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Weekend reading: Teasing apart the motivation to Leave

Weekend reading

Good reads from around the Web.

Take the stereotype of a Leave voter at face value, and they’ve already struck a blow against the wealthy and pretentious urban South.

According to an article in The Telegraph, the price of coffee is rising due to the declining pound.

Stephen Hurst, founder of Mercanta, a speciality coffee importer based in Kingston upon Thames, estimates a rise of 60-70p on a kilo of beans, taking the price to around £4.95.

Richard Champion, deputy chief investment officer at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, said: “We don’t expect sterling to recover anytime in the near future so we’d expect this to wash through into higher prices.

“It’s another clear example of what we’re going to see happening in the coming months as higher import costs filter through.”

Ye, the infamous latte factor is about to become that little bit more taxing.

Oh I know, there’s now a Starbucks in Hartlepool. I appreciate, too, that maybe you voted Leave even though you live in a nice house in the Home Counties.

I wrote about some such voters, remember.

Indeed back in the earliest Days After Brexit Day, there were a lot of clashes here and elsewhere due to Leave voters feeling misunderstood.

So while I think generalizations can be helpful when studying broad trends such as how a country voted, it’s true they can be superficial and perhaps misleading.

Getting personal

To that end, there’s a developing view that aside from ethnicity (the elephant in the room, maybe) a big predictor of how somebody chose to vote is how socially conservative they are.

According to a London School of Economics blog:

Britain’s choice to vote Leave, we are told, is a protest by those left behind by modernisation and globalisation. London versus the regions, poor versus rich.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Brexit voters, like Trump supporters, are motivated by identity, not economics. Age, education, national identity and ethnicity are more important than income or occupation.

But to get to the nub of the Leave-Remain divide, we need to go even deeper, to the level of attitudes and personality.

These personality factors include attitudes to immigration and – most strikingly – whether a particular voter thinks we should bring back the death penalty.

  • In polling before the referendum, 71% of those who said they were in favour of bringing back the death penalty said they would vote to leave the EU.
  • This falls to 20 percent among those most opposed to capital punishment.

Now, you might argue we’ve just swapped one stereotype for another here. It certainly won’t tell you every nuance behind a Leave vote – or necessarily describe YOU.

Some 29% of people who want to string ’em up would prefer to remain part of the EU, remember. And 20% of Remainers quite fancy a hanging.

Yet as we struggle to reconcile a new relationship with Europe in the light of this vote, it’s going to be vital to tease out the real motivations behind the decision to Leave.

No side is going to get everything it wants from any negotiation. We’ll need to get the best political and economic bangs for our buck from the compromises.

Identifying this conservative Leave instinct – which I tactfully personified as 50-something Barry Blimp in my piece, and which the LSE researchers more kindly refer to as the ‘Settler’ personality type – could be valuable.

It may also point to why the debate has been so ill-tempered, especially as the researcher adds:

By contrast, people oriented toward success and display (‘Prospectors’), or who prioritise expressive individualism and cultural equality (‘Pioneers’) voted Remain.

If pitting these kinds of people against death penalty supporting Leavers doesn’t sound like the classic ingredients of a family punch up, then you clearly haven’t been to my house at Christmas.

Incidentally, don’t get caught up on “success” there, Barry. We know you did very well for yourself in your career and you have a big house to prove it.

The question is how to reconcile Barry’s stance – maybe your stance – with the more disenfranchised and widespread Leave contingent, given the economic interests seem so very different.

Often, in fact, contradictory.

