Ireland has seen massive inflows of speculative money into its real estate market in recent years as investment funds have increased their balance sheet more

What is the worst case scenario for Britain after Brexit?

After several troubled years of a contracting British economy, capital and industrial flight and an increasing reliance on Russian and Middle Eastern expatriates and shady money investment to keep London’s economy afloat, it becomes clear to even the most hardened Brexiters by 2025 that Brexit was poorly implemented. Attempts to revisit Brexit fail in face of onerous European terms for rejoining the EU, including a requirement for immediate adoption of the euro and a high “EU-Return” price tag. Unlike the looser EU that prevailed while the UK remained in Brussels, the post-UK EU demands far more surrender of sovereignty than did the European Union before Britain left. In Britain and internationally, Brexit consequences include:

  • The British economy endures a half-decade of humiliating capital and industrial flight, which precipitates a brain drain. Language learning in Britain improves remarkably as ambitious students “take their diplomas to the Continent” following graduation. The City of London, blocked out of much lucrative EU business by Continental bankers, takes the Panama route and becomes a place to park shady revenue from other lands.
  • Over time, the European Union loosens some restrictions on British visitors to the Continent. Visa-free travel is reintroduced, for example; residence on the Continent remains a hassle for middle class Britons, although connected or wealthy individuals like Nigel Lawson continue to reside comfortably in the South of France. The English research their ethnic roots to find Irish, Italian, and other grandparents as a basis to claim EU passports.
  • London is a playground for shady rich people from the developing world, particularly Russia and the former Soviet Union, Africa, and the Middle East. Upper class Londoners decry that they’ve been further priced out of their city by foreign property owners. On the bright side, immigration from within Europe into the UK ceases to be a problem, although demographers worry about English stagnation and population decline and its impact on the pension system. Immigration from the most troubled parts of the world proves intractable, however.
  • Non-English parts of United Kingdom seek the exits. After a referendum or two, first Scotland and then Northern Ireland vote “UK-exit”. The Northern Irish referendum provokes an upsurge in sectarian violence. Scotland is admitted to the EU with the euro as its currency. Belfast returns to the sectarian violence of the nineteen seventies.
  • England can’t figure a way out of Northern Ireland, given a potent “UK-Remain” faction in Westminister. “After all” the Unionists thunder in Parliament, “binding referenda on political questions have no standing under British law!” The rump United Kingdom of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (which the wags call “Little Britain”) struggles to develop a cohesive national identity. London and Edinburgh begin a decades-long litigation about the price of UK-Exit, the division of hydrocarbons revenues, and the division of post-UK national debt.
  • The new United States-Mexico-Canada-Rump UK trading pact, renewable every decade pursuant to American demands, fails to revive England and Wales’ economy; Northern Ireland remains a basket case. As a minor market for the US compared to the EU, England is unable to dictate trading terms. Uncompetitive British agricultural production is crushed by U.S. competition on U.S. terms. Boris Johnson’s Tory party bravely rails against subsidizing English farmers along the lines of the “failed EU model;” despite the introduction of subsidies after Johnson’s fall from power, UK farming collapses. U.S. and EU imports surge as does UK unemployment given the flight of international industrial production to the hassle-free European Union.
  • By 2030, once number-one and number-two world ranked universities Oxford and Cambridge, starved for funding, develop niche survival strategies including fun “college semester abroad” programs for rich students from the US, the EU, and the developing world. An article in the New York Times (Berlin edition) notes that like Prague and the universities of Bologna and Salamanca, Oxford offers a charming backdrop for students seeking a European experience and the chance to drink beer in a picturesque setting.
  • Britain’s increasingly anemic armed forces struggle to find a role. Little Britain can’t afford power projection. Already by 2018 all of UK forces — army, navy, marines, air force — could have comfortably fit on the US Fort Bragg; by 2027 they are poised for radical downsizing. The U.S., really the UK’s only viable ally, uses British forces for political legitimacy. As the Pentagon loses patience with training, transporting, and otherwise supporting English and Welsh troops, Washington pressures the UK to cut health care, education, and what Washington calls “entitlement” funding in favor of the military. London reluctantly acquiesces, another factor in Johnson’s loss of the premiership to Corbyn. France ensures the UK is shut out of the European Security and Defense Identity.
  • France and Germany conclude that the Trumpian Republican Party in the U.S. can not be counted on. NATO collapses, but the Europeans fail to build a strong alternative, leaving all Europe at the mercy of President Putin by 2028. Fortunately, Russia’s economy is so worn down by decades of mismanagement that Russia remains quiescent.
  • Britain’s see-sawing national priorities (first a closer relationship with the U.S. under Johnson, then radical socialism under Corbyn) leave Britain’s budget in shambles. Richer Britons travel to the EU or to the U.S. for better health care or for higher education, and to the EU for quality of life.

Under the circumstances it’s no surprise that first Jeremy Corbyn, then the Corbynite Labour Party face little resistance implementing what the Washington Post in 2030 describes as “the most radical economic and political agenda in the developed world.” Domestically Labour seeks to revive nationalized industries like coal and heavy manufacturing; internationally Labour recognizes Palestine, cuts diplomatic ties with Israel (exacerbating its relationship with the U.S. , followed by the collapse of the UK’s trade agreement with Washington. Washington ends “Five Eyes.”). With the U.S. and the EU now distant, the UK seeks closer political accommodation with non-EU potential “partner nations” including Russia, Turkey under Berat Albayrak, and Norway.

In his dotage, Lord Corbyn pens a memoir saluting his Labour successor after wryly admitting his debt to the Tories for Labour’s long winning streak. The neo-marxist life peer clarifies that “Tory mismanagement in the second decade of the twenty-first century finally put Britain on a path to national sovereignty, a fiercely progressive stance in world affairs, and an egalitarian economic agenda that we can be proud of..

Not all is rosy in Little Britain, however. In Wales an independence movement gathers steam as the Welsh grow increasingly frustrated with Little Britain’s “England vs. Northern Irish Unionist zero sum game, played at the cost of the legitimate aspirations of Wales!” There is even talk of an independent Cardiff seeking EU membership..