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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.

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every week!

  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”. []

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • 1 Richard July 9, 2016, 12:31 pm

    Interesting point by LSE. So are they saying that the reason the economic arguments to remain failed is because the issue for leave voters is much more deep routed than the pounds in their pockets? It is in fact a fundamental part of their character that drove them to want to leave?

    I voted remain mainly on the economic arguments and the fact I broadly agree with what the EU project is trying to achieve. However I do consider myself from a conservative background and there was a bit of me that did buy into the whole idea of being a great trading nation etc etc. I did waver before I put my cross on the paper, even though I knew it didn’t make sense (from my point of view). So I can see why people may do this from their principles rather than from their financial well being……

  • 2 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 12:34 pm

    There is nothing remotely funny about hate crime and the massive escalation post referendum is truly sickening.

    But I did snigger a little at the “Racists burn down Polish family’s shed, tell them to go home” headline as it’s such a British way to show your displeasure.

    I do hope we can all work together to try and rescue something from this massive hole we’ve dug, but shed burning must stop immediately.

  • 3 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 12:36 pm

    Another interesting snippet from (maybe) Ashcroft was that Remain voters felt that remaining was a massive benefit, and leaving would cause huge problems (ones we’re now starting to see all too clearly), whereas Leave voters didn’t think it would make much of a difference either way.

  • 4 The Rhino July 9, 2016, 1:20 pm

    You ve hit upon an interesting issue. I would highly recommend reading ‘The righteous mind’ by Thomas Haidt if you want to go into it in more detail.

  • 5 Neverland July 9, 2016, 1:31 pm


    I agree with you about relative beliefs of the cost of Brexit among Remainers and Leavers

    Many Leavers (being comparatively asset and income) poor believed that Brexit would not affect them personally negatively. Many wealthier Leavers are too old to be in the labour market

    The issue with history (usually) is you never get to see the counterfactual

    So now we get to see in real time what happens when a country leaves the EU

    Unfortunately we are on stage not in the audience

    I would have preferred to be in the audience

  • 6 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 1:33 pm

    OK, I’ll give it a go. Maybe you’ll also enjoy “Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide”.

  • 7 Steve July 9, 2016, 1:49 pm

    I voted leave and the biggest problem for me is the lack of accountability ,you can see it now even after Brexit virtually all the UK MP’s have resigned yet no one in the EU has,look at how Juncker responded to Cameron on the run up to the vote,Cameron said a vote for remain was a vote to reform the EU from within,the next day Juncker said there will be no more reform within the EU if we vote to remain.
    It beggars belief that the EU have taken no responsibility at all for us leaving.It was very hard for leavers to believe we have lots of influence in the EU after Cameron’s dismal deal.
    And the whole remain campaign relied on everything is rosy within the EU,when you can see most countries within the EU have deep austerity measures and are nearly broke,it seems with each country that’s added to the EU the UK gets its influence diluted wile the most financially powerful euro country (Germany ) gets ever more control.
    Where is the austerity within the EU budget and office buildings?
    It’s a complete shambles.
    The pounds loss was because they have said interest rates will go lower,so I presume they wanted it lower.
    It seems everyone is obsessed with how bad it will be yet we haven’t even had one day out of the EU yet,lots of countries outside of the EU are doing better than those within so I see us doing very well,maybe if the BBC stopped being very very negative on the whole thing and get on with it people wouldn’t be so spooked.
    I put it to you that without Cameron resigning and the Bank of England saying interest rates will have to go lower and everyone flapping about like headless chickens the markets would hardly have moved,including the pound.
    On the plus side it seems already that the UK steel might be viable again,maybe those doctors and nurses from outside of the EU can stay without the worry of how much they earn before getting ejected form our country.
    There are lots of benefits both in and out of the EU let’s not forget our big exporters JCB and Dyson both said it will be better out because the EU is in such a bad state they don’t buy much anyway,and the difficulty in getting the best brains from outside the EU was very restrictive.