Brexit quarantine facility

  • Brexit accelerates 100 years of currency debasement – Bloomberg
  • El-Arian: Pound could see dollar parity unless swift action – ThisIsMoney
  • Weighing the cost of the lighter pound [Search result]FT
  • Bull market charges on regardless of poor revolt [Search result]FT
  • The finance industry Brexit fallout is about to get worse – Telegraph
  • An overview of the various potential trade deal templates – ThisIsMoney
  • Is retailer Next a Brexit buy? – Money Observer
  • Great Portland Estates warns of a property slowdown –ThisIsMoney
  • A US investor’s perspective on Brexit – Investing Caffeine
  • Brexit prompts biggest fall in consumer sentiment in five years – Reuters
  • EU citizens working in NHS reconsider their future – Guardian
  • 42% increase in race hate incidents around Brexit, say police – Guardian
  • Racists burn down Polish family’s shed, tell them to go home – BBC

From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: Coventry Building Society has unveiled the cheapest ever 10-year mortgage, with a fixed rate of just 2.39%, reports The Guardian. You’ll need a 50% deposit to get your hands on it.

Mainstream media money

Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view these enable you to click through to read the piece without being a paid subscriber of that site.1

Passive investing

  • The active versus passive debate is outdated – Morningstar
  • FTSE 100 outperformance puts on the pressure [Search result]FT
  • Swedroe: Digging into the profitability premium [Nerdy]ETF.com

Active investing

  • Property funds in ‘vicious circle of redemptions’ [Search result]FT
  • Commercial property trusts are on big discounts – Telegraph
  • Is peer-to-peer property lending worth the risk? – ThisIsMoney

A word from a broker

Other stuff worth reading

  • The 40-somethings joining Generation Rent – Telegraph
  • Buy-to-let may soon require a 60% deposit in some areas – Telegraph
  • Merryn: Send company pension schemes on holiday [Search result]FT
  • Beware of restrictive covenants when you buy a home – Guardian
  • Contracts risk pay cut after tax clampdown [Search result]FT
  • Some US cities have literally medieval murder rates – Washington Post

Book of the week: Post-Brexit shuffling has taken the largest position in my ‘don’t do this at home!’ portfolio to the 10% limit. (Hopefully I’ll soon face the difficult issue of it breaching that self-imposed maximum under its own steam!) Warren Buffett thinks you should use trackers, but if you’re going to go active, he’s a focused investing man at heart. I keep meaning to read the recent book Concentrated Investing to brush up on the subject, but if like me you’ve read all of Buffett’s letters (twice) then you probably won’t find much new to get into.

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  1. Note some articles can only be accessed through the search results if you’re using PC/desktop view (from mobile/tablet view they bring up the firewall/subscription page). To circumvent, switch your mobile browser to use the desktop view. On Chrome for Android: press the menu button followed by “Request Desktop Site”. []

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  • 51 Dragon July 9, 2016, 11:43 pm

    @FI Warrior

    I’m slightly confused by your post. You say that the “fact that the EU has lost its way *recently* …”

    However, from the outset, the 4 main freedoms of the EU have been free movement of goods, services, capital and people. The remain argument seems to be that these are an unqualified good.

    But, who exactly do you think is going to benefit most from those 4 freedoms? Sure, a few highly motivated/talented individuals will benefit from a slightly more streamlined process in terms of moving to other countries to get certain jobs, but those are the types who can make hay regardless.

    The real beneficiaries, to my mind, will unfortunately end up being the very neo-liberal, robber baron, pseudo/crony/corporatist “capitalists” you seem to be decrying! i.e. the big companies with the expensive lawyers and accountants who can ensure that the company is tax domiciled in the most advantageous place, takes full advantage of transfer pricing, lobbies the commission for further benefits and so on.

    A common theme among “remain” posts is that the EUmay not be perfect, but it’s better than the alternatives, and has led to “peace” in Europe.

    The second argument is completely fallacious. “Peace” in Europe was secured not by the EU or its predecessor constructs, but frankly, by the fact that after WW2, much of mainland Europe had been physically devasted and economies had collapsed. People were then too busy rebuilding lives to fight each other (and by that point, were frankly a little sick of fighting!) The other main thing which secured the peace was NATO’s (by which I primarily mean America’s) military muscle making the Soviets pause for thought rather than simply rolling their tanks all the way to the channel (which, but for the Americans, they could otherwise easily have done).

    As to the first argument, I think it’s plain for all to see that the EU is not perfect. But what realistic chance is there of any kind of meaningful reform? The top guy, Juncker, flat out said that even had we voted remain, there would be no reform.

