This is an excellent, must-read article by John Cassidy, in the New Yorker. He argues that just four days after the British vote to leave the European Union, there are reasons to doubt whether the referendum result will be implemented.
I tend to empathize with much of Cassidy’s argument. I very much rate John Cassidy – he’s an outstanding journalist.
The bottom line is that as the dust settles and reality sets in, people realize that triggering Article 50 is looking increasingly risky for the UK.
The price for access to the European market would be very high – perhaps the UK would be penalized as an example – but most importantly, it is highly questionable whether the UK would ever get the EU to agree to immigration restrictions.
Meanwhile, financial markets are in crisis and credit rating agencies write down the UK’s rating – this will ultimately affect the UK’s borrowing costs and despite all of George’s Osborne’s austerity, there’s still sky-high debt levels. Germany has dealt with many countries under financial pressure and knows how to let them stew in their own juices.