  • 8 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 2:18 pm

    > after Brexit virtually all the UK MP’s have resigned

    They have?

    (Of course, Brexit hasn’t happened yet, and it looks like “Brexit-lite” is on the cards.)

    > I put it to you that without Cameron resigning and the Bank of England saying interest rates will have to go lower and everyone flapping about like headless chickens the markets would hardly have moved,including the pound.

    Sterling and the markets responded immediately, long before Cameron resigned and the BoE made their predictions.

    > On the plus side it seems already that the UK steel might be viable again

    Tata rescue stalled, lots of other inward investment on hold.

    > maybe those doctors and nurses from outside of the EU can stay without the worry of how much they earn before getting ejected form our country.

    That’s a new one. How many were we expelling per annum?

  • 9 Herman July 9, 2016, 2:19 pm

    Your use of death penalty/Brexit statistics is misleading. You are comparing the Brexit opinions of those in favour of the death penalty with the death penalty opinions of those against Brexit.

  • 10 The Investor July 9, 2016, 2:41 pm

    @Herman — I don’t think the use is misleading (I think it highlights the main point, which is the contrast between the two camps) but looking at it again I’d agree it’s not well-phrased and possibly slightly incorrect the way I originally paraphrased the LSE research (to the extent it’s available via that post).

    I’ve quoted directly from the blog now for the second bullet. Cheers!

  • 11 Richard July 9, 2016, 2:45 pm

    >The difficulty in getting the best brains from outside the EU was very restrictive.

    Which is anyway a national policy competence, regardless of the EU.

    I doubt many of the best brains will want to go to a small inward looking and perhaps somewhat hostile country, especially one with a comparatively debased currency.

    We will lose both the best brains from the EU, from outside the EU, and possibly also our own best brains. Already there are rumours of UK researchers being excluded from international research consortia.


    Brexit was an act of mindless vandalism.

  • 12 Topman July 9, 2016, 2:57 pm


    I repeat what I said here immediately after the Referendum result, namely show me for the UK the interest rate, the Euro and Dollar exchange rates, and the unemployment and inflation numbers, in six and twelve months time, and then I’ll tell you what I think is going to happen post-Brexit.

  • 13 Sara July 9, 2016, 3:01 pm

    For the nurse situation read this

    A non EU immigrant must earn £35,000 from 2017 to stay more than 6 years in UK. Most nurses don’t, especially staff nurses which is where the shortage is. This is a consequence of a government desperately casting around for ways to reduce immigration for political reasons but not thinking through the consequences.
    Of course, that they should have been training many more UK nurses in the past 10 years is another consequence of short term thinking. The RCN has been warning for years that a third of nurses are over 50 and will be retiring soon.
    But being Tories, destroying NHS is the long term plan anyway.
    If the EU immigrants have to earn that in the future, all those fruit pickers will be in trouble too. But if you’re a trade negotiator you’re laughing.

    On a different note, I was horrified by Brexit result – yet my shares/bonds are up nearly 7% in a month!! – can we have Brexit every month please? 😉
    The Ermine would point out it’s not real money and who knows what the reality will be in 2-3 years. Plus I have a deferred BS pension so Tata is pissing me off – they’re going to wrangle their way out of paying it but keep any profit of the company – b*****ds.

  • 14 TT July 9, 2016, 3:03 pm

    > That’s a new one. How many were we expelling per annum?

    Estimates are “tens of thousands”. A lot of medical staff I know are non-EU born and most earn less than 35k and many have been here many years.