    The Germans aren’t going to really want to reform the EU either. Since they are effectively in charge and the paymaster, this matters. In its current set-up, it suits them very well. A (relatively) low value currency suits their export oriented economy down to the ground. A return to the Deutsche Mark (i.e. a high value hard currency) would crucify them economically.

    However, the flip-side of all this is that in the absence of debt-pooling (which the Germans will never accept) the rest of the EU, and primarily the “club med” countries are being sacrificed on the pyre to protect German mercantilism. Otherwise, why does unemployment (and particularly youth unemployment) typically range from 20% – 50% through France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece and others? That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of the EU’s economic success, is it?

    The fact that these countries are then being forced into austerity measures by EU economic rules simply compounds the problem as they are pushed into a contractionary, deflationary cycle which prevents them growing out of their predicament.

    The reason there are so many French, Italian, Spanish etc workers in London isn’t just because London is a great, wonderful, cosmopolitan place to be. It’s because there are jobs there and frankly, none for those workers in their home countries. Now, yes, that’s the UK’s gain in many ways, but the reality is that we simply can’t absorb all the unemployed from the continent whose prospects are being blighted by the very political and economic construct they claim to love so much.

    I think there’s a phase for that? Stockholm Syndrome?

    Even the IMF is now (finally) waking up to the obvious and stating this – see here: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2016/cr16219.pdf

    Amongst the platitudes, the main points coming out of the report is that the EU has persistently high unemloyment, debt levels which are too high, reluctance to adopt needed structural reforms and so on and basically remains highly exposed to rising oil prices and/or a (futher) collapse in demand (both internally within the EU and externally for the the EU’s exporters).

    Ultimately, even Germany is in a cleft stick of their own making. You can only go on lending people the money to buy your products for so long and waiving repayment requirements before that house of cards comes crashing down. Deutsche Bank is simply the most obvious example of the problem. It is in trouble not because of “perfidious albion” / Barry Blimp / Northern Yob / Little Englander / Tory Toff / Racists / etc but because the system it is part of is riven with contradictions.

  • 52 Richard July 9, 2016, 11:46 pm

    @Neverland 🙂 if the 48% decide this is the only thing they care about and the lib dems are the only party saying they will keep us in the EU and there is an election then they may do a lot better. Equally 52% may vote UKIP – that would be an interesting parlement.

    It was more of a point that even if we left the EU we could go back in again (if they wanted us back). There is always room for manoeuvre or watering down of Brexit.

  • 53 FI Warrior July 9, 2016, 11:51 pm

    ‘I don’t think from their base of 8 MPs that the Liberals are going to be forming a government any time soon’

    Too true, before they took on the blame for anything repugnant in the coalition govt., thus displaying their understandable naivete in dealing with the veterans at skulduggery, I used to hope they’d break the impasse of duopoly that made a joke of nominal democracy in the UK.

    But a mentor gently let me down back in the day with the explanation: they can never change anything here because of the simplest fact, the clue is in the name, the electorate are neither liberal, nor democratic, which is why they never got past ~20% of those who could be arsed to vote, even on the wildest, protest-vote occasions. People really do get the govt. they deserve. That’s karma.

  • 54 Richard July 10, 2016, 12:01 am

    I heard that the UK were the ones all for cheap Chinese steel flooding the markets and were blocking the EU introducing tariffs. Having ‘home rule’ doesn’t mean they will always work in the best interests of everyone. It wouldn’t surprise me if in this case the construction industry was the much more powerful lobby group and this the steel miners lost out. If this is the case, this is an example of the EU protect worker rights. Of course the difference here is outside the EU we have the ability to remove the people who do this and put a different group of people in. Inside the EU it would be much more difficult (think about those countries who did want tariffs)

  • 55 FI Warrior July 10, 2016, 12:17 am

    @ Dragon, yes you are confused by my post. There are whole tranches of your rebuttal that I completely agree with. A lot of what you are decrying as vile about the EU is exactly what I called corruption by corporate capture of the EU institutions; corporations are joyriding at the expense of ordinary people not because the EU was set up to enable just that, but because it has been changed to enable that via lobbying, which is thinly-veiled corruption.

