Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

UK Prime Minister Theresa May met with President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission at 10 Downing Street, (26 April 2017, UK Government photo)..

The Theresa May brexiteer government has started feeling the heat about their choice to fight an electoral battle on a clear and loud plea, that a vote for Tories on 8 June is a vote for a hard Brexit. And mind you the closer we get to the polling date the more heated the controversy becomes. According to a Reuters report, “Estimates for possible finance-related job losses from Brexit are on a broad range from 4,000 to 232,000, according to separate reports by Oliver Wyman and Ernst & Young”.

Of course the final account of the financial jobs to be lost in London’s City depends on the kind of Brexit the next UK government is to pursue. The harder the Brexit the more jobs to be lost. Politics, though, sometimes works in mysterious ways. It seems that the threats from the City’s mammoth banks and the Brussels bureaucracy are fueling May’s poll rates. It’s as if the June 2016 scenario repeats itself. At that time, the whole world ‘advised’ and pressed the Brits to vote ‘remain’, yet on the 23rd of the month they voted ‘leave’. Let’s take one thing at a time.

What do the banks want?

Putting two and two together, it becomes apparent that May has set course for a wild Brexit, paying no attention to the damage this may bring to the London City’s complex and unbelievable wealthy financial markets. This is especially true for the few mega-banks, which have being producing for at least two decades now one in every ten GB pounds of the country’s GDP, out of that golden square mile of London’s soil. Already, the bosses of those mammoth financial groups like UBS, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank and HSBC are on rooftops, airing threats that thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs will be moving to Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris and elsewhere in the Continent.

Yet, all those threats seem to deepen the divide between the London financial aristocracy and the rest of English population, of hard working people, the unemployed and the small or very small businesses. The financial sharks are affirming that they want an amicable Brexit without saying so explicitly. In reality, they are craving for their business to continue as usual, but this isn’t possible anymore. Less than a month ahead from the Election Day on 8 June and the interferences from the banks and Brussels in British politics are to intensify.

May has the advantage

It’s interesting though, that May’s government exploit to their political benefit the threats voiced by the London City, in the same way as they are dealing with the hardened language of the Continental governments about the Brexit’s conditions and costs. May repels all those threats and warnings with an… imperial grandeur and a chauvinist conviction, in direct contradiction with the rest of our globalised world. Only Trump’s America is happy with May. She tells the Brits they can brazen out all the 27 mainland EU countries and the mammoth banks banking on the dangerous but sure ‘patriotic’ element. It’s quite obvious then, why all those more or less ‘foreign’ interventions, seem to be feeding the polling ratings of the Tories. Chauvinism pays good dividends on the first days to those ‘selling’ it, but the blood and tears for sure follow for everybody.

It’s a pity that, at the presently crucial times for Britain, the Labour Party and the Liberals are under so weak leaderships. The major and the minor opposition parties of Parliament cannot articulate a convincing alternative narrative. They let May’s populists to fully and exclusively exploit all the ‘patriotic’ and ‘populist’ tales. It is as if May is Prime Minister of just the English countryside, at the striking exception of London. Not to say anything about the revolting Scotland and Northern Ireland, two nations which are eager to rather leave the UK than exit from the EU.

The specter of June 2016

It’s exactly the same as on the 23 June 2016 Brexit vote. The more the whole world was ‘advising’ even threatening the Brits not to vote ‘leave’, the more their will for Brexit was toughened. The same scenario is actually repeated now. The more threats come from Berlin, Brussels and the mammoth global banks, the more May’s narrative convinces the left behind Brits in the countryside, who live in a completely different world, than the Londoners.

Regarding the relations between the Brexiteer government and the London City, many think that even the wildest Brexit doesn’t really threaten the heart of this famous and centuries old financial hub. London may continue its career as a globally renowned money washing machine, catering for the grey and large banking accounts. The Brexit may facilitate this characteristic of the London City, by freeing Britain from EU’s financial rules, at times very tight. Yet again, the definite breakup of the London Stock Exchange long planned but ill-fated merger with the Deutsche Börse in Frankfort is a negative sign. Before the Brexit, this marriage was supposed to create such a huge market to dwarf New York; not anymore. Surely the Brexit played a decisive role here.

More losses to come

However, London and in many respects the entire British economy, is to undergo difficult to estimate costs from the May’s government firm decision, to effectively block the other Europeans from living and working in the UK. Britain’s huge tourist industry, the manufacturing and construction sectors and the retailing business already report having problems. According to Reuters “on Tuesday (2nd May), the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said employers saw the sharpest fall in the availability of workers to fill their vacancies in 16 months. Recruitment companies reported a drop in the number of European Union nationals available to work in sectors such as food manufacturing and healthcare, REC said”. Undoubtedly, those tendencies are going to worsen, if PM May is to have her way. Most probably though, she will.

As things turn out, the 8 June vote will finish the job the Brexiteers started one year ago. The result will be a Britain sailing out on the uncharted and troubled waters of the treacherous high seas of our brave and dangerous world. The Brexiteer narrative being itself a popular but dangerous myth deprived of any certainties, has at the same time created powerful enemies. The anti-EU, alias anti-Globalization populist rhetoric of the Brexiteers may prove lethal, not because it doesn’t contain hard realities and truths that it does, but because it is ‘used’ in meta political, even meta-democratic ways, with an analogy only to Trump’s America. It’s the new ways of the few to manipulate the many. The result may be a monster…

 

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