    Having said that, it was Theresa May who introduced the policy. So I’m not sure where Steve gets “maybe they can stay” from. Maybe he thinks we can keep those instead of strawberry pickers. Speaking of which…

    There was a nice article today about Strawberry Picking that I felt summarised the more general situation nicely:


  • 15 Cathy July 9, 2016, 4:04 pm

    A couple of weeks on from the vote the Remain side is beginning to collect itself and there are more and more voices across the media and elsewhere suggesting we need to proceed much more carefully than we have done and keep weighing up the consequences of leaving, rather than treat the referendum as the last word on the matter (which no referendum should be anyway). The Leave voters are in fact quite a disparate bunch and the fact is it is not possible to make all of them happy (contrasting wishes on immigration, for instance). It may well be that as the new Tory leader and her sidekicks begins negotiation and start to form definite plans that the possibility of getting anything resembling a good deal begins to look more and more unlikely. If so I’d hope at that stage for a further vote/general election to clarify that the population is happy to proceed with whatever our leaders have actually got on the table. Not completely optimistic on that one, since I don’t think it is in the Leave side’s interests to do anything but rush it through as quickly as possible. My thought, however, is don’t give up, and keep demanding accountability from MPs and others. One thing that struck me with the Chilcot report is the criticism of the speed with which the UK hurried into the Iraq war and the fact that some families of those in the armed forces were surprised by how quickly involvement happened. Surely a warning there.

  • 16 Paul the Leave Voter July 9, 2016, 4:53 pm

    One of my frustrations in this post-Brexit vote debate is that the Remain side seem incapable of acknowledging that there is a rational case for leaving the EU. Instead they just assume that they have the intellectual argument sown up for Remain and that Leavers are not motivated by reason but by psychological or personality type. This is similar to the way communist Russia dealt with dissidents. Communism being ‘obviously’ correct anyone who disagreed with it must be psychologically flawed and should be locked up in a re-education facility.

    Now, about the price of coffee in the UK…Post Brexit we will be free from EU tariff barriers to trade with Africa. Our coffee will become cheaper as a result (in spite of the weaker pound).


    “Take the example of coffee. In 2014 Africa —the home of coffee— earned nearly $2.4 billion from the crop. Germany, a leading processor, earned about $3.8 billion from coffee re-exports.
    The concern is not that Germany benefits from processing coffee. It is that Africa is punished by EU tariff barriers for doing so”.

  • 17 magneto July 9, 2016, 5:01 pm

    “My thought, however, is don’t give up, and keep demanding accountability from MPs and others.”

    Excellent thoughts above!

    But what is it we really want as a country :-

    1. To be part of an ever closer union?
    2. To stay as we are?
    3. To reform the EU to a more democratic model?
    4. To return the EU to a simple trading group?
    5. To say good-bye?

    There must surely be many more options?
    But all we are being offered thus far is a simplistic binary choice!
    In or Out!
    This has regretfully divided the nation.

    Had firmly resolved to stay out of this ongoing and sometimes tedious debate between entrenched views, but your comments re-ignited some fresh interest!


  • 18 FI Warrior July 9, 2016, 5:09 pm

    ”It beggars belief that the EU have taken no responsibility at all for us leaving”

    If you set up a partnership with someone in business, hang in there for ages, but then decide you reckon you might do better going it alone so tell them you want to dissolve the arrangement, (they have to agree because it was allowed in the contract) how can you possibly get upset that they don’t blame themselves for your wanting more than initially agreed?

    Wow. Yes it does beggar belief. Indeed.

  • 19 Neverland July 9, 2016, 5:12 pm


    If the UK government has to lower qualifications to be a nurse and train more UK nurses isn’t that what a lot of leavers voted for?

    “British jobs for British workers” etc

    Like any seismic political realignment Brexit will create winners and losers

    One of the key differences here will be that losers from Brexit have got used to winning consistently through political decisions over the last 30 years

    (I also think that there will be many more net losers but that is by the by.
    One way to reduce inequality is to reduce the value of all financial assets in a country)

  • 20 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 5:16 pm

    What’s important to me, and I feel good for the country, is that we retain the four key freedoms of the EU, these being the free movement of good, services, capital and people.

    Unfortunately, I can’t see the last one on that list going down too well in certain quarters.

  • 21 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 5:21 pm

    > One of the key differences here will be that losers from Brexit have got used to winning consistently through political decisions over the last 30 years

    The main losers from Brexit will tend to be those who voted to Leave.