    Yes, people, countries and economies were devastated after WWII in Europe, but that’s not what brought about the peace afterwards, injustice is what fuels never-ending wars. Europe was similarly prostate after WWI, but that didn’t stop a replay within a generation because the peace straight after round 1 that was brokered, was harsh enough to guarantee it. There are examples all over the world of failed states where devastation doesn’t stop never-ending war, Afghanistan over the centuries is the most obvious.

    I totally agree that the current German government (note the distinction between that entity and all its people) is throttling the EU, which is precisely why I said we should all take it back democratically. I hate that they are crucifying the southern Europeans, driving them to London to be beggars and second-class citizens; for that to happen however, you have to have a seat at the table.

  • 56 Richard July 10, 2016, 7:39 am

    @FI warror – the issue for me is I don’t remember the remain campaign once explaining how they were going to ‘take it back democratically’. Maybe if they had made their campaign about that and not about how poor we would be if we didn’t maintain the status quo they would have won.

    So while I agree that would be a good idea, why would voters consider it a likely outcome if the remain campaign didn’t make it central to their argument to remain?

  • 57 Andrew July 10, 2016, 8:11 am

    Moanevator, motivation for armchair complaining and quibbling.
    Being relatively new to investing I have enjoyed reading Monevator over the last 18 months but, since the EU referendum, it seems to have lost focus and it’s now lost me as a reader too. Such a shame.

  • 58 FI Warrior July 10, 2016, 8:30 am

    @Richard. Ok, this is how I approached the referendum. They gave a crude binary choice, which I saw as 2 options to get to what I wanted out of life, which therefore meant I had to define that. Ideally, I wanted to live somewhere that is a beacon of peace, prosperity and enlightenment through ever-evolving improvements in civilisation. If you’re going to dream, you might as well really go for it, even if you know the chances of it happening are slight. (It’s an academic exercise anyway and dreaming is free)

    Then I intensively researched for myself the probabilities of possible outcomes of each option to try to evaluate which gave a better chance of realising my wish ‘coming true’. I didn’t pay any attention to either official campaign because those players all have their own agendas and I doubt they have my best interests to heart. I can think for myself and more importantly I only trust myself with my own future, vs random strangers.

    If the remain camp had articulated their argument any better, I’m not sure it would have made much difference, because looking at election campaigns generally, negativity seems to almost always trump logic, it’s just a human cognitive bias.

    If you’re asking how it’s practically possible to take the EU back democratically, it would be through the process of basic grass-roots systematic voting step by step, layer by layer. Where the existing rules wont allow genuine democratic practices to flow, they should be re-negotiated to do so, for that reason and always by directly elected individuals, so as to confer legitimacy on the outcomes. If the ancient Greeks could do it (using black or white stones in full view, which were then counted publicly) then it can’t be beyond us to make it happen too.

    People have the best chance if they understand democracy properly and this needs training, the easiest way is at the smallest level, massively de-centralise power to give local people as much say as possible over how they live, like at council level. On paper this theoretically exists, but the % of the electorate that actually participates in this process renders it democratically meaningless. I’m not convinced your average voter fully understands democracy, because if they did, they would be better able to see when they were being conned into voting against their own best interests.

  • 59 The Rhino July 10, 2016, 8:39 am

    Has anyone considered how likely it was for the referendum to be split 50 50? Does the prevalence of the 50 50 split in politics suggest it is something other than chance?

    Could be that political systems tend toward 50 50 splits as some inherent property they have? Could it be that modern democracy is actually just a means of splitting the voting population into 2 roughly equal groups?

  • 60 The Rhino July 10, 2016, 9:19 am

    @andrew don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Just filter on TA articles and don’t read any comments for a few weeks and all will be good. I would concur that the MV crowd has thoroughly exhausted all things Brexit.

