For the embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May, the Brexit negotiation is rapidly turning into one of the circles of hell, with the British PM, desperate for some shred of consensus, suddenly finds herself making concessions left and right, and even as she refuses to be talked into a “soft Brexit” trap, with the tens of billions in obligations it would entail, she finds she may have no choice but to yield on many other topical issues, and that’s without even getting into who keeps control over euro clearing, or the appeals to the European Court of Justice. Making matters worse, in most cases May’s overtures are not enough, as Bloomberg reports, because when May proposed to safeguard residency rights of European Union citizens currently living in the U.K., EU leaders offered a “tepid reception both in Europe and at home, with EU counterparts and London Mayor Sadiq Khan stressing that many issues remain unresolved.”
In short, as the BBC summarized today, “EU leaders says UK offer could ‘worsen situation‘”
Meanwhile, the European trolling continued, and nowhere more so than the country which as recently as a year ago was the UK’s closest continental ally, Germany.
Here, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that British people were “endlessly lied to and deceived” in last year’s Brexit referendum campaign. The finance minister, speaking on the first anniversary of the Brexit vote, was scathing about the “leave” campaigners who persuaded a majority of voters to opt to quit the European Union.
“The Britons were endlessly lied to and deceived,” Schaeuble told a conference according to Reuters. When the Brexit campaigners “happened to be successful, the ones who did it ran away because they said they can’t take responsibility”. In the days after the vote, Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum, resigned, and several prominent leave campaigners dropped out of the race to succeed him.
Schaeuble said the 70 years of growth and prosperity Europe had known since World War Two was not based on pure majoritarianism but on sustainable democratic models.
“(We need) not just mechanisms that consist of my promising something to a majority,” he said.
He concluded with a valid point: “Then you only have to look at the demographics to see that you’ll end up with endless debates about redistribution that lead to jealousy.”
What he did not touch on is that while demographics is indeed becoming an increasingly pressing issue for Europe, the underlying catalyst for the current polarized state of the world is not politicians, who were revealed as utterly incompetent in the years after the financial crisis, but the central banks who took over. What is strange is that politicians have been all too eager to take the fall for the disastrous monetary policies that have culminated with today’s world, which is one wrong central bank word away from a market crash, and social turmoil.
Which in turn goes back full circle to what Albert Edwards said yesterday when he predicted that “Citizens Will Soon Turn Their Rage Towards Central Bankers.” For the sake of the world, that day can’t come too soon.