    > One way to reduce inequality is to reduce the value of all financial assets in a country

    Damaging all SMEs in the country to try and penalise those who save and invest seems like an odd approach.

  • 22 Neverland July 9, 2016, 5:44 pm


    The country just rejected the four freedoms of the EU in a record turnout referendum

    It would be nice if they hadn’t but they did

    There is no appetite to revisit this decision in the current majority government and it isn’t at all clear there is any appetite to revisit the decision in the Labour Party either, if indeed they could win an election at any future point

    Denial is not a river in Egypt

  • 23 Steve July 9, 2016, 5:46 pm

    “If you set up a partnership with someone in business, hang in there for ages, but then decide you reckon you might do better going it alone so tell them you want to dissolve the arrangement, (they have to agree because it was allowed in the contract) how can you possibly get upset that they don’t blame themselves for your wanting more than initially agreed?”

    We didn’t want more than initially agreed,the conditions the EU impose on EU members has grown year on year and so have the EU laws.
    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.
    The brexit was because of a lot of factors,some of which were the EU representatives ,some factors were part of the rebate that Labour gave away,and some of the powers Labour gave away.
    But yes Merkel and the EU could have gave us a slight change in rules as we asked,and because they ignore us completely and give us no clout whatsoever they loose a big contributor to the EU.

  • 24 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 6:00 pm

    > The country just rejected the four freedoms of the EU in a record turnout referendum

    That certainly wasn’t the way my ballot paper was worded.

    I would be surprised if we lost these freedoms (freedoms are good, right?) but what seems odd is that some people seem to think we can do a deal where EU citizens aren’t allowed to live and work in the UK, but we’re allowed to live and work in the EU.

    Good luck with that one!

  • 25 Topman July 9, 2016, 6:03 pm

    @Richard(11) “Brexit was an act of mindless vandalism.”

    I said in the immediate aftermath and I say it again now, the vote to leave was a victory for ignorance and myopia. I don’t mean to be malicious nor do I want to lower the tone of this excellent blog but to be perfectly honest, I find myself thinking of it as the “chaverendum”.

  • 26 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 6:06 pm

    “It is more important for Britain to keep full access to the European single market than to control immigration coming from Europe, voters believe.

    “A survey conducted for The Independent by pollsters ORB forced voters to choose between keeping single market access and ending freedom of movement – as Britain’s negotiators will likely to be asked to do in the coming months.

    “48 per cent of voters favoured keeping single market access, compared to 37 per cent who said capping immigration from Europe was more important.”


    But again, polarisation. Most Leave voters clearly finding their inate dislike of foreigners trumping us being able to trade easily with the EU.

    I guess we’ll see.

  • 27 Neverland July 9, 2016, 6:09 pm


    Neither prime ministerial candidate is standing on a platform of unrestricted EU migration into the uk

    Several EU leaders have stated the four EU freedoms are indivisible

    Therefore we are not going to get any of them

    For anyone’s base case thinking to be anything else is wishful thinking

    The Swiss voted to restrict EU immigration into Switzerland by a referendum and the EU response has been that the web of bilateral treaties allowing the Swiss free trade access to parts of EU markets must be revisited

    It’s not as if the EU hasn’t been consistent

  • 28 Richard July 9, 2016, 6:13 pm

    It could be the case that by stopping the free movement of labour from the EU, the immigration rules the rest of the world have to pass will be relaxed. After all, if one group of people can move in freely then the only control you have is punitive restrictions on the group of people you can control. Obviously the aim would be to have less net migration, but maybe the salary requirements (as an example) would be relaxed and still achieve this. So we could maybe end up being able to recruit nurses from anywhere in the world.

    One thing I have been wondering. If we move to WTO rules, what are the advantages? I hear a lot of the negatives (and they are all valid), but little on any potential positives. For example, would the government get to pocket the extra tariff amounts and spend that on say reducing corporation tax to prevent the costs being passed onto consumers and to prevent tariffs on exports from hurting too much? Is this heading towards that tax haven model I keep hearing about?