  • 61 Richard July 10, 2016, 9:20 am

    @FI Warrior – I wasn’t asking how you personally approached the referendum, nor how we would achieve change in the EU. I was asking why if this is such an issue for both remain and leave supporters, why didn’t the remain campaign make a bigger show of what the future could hold? I don’t fully agree negativity always wins, I think people are looking for change, for how things will get better. You ignored the two campaigns. I wonder how many other voters managed to do that.

    My point is the remain campaign failed to make this point a key part of their campaign and I believe this was a serious failure on their part. Leave would say it is because even remain team don’t believe the EU can be reformed. Silence doesn’t help you win the argument.

    Of course the point you are driving At is probably that the whole thing is too complex for a referendum. But then it could also be argued that this is just the talk of those who lost….. (i voted remain so am one of those).

  • 62 William III July 10, 2016, 9:28 am

    I cannot believe the direction in which Leadsome is pulling yet another unnecessary, nation destroying, thoroughly divisive campaign. As a Dutch national, I have felt relatively emotionality detached from this dire exposition of societal rot (unlike my British partner and colleagues) – until now.

    The succession of unsavoury individuals that are capable of whipping up votes at scale starts to fundamentally alter my view of Britain. (And yes, I did read Jonathan Haidt!) Like the US, a society where inequality is so deeply institutionalised appears to be a fragile house of cards. Current events are forcing me to ask: Do I want my children to grow up in such an unequal place? And given that my employer is in a hurry to find people to start a continental subsidiary – so as not to lose any more EC and other continental business, as we’re already experiencing – the answer seems rather obvious. And it’s not my British partner who will throw up barriers.

    It’s now likely we’ll be gone come October. A real shame that it’s right at the start of a thoroughly researched FI plan 🙂 but most of the principles will be transferable.. of course, perhaps it’s all still knee jerk and the soup won’t be eaten as hot as it’s served, to use a Dutch expression. But current events are not doing much to help the case to stick around in London and wait for the storm to pass.

  • 63 TT July 10, 2016, 9:40 am

    I tend to agree with this. If you look at the two main parties of most democracies the difference in their left/right-edness is less than the difference of the politics between separate countries. Essentially, it’s trench warfare. This is only natural, you want to capture as much middle ground as you can without alienating your fringes, and the buffer in the centre tends to be a narrow strip.

    To evidence, and it’s a bitter pill to even say it, but the Tories are probably to the left of the US democrats.

    Of course, it isn’t some one dimensional left/right line, not even two or three dimensional. Single issues matter more than ever, as do single personalities, and the populace is happy to vote on one issue (say freedom of movement) without considered regard to the impact of other issues that are more difficult and distant to comprehend (economy, human rights)

  • 64 The Investor July 10, 2016, 9:50 am

    @William II — I don’t blame you and might someday join you. This article by novelist Ian McEwan aptly sums up my current mood:


    @Andrew — Fair enough, but we’re only talking a fortnight, in the light of truly momentous events. Comments are always hit and miss, and as a generalisation I’d agree the comments on this article are less readable than last week, perhaps suggesting the mainstream Monevator reader is indeed running out of puff on this. I think Brexit will remain in the mix but I do see the Referendum and the politics starting to take a back seat, for what it’s worth. 🙂

  • 65 BShnady July 10, 2016, 10:01 am

    Excellent contribution by Dragon regarding the unintended consequence of deflationary asphyxiation of many southern Eurozone economies due to Germany’s mercantilist stance, aided and abetted by the ‘gold standard’ Euro.

    Although the timescales are completely unknowable (next week or in decades’ time) – it is my firm belief that either:
    1. The Eurozone forms a single federal state with full fiscal transfers from the wealthier regions to the poorer regions; or:
    2. The Eurozone fails.

    The Eurozone’s current form is not a stable structure, thus cannot endure and will have to change: shaped either by governments in an orderly manner or shaped by events in a disorderly one. It is tragic that the German government does not appear to grasp the disaster they are presiding over, if not imposing.

