Unorganized Reactions to Brexit

“Brexit” is just a terrible word.

  • Free trade is generally a good thing. This includes free “trade” in services and persons as well as goods–that is, free migration. Despite what some think, immigration (high-skilled and low-skilled) makes everyone better off.
  • While some economic regulations may be necessary, it’s generally best if regulations are made at the lowest level of sovereignty possible, so that if the regulations are bad or poorly enforced, they will do the least harm.
  • While immigration does bring with it the threat of terrorism, the vast majority of immigrants are very desperate to fit in, get jobs, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Anyway, terrorists can get into Western countries as visitors, so migration policy is not the be-all-end-all of terrorism prevention.
  • It’s fascinating that both the “Leave” and “Remain” campaigns had support from both ends of the traditional left-right political spectrum. On the right, the tension was between Tories concerned about economic effects of leaving and those who were concerned about national sovereignty and cultural effects of immigration. On the left, there were those who were concerned about immigrants displacing native-born workers, but also those who favored EU regulations and closer ties with Europe.
  • The UK will likely remain part of the European internal market (which includes non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland) when it leaves the political union. Therefore, fears among those who support free trade and free migration are mostly unfounded, and those who are (irrationally) fearful of free trade and immigration will not get what they want.

Bottom line: Brexit is probably a good thing in the long run, but in the short run (five years or so) it will be difficult as the regulations and international relationships are renegotiated.

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About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Josh and Hannah…uncle to Marshall.
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