Atop High Street it looks clear that Burford is celebration. It is one of the many memorials to the fallen during the wars that are commemorated shortly after the Brexit vote. In this medieval village of the British Costwolds, the divorce from the European Union has enormous support. The nationalism fervor is evident from cross-streaked flags, hats in blue, red and white and in the enthusiasm of the dozens of villagers who congregated on the other side of the Windrush Rwhen to chant the Rule Britannia accompanied by a modest local orchestra.
Today, according to the statistics, that fervor to get rid of what they consider a burden for the growth of their economy, embodied in the rest of Europe, has disappeared. The Brexit skeptics are increasingly more. In June 2016, the referendum was won by those who wanted to leave the EU by just three points and a little more (51.89% to 48.11%). Today polls show that 46% are in favor of remaining in the UE against 40% who do not regret their divorce vote. It also marks a huge breach among people. The pro-Brexit are, for the most part, older white men. Young people are overwhelmingly pro-European (73%), as are most women and non-whites.
Despite all this, Prime Minister Theresa May and her party peers, the conservative Tories, are determined to continue with the plan to leave the EU before March 20, 2019 and dismiss any possibility of re-submitting the decision to a new referendum. And they move resolutely to try to get a favorable vote in Parliament for the plan agreed to last week in Brussels. So far it looks like they will crash when voting in Westminster on December 11, and that the departure will be much more complicated than the isolationists hope for, and that is why those who raised the Brexit flags now face in silence the avalanche of criticism from all sectors.
In a report presented to the Parliament, the Prime Minister herself acknowledged that if everything goes well and the exit plan is approved for the next four months, the country's GDP will be reduced by 3.9%, which amounts to a loss to the economy of approximately 70,000 million euros. The Bank of England made things even more complicated. They informed that a no deal exit or transition of the EU would affect the British economy much more than the financial crisis of 2008. That is to say that now the alternative would seem to be between the bad and the worst. May herself puts it in terms of three options: deal, no deal, or forgetting Brexit forever.
"If all this is analyzed from a purely economic point of view, it is undeniable that leaving the EU will have a cost because there will be new barriers to trade. However, those who want to leave the union do not focus so much on that cost but on the political and constitutional benefits of the exit," Philip Hammond, the head of the British Treasury, explained to the BBC. Then the criticism rained down on him. Once the country begins to suffer the restrictions, it could happen was has happened with those who used to be pro-Brexit: they may add to a good amount of repentants. For example, if immigration of European workers were to be restricted, the economy would enter a deep recession. Trade and tourism depend on this labor force. The Brexists say they will be quickly replaced by Indian, Pakistani and other former colonists. But if a new massive migration of Asian workers is not accepted, it would be difficult for British citizens of Indian or Pakistani origin to want to do minor jobs when they have all the possibilities of climbing the social ladder.
The orderly exit agreement reached last week, after anguished negotiations with the EU leadership, would be the least bad. The Checkers Plan would be applied, the original presented by May, and without changes in the terms of immigration. But she still has not convinced many euroskeptics of her own party that want to leave the union with as few foreigners as possible. There is another possibility, that they call "the Canadian" because it is based on the agreement that exists between Canada and the EU, a hybrid between the membership and the strategic alliance, which would have an intermediate cost, with an economic downturn between 4.9% and 6.7%. And there is the no-deal exit, that would plunge the economy and put the islands in a fragile international situation.
Midway lay still other main topics, such as what to do with the Northern Ireland border, the territory that decided to stay in the EU. What would be the customs exchange rate at this limit? Who and how could cross it freely? The other issue is the future of Gibraltar. Spain demanded a very clear letter in the divorce contract that would give them the exclusive right to be the only actor in a possible negotiation on sovereignty with the London government. Madrid was assured that this was already achieved in the last negotiation in Brussels, but Theresa May told the MP of the House of Commons that neither the text or anything else had changed in the status of the colony that controls the entrance to the Mediterranean. And there is still the lingering question of the autonomy of Great Britain at the time of signing new economic agreements with blocks that compete with the EU.
Theresa May arrives in Buenos Aires to participate in the summit of the G20 with a very heavy backpack. In the corridors of Costa Salguero she will try to discuss all of this with the other European leaders, the Canadian Trudeau and the American Trump. She will need everyone's support to achieve an orderly Brexit with the lowest possible costs. Otherwise, she will have to start saying goodbye to the staff that accompanies her in the historic house of Downing Street and become part of the group former prime ministers who wanted to be more British than the British.
For Infobae's complete coverage of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina: www.infobae.com/america/g20-summit-2018/