  • 66 Neverland July 10, 2016, 10:36 am


    You talk about leaving the UK but presumably your clients are based in London, how would that actually work?

  • 67 Neverland July 10, 2016, 10:42 am

    @William III

    Do you know many other EU citizens in London and are any of them making active plans to leave the UK?

  • 68 The Investor July 10, 2016, 10:43 am

    I could make about 80-90% of what I currently make from anywhere, remotely, although I’d have to be on the lookout for new opportunities to replace any wastage over time.

    I’m in London for social and cultural reasons really. And habit!

  • 69 Topman July 10, 2016, 10:47 am

    OK. I’ve had enough of the squabbling children, which is what Monevator has been for me over the past couple of weeks (TA excepted). Early to bed for you all, and I’ll give you a week to start behaving like investment orientated readers again.

    If there’s no improvement then I’m moving out!

  • 70 SemiPassive July 10, 2016, 11:15 am

    Congrats on consistently putting together the best weekly collection of links for investors for Sunday reading.
    But the pro-Remain/All Leavers are either thick racist oiks or retired Blimps stance is getting really tiresome. It is turning too much like the Guardian comments section for comfort.

    Would rather be discussing the impact on the pound and UK investment assets, and any tweaks to investment strategy to mitigate.
    But the political hand wringing, which won’t change anything least of all the result, is out of character with a blog that has previously kept as politically neutral as it is possible to be. Just my opinion of course but I don’t think you should become the Stewart Lee of investment blogging.

  • 71 FI Warrior July 10, 2016, 11:35 am

    Some perspective:

    TI puts in his own time, passion and general effort consistently week in, week out, to provide an excellent, free resource on this site that others pay to subscription magazines for. This is obviously a labour of love and a sacrifice that we have a privilege to share solely out of his generosity.

    Many have benefited intellectually and financially from his offering a high-quality, educational resource in a friendly manner. Would you speak like this to a professional you paid for the same information; where is the due respect?

    Nobody is forced to read articles they don’t like or read comments at all. Chiding him for having his own feelings and opinions on his own personal space that we have no absolute entitlement to be in is patronising in the extreme and breath-taking discourtesy. If you can’t or wont understand this, then as you threaten, by all means, leave.

  • 72 The Investor July 10, 2016, 11:39 am

    @Topman @SemiPassive — Fair enough (although @Topman, you have contributed c.20 comments to the Brexit squabbling yourself. 🙂 )

    I would draw a distinction between my posts and the comments beneath them, but understand some people may feel it’s all much of a much-ness.

    But the political hand wringing, which won’t change anything least of all the result, is out of character with a blog that has previously kept as politically neutral as it is possible to be.

    I agree it won’t change the result. However I think the conversation *everywhere* might help people wake up to a serious issue, beyond the car crash of the Referendum and its aftermath.

    To me, this isn’t really left/right (with respect to your comment about neutrality). It is far bigger. It is more populist/masses vs elites, or emotion vs expertise, or disenfranchised versus insiders, or minorities versus majority (in social politics). You can see the same thing happening with Jeremy Corbyn, who is being supported by the Labour party mass membership but not the ‘elites/insiders’ in terms of MPs in the House of Commons, with the rise of Donald Trump in the US, who is loved by a large cohort of voters and loathed by his party, and in various other political factions across the world.

    To me, these are clues to a possibility that we’re living in a seismically terrible time of change. I’m not sure what the probabilities are, less than 50% perhaps but I think above 20%. As I said earlier, I don’t feel two weeks taken out of normal service to reflect on the clear evidence of this is outlandish. (Although, again, conceding that the non-political potential impact is going to colour much of the commentary here and everywhere for months/years).

    Others may not see it that way or may not care, which is fair enough. 🙂 I would also fully accept you can doubtless get better or more insightful commentary elsewhere on the politics of it. But I can only offer what I can offer, and this is my platform for doing it on. (That said I wouldn’t do it if I thought the potential impact on our economy/investments wasn’t serious. I see it as entwined).

