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Brexit Diary: ‘Wait, no one told us that was going to happen’ (Actually, they did)

• If the goal of Brexit was to banish all the financial giants from London – along with their well-paying jobs – then Brexit already is a huge success. Bloomberg has an eye-opening post, “Seven Charts That Show How Brexit Has Already Changed the City of London,” documenting how Brexit has bolstered the positions of Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin and other European Union financial centers.

A lot of the charts in the post look at arcane aspects of finance such as swaps, which are really insurance policies on deals going bad. But the number of jobs moving out, and the capital leaving The City, is no abstraction.

• We’ve told you what has happened with Brexit, but an interesting thing hasn’t happened that Brexiteers have been predicting since 2016. The now-retired Nigel Farage predicted Great Britain leaving would be only the first of many European Union dominos falling. That immediately after the UK left, other countries would leave – specifically Italy and France. Once they saw how the UK – freed from the tyranny of the world’s largest common market – instantly returned to greatness, the EU would collapse.

That this never happened – not even extreme right-wing leaders such as Hungary’s Victor Orbán have proposed leaving the trade bloc – matters not a wit to the British tabloids still assuring stalwart Brexiteers the EU is breaking up right before their eyes. The Daily Express has a post about Far Right French fringe politician Florian Philippot saying that leaving the EU would be like “leaving prison.” There’s just one problem – Philippot’s party, Les Partriotes, has exactly one seat in the 577-seat French Assemblée National.

If you Google “frexit,” you’ll see the Express has posted no fewer than 23 Frexit stories in the past three weeks … but is the only publication on the planet where editors think there is a story. Meanwhile, legitimate media such as Financial Times are covering how the UK’s exports to Germany have bottomed out, Amsterdam is claiming The City’s financial might and British manufacturers are suffering due to Brexit delays.

Read more here about how the tabloids caused Brexit and pretty much everything else that’s bad including Meghangate.

• This is one of the biggest “we told you sos.” The European Union has firm-by-firm stolen much of the share-trading might of the City of London’s once mighty financial-services hub. As of mid-February 2021, Amsterdam replaced London as Europe’s main share-trading hub, according to the Financial Times (via Bloomberg.)

Here’s the nut graph from Bloomberg:

The City of London lost its rights to access the single market on Dec. 31 and the EU has not permitted investors inside the bloc to trade shares in companies such as Airbus SE and BNP Paribas SA from the U.K. That saw more than 6 billion euros of daily EU share trading leave London since the start of the year.

This is hardly unexpected as everyone from business leaders to academics to economists warned this was coming. The question is, do the hard-line Brexiteers even care? Clearly, they didn’t and don’t.

Here’s “Bitter, table for one: What it will be like to be British after Brexit,” our eerily prescient take on the glorious restoration of British greatness.

From that post:

The most fervent Brexiteers always say they’re willing to trade the economy for autonomy, and that’s how it’s worked out. Win – win, as the Americans say. Though, it turns out in the global economy, an island nation of only 65 million people – and with no clear competitive advantage in technology or finance – doesn’t have much leverage.

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