Labour Party with Labour MPs using the excuse of the referendum defeat as an excuse to blame and overthrow their leader Jeremy Corbyn.

By 2017, unemployment was over two million (it has never been as low since) and both the facts that the country had a huge deficit and the Tories had a tiny majority suddenly became hugely relevant. As under John Major, the economy suffered both severe recession and Tory civil war. The Queen expressed concern. Cameron fell. For all his sub-Churchillian rhetoric, his gaffe-prone successor Boris Johnson proved no more able to cope with the slump than Cameron had. Nor could Chancellor Michael Gove.

Ten years on, unemployment is again back to 1980s levels, permanently over three million. Immigration has increased dramatically, the illusion that we could control our own borders on our own dramatically exposed as a pipe dream. UKIP, against expectation, remains strong although less strong than the resurgent pro-European  Liberal Democrats.  Any democratic gains achieved by Brexit seem to have passed most people by, unnoticed.

The newspapers, fierce cheerleaders for Brexit at the time now condemn it as an “historic mistake”.

The Prime Minister, encouraged by the support of former US president Hillary Clinton, is thought to be contemplating a new bid to apply for EU membership as soon as soon as the coronation is over.

It is not known if this will be successful.

 

 

15 reasons why Brexit sucks

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1: Nobody on either side seems to have a clue what will happen if we leave the EU. I don’t know about you, but before making any big decisions e.g. buying a car or moving house,  I prefer to know what the consequences will be. If not, I don’t know I don’t do it.

2: Nearly everyone on both sides seems to be expecting the economy to take a serious hit if we leave. “Man up! We sometimes have recessions anyway,” seems to be the Brexit camp’s attitude. Is this patriotic? Forcing an unnecessary recession on the UK? No, thank you!

3: Many Brexit people complain about all the unfair laws imposed on us by Brussels. Ask them to name which ones they mean: they can never think of any.

4: If the EU is so awful, how come we’re the fifth largest economy in the world?

5: Wanting to leave the EU is not necessarily racist at all, far from it. And yet everyone who is racist does happen to want to leave. Which frankly puts me off a bit.

6: Michael Gove says leaving would free up millions of pounds to spend on the NHS. a) This isn’t true and b) he would never dream of spending it on that anyway.

7: There will still be a global migrant crisis. How would us leaving the EU help?

8: If the Brexit camp has a case, why are they frequently so dishonest? Remember that supposedly apocalyptic speech in which Cameron warned of a world war if we left? (Daily Mail: “Now Cameron warns Brexit would lead to war and genocide: PM’s extraordinary intervention”) That’s what the Brexit camp claimed he said anyway. In reality, he said nothing of the sort. In truth, it was actually quite dull. http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2016/05/camerons-speech-on-brexit-full-text.html

9: I hate the word “Brexit”. It just sounds awful. Surely I’m not the only one? If you support Brexit don’t be surprised if there is soon a Brecession and your house gets Brepossessed.

10: All our allies around the world (not just those in the EU) want us to stay. Why? Are they secretly evil and plotting our downfall? Or is it just possible they have some inkling of what’s best for both us and the world? Putin wants us to leave.

11: Leaving would be very hard to reverse. But if we don’t leave now, we can always leave at any point in the future without even having another referendum.

12: Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Vladimir Putin, Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, George Galloway, Rupert Murdoch, the Daily Telegraph, Mail, Express and Nigel Farage all want us to leave.

13: The anti-EU battle bus has a totally bogus figure on its side about how much the EU supposedly costs us. Everyone knows it’s a lie, the Office of Statistics have asked them to take it off as its nonsense yet they refuse to remove it. If they have any sort of genuine argument, why be so dishonest about this point?

14: Travelling to or through Europe will become less easy and more expensive if we leave the EU.

15: European unity has preserved the peace and seen the UK grow stronger and more patriotic. Shutting ourselves off and ignoring the rest of the world is hardly an obvious way to maintain our power and influence. Ignore the Brexiters. Voting Remain is the most patriotic thing you can do.

Ten rejected Brexit campaign slogans

It’s time to leave the European Union because…

  1. The French killed Diana. Now they want to kill you.
  2. Every time you blink the EU costs us another TEN SQUILLION POUNDS. This figure must be true: the bus says so.
  3. We’re not racist but…
  4. We’ve had recessions before, another one won’t hurt. You’re always saying you don’t like your job anyway. Man up!
  5. Look, the Greeks invented gayness, you know. That’s all we’re saying.
  6. Isolating ourselves and ignoring everyone. Can you think of any better ways to expand our influence?
  7. It’s better to be outside the tent pissing in than inside the tent pissing out. Or something.
  8. Because of all those terrible laws imposed on us from Brussels like er…and…um…the one in the paper…you know the ones I mean anyway. The terrible ones.
  9. One World Cup and two World Wars: let’s make it a hat trick.
  10. Skeletor would want you to stay. Wipe the smile off his face.

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This is the future: 2013-2030.

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I am certainly no Nostradamus (although let’s face it: neither was Nostradamus). Had I written this a few years ago, I would probably have predicted David Miliband would now be Prime Minister and Hillary Clinton in power in the White House. But just for fun, let’s see what the next few years up to 2020 might have in store…

Scotland will vote to remain within the UK (2014).

The next General Election will have almost as the same outcome as the last one (2015).
I am fully aware this prediction will please no one. But while Labour are currently projected to win a substantial majority, I would expect this to change simply because Ed Miliband remains relatively unpopular and is hated by the press. At the same time, Tory hopes of winning an outright majority seem like overly optimistic wishful thinking. And if no one wins a majority, the Lib Dems in their current form seem unlikely to go with anyone other than the Cons simply because the Lib Dem leadership is basically Tory. So, sorry folks. We may be in for more of the same until 2020. Although there will be a new and slightly amended Coalition agreement, for all the difference that makes. Maybe Nick Clegg will remember to ask for a proper government department this time.

Yvette Cooper will be elected leader of the Labour Party following Ed Miliband’s resignation (2015)

Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential elections (2016).
She will beat Republican Paul Ryan in a close contest. She will be the first woman US president.

The UK will stay in the European Union throughout this decade (2010-2020).
UKIP will do well in the 2014 European elections but will fail to win a single seat in the 2015 General Election. Cameron will somehow dodge having the promised in-out referendum. The issue will contribute to his downfall in 2018.

Boris Johnson will become Prime Minister (2018).
Yes! Horror of horrors! This could actually happen. Start packing your suitcase now!

King Charles III will attempt to disestablish the Church of England (before 2030).
I don’t want to make morbid predictions about the likely mortality of the Queen. But I would guess Charles would be on the throne before the end of the next decade and some move towards reform from him in this quarter.