    I don’t expect a ton more political/vote related posts, but I do expect more posts coloured by the fallout. Our country has just taken a body blow as I see it, and that has an economic / personal finance consequence, unfortunately.

    [p.s. Edited my comment above to “minority versus majority” — apologies for confusion!]

  • 73 old_eyes July 10, 2016, 11:46 am


    “I am just saying that in the EU the Chiefs have ultimate control/power with no accountability whatsoever ,Juncker turned up drunk and started spouting off about people from far away lands the other day.”

    Er, that is not actually how it works. Who are the chiefs? The Commission? No they are a sort of supra-national civil service. They have to get agreement of the Parliament and the Council of Ministers to make changes.

    We shouldn’t allow this fundamental misconception to stand. In my view it is partly why those who talk a lot about sovereignty often voted leave. A fundamental, and possibly wilful, misunderstanding of how the EU works

  • 74 Richard July 10, 2016, 11:47 am

    My personal anecdote from the Europeans I work with (all who have jobs that are easily transferable around the world) is that they are angry, upset and worried about what it means for them. They were looking to create lives here and that now looks in doubt. I certainly hope they can still realise their dreams. They don’t seem overly impressed with the idea of relocating somewhere else in the EU. The grass is already green enough.

    Though none of us work in finance. Maybe the extra money sloshing around there makes it much easier to up sticks and relocate as well as easily keep their standard of living. Isn’t there a saying that goes the rich live the same the world over. It is the poor you judge a country by. Or something like that.

  • 75 The Investor July 10, 2016, 11:57 am

    @old_eyes — It’s incredibly depressing, isn’t it. The UK has well over 400,000 civil servants. Are people surprised the EU also has many civil servants? The UK civil service does all the heavy lifting when it comes to drafting and implementing policy in the UK. Of course it’s the same in the EU.

    The UK civil service (and others) of course are in constant dialogue with elected representatives as to how particular laws and directions and regulations should go. Just like in the EU, albeit in a different structure.

  • 76 Neverland July 10, 2016, 1:04 pm

    @Semi passive

    “But the pro-Remain/All Leavers are either thick racist oiks or retired Blimps stance is getting really tiresome”

    The evidence shows that people who voted to leave the EU are less educated, poorer and older on the average than those who voted remain



    …but don’t let the truth get in your way

  • 77 William III July 10, 2016, 4:15 pm

    @Richard, others: most EU nationals I know are not happy to say the least, but don’t have an attractive opportunity like I have (although I haven’t talked salary yet, admittedly :)). I think you have to think about the marginal mover. Will send come to the UK? Far less likely now, I read scientists are already leaving good UK positions on the table.

    I have heard about large institutions moving significant operations out of London, but can’t say which one as I work with them..

  • 78 Neverland July 10, 2016, 4:54 pm

    @William III

    “I have heard about large institutions moving significant operations out of London, but can’t say which one as I work with them.”

    Are you talking about financial institutions?

  • 79 Richard July 10, 2016, 5:04 pm

    @William III I don’t blame scientist. Esp those is academia looking at 3 or so year post doc positions. One wrong step at that stage in your career can result in the elusive permanent position getting more elusive. Who would want to work somewhere where they may find themselves thrown out before they complete their 3 years (plus no chance of follow up projects in case they need more than 3 years). High risk of not publishing enough findings. Why take that risk……

  • 80 Kraggash July 10, 2016, 6:55 pm

    I feel the ‘Rebate’ we are receiving from Europe was/is a bad idea.

    It increases the perception that paying anything to the EU is a bad idea, and that only brave UK was able to stand up to them to win this concession.

    Better if we realised that the contributions we pay goes towards developments in EU counties that will increase their (and ultimately our own) propsperity, as they become able to buy more goods and services. Some is ‘wasted’ , of course, paying for the needed bureaucracy, but the empahis should be on efficiency, not rabates!

    As with UK taxes: be PROUD to pay!


  • 81 SurreyBoy July 10, 2016, 7:25 pm

    So much polarising and speculative nonsense has been spouted by both sides in this debate – much of it inflammatory. Years ago a friend of mine in the police said this country (like any other) was only a week away from social anarchy and martial law. I laughed at the time – certain it couldn’t happen here. Now i am far less certain.

    Whatever ones view on the referendum debate, the decision, or the future direction of this country we had better bloody well start being friends with each other again. To the anguished remainers i know you are gutted and i know you hate the idea of leaving and pray it wont happen. To the leavers i know you fear elitist trickery to snatch the prize of leaving away, and you are increasingly tired of being labelled as something you are not. To both camps – we live together on these islands and the acrimony and fist waving has gone too far.

    We are where we are – we need to get along and get on with the future. For the sake of us all, and our children. If we dont, then financial independence and retirement planning will be the last thing on our minds.

  • 82 Neverland July 10, 2016, 7:46 pm

    @surrey boy

    “We are where we are – we need to get on and get along in the future”

    Where are we in your view exactly and who is “we”?

  • 83 JimH July 10, 2016, 8:10 pm

    @Neverland Post 76

    “The evidence shows that people who voted to leave the EU are less educated, poorer and older on the average than those who voted remain”
    …but don’t let the truth get in your way”

    You evidence appears to be statistics. Statistics presented without a horizotal scale claiming a relationship but failing to present a correlation coefficient. Oh – and the Guardian has just reported that its initial report that only 30% of young people voted has been shown to be wrong. The figure should be 60%. So not exactly a small mistake.

    Methinks that your truth is a long way from factual – it is more along the lines of what the Guardian and you want to believe.

  • 84 JimH July 10, 2016, 8:31 pm

    @Neverland Post 49 “A sensible discussion of carefully justified and thought through views of Britain’s political future just lost to a campaign of wild claims and name calling, so based on the evidence maybe wild claims and name calling is pretty effective?”

    I guess that you are trying to equate your first clause to the Remain campaign and your second to the Leave campaign. That would fit your direction of travel even if it is not clear from your post.
    The problem is that the campaigns that I saw and heard were not like that. Both sides appeared to have their ridiculous elements – the three witches of remain screaming their pre-prepared sound bites for one, the excesses of Farage for a second. Obama’s “back of the queue” remark was hardly “sensible discussion”, it was a naked threat. Yet Michael Gove’s TV interviews seemed very positive and rational even if a little optimistic, he is a good debater if nothing else.
    I weight my opinions of the views expressed partly on my opinion of the person expressing it and partly on the way it is expressed. I think Boris is a clown so I tend to downplay whatever he says. I think Osborne will say anything that suits his case, true, based on statistics, or a lie.
    I do not think that your statement quoted above is anything more than an attempt at point scoring by the blatant use of mis-information.

  • 85 david m July 10, 2016, 9:34 pm

    I think the graduate and non-graduate voting split is likely a function of the age voting split, because of the higher number of graduates under the age of 45.

    I agree we should soon be getting back to investing on this site.

  • 86 Jeff July 11, 2016, 12:33 am

    If the conditions for remaining in the EU were reasonable, people would have voted to remain.
    Instead, we have:
    1 An £8 billion annual contribution. So our money is wasted on Polish infrastructure, whilst our own is neglected.
    2 Undemocratic EU commission making all the rules. We prefer democracy.
    3 Excessive immigration. I don’t mind free movement, but the moment Eastern Europe joined in, excessive net migration was inevitable. So far, it’s about 1 million too many for my tastes.

    Had Mr Cameron made tangible progress on any one of these issues, a remain vote would have been achieved. He didn’t. We’re better off leaving.
    When we do leave, if the deal we’re offered sucks, we should stick 100% import tariffs on all those German cars. When Germany has to shut the factories 1 day a week, they will soon see sense.

  • 87 Learner July 11, 2016, 4:23 am

    These comments are getting a little ridiculous. It sounds like the debate prior to the referendum.

  • 88 The Investor July 11, 2016, 7:01 am

    @Learner — Agreed. I’m closing the comments here.