  • 29 gadgetmind July 9, 2016, 6:15 pm

    Hey, you might be right, but politicians words and actions have been know to differ somewhat in the past. And a referendum in the UK on this single issue looks like it would give a different result to the straight in/out one, so fingers crossed.

    But clearly people are very worried as shown by the scramble for Irish etc, passports.

    I’ve been checking entry rules for various EU countries and others far beyond, and it looks like anyone would have us as the attached strings aren’t too onerous, but not everyone is so lucky.

  • 30 FI Warrior July 9, 2016, 6:53 pm

    It would be reasonable to assume that if the economy tanks here enough that quality of life is noticeably impacted, the brightest and best could vote with their feet to live and work elsewhere. This type of brain-drain cripples countries for a generation because those who leave are the ones most able to, precisely because they are the highest value so will qualify whatever the (points-based) system.

    I see a massive irony here in that the considerable numbers of wealthy retired in the UK can still decamp to the Euro-med to live out a bucolic end of their lives with private healthcare if need be. The young are most likely to go and work in the EU as it’s the closest civilised place and still accounts for ~25% (?) of the world’s economy. They can easily then qualify for European passports and still come back here if nostalgic/or to see relatives, it’ll be cheap at least.

    The new economy with the incoming negligible corporate taxes, red tape, workers rights, skills (experts) could thrive as a sweatshop right next to Europe, so there’d be no need to outsource stitching sequins on £1.50 T-shirts (that dissolve in the wash) all the way from Bangladesh any more. Everyone would have a job then, just as well because lower taxes from having a low skilled economy would mean savage benefit cuts by the newly democratically elected government, the country having been taken back several decades.

  • 31 Neverland July 9, 2016, 6:58 pm


    “It could be the case that by stopping the free movement of labour from the EU, the immigration rules the rest of the world have to pass will be relaxed”

    Or it could also be the case that the draconian rules for non-EU workers imposed by the current leading candidate to be prime minister while home secretary will be imposed on EU immigration candidates, perhaps even retrospectively on EU citizens already living in the UK

    The irony is that Theresa May is the “moderate” candidate of the two…

    Like so much else, this is all up in the air

  • 32 Jaygti July 9, 2016, 7:01 pm

    Just a few observations.

    1. What the two candidates for prime minister say at the moment is irrelevant. They are only trying to appeal to the Conservative party membership, which I think is pro brexit. So the would have to be very careful not to alienate anybody.

    2. Any economic forecasts are pointless. We have no idea what deal will be reached with the eu,or when. Or what deals we can make with other countries.
    There are also other things we don’t have a clue about, such as where the Chinese economy is heading, or will the Italian banks collapse, etc etc.
    It does seem that we are in for a very bumpy ride short term, but beyond that it’s just guess work.

    3. The majority of MPs voted remain. I suspect that seeing what has happened already , there would be a majority of the public that would vote remain. There were quite a few people it seems that just wanted to “stick it to the tories” and didn’t think Leave would win. Also if there is a deep recession ( which seems likely) , a lot of people would soon change their minds when it starts to hurt them personally.
    Which makes me think that any changes may be very slight and brexit may be in name only!
    Or maybe that’s wishful thinking!

  • 33 Richard July 9, 2016, 7:10 pm

    @Neverland agreed, but the extreme negative view is already well represented in these comments. I feel the slight positive (or less negative) view should also be represented. Also don’t forget whoever gets power is not going to get to do whatever they like. Unlike the referundum, it will not be black and white and decision *should* go through the proper channels with the proper checks and balances.

    Well unless you think there should be another genral election – but in my mind that is a bad idea.

  • 34 Neverland July 9, 2016, 7:17 pm


    “What the two candidates for prime minister say at the moment is irrelevant. ”

    David Cameron, Jan 2013 promises a new settlement with Europe


    David Cameron, Feb 2016 announces date for referendum on EU membership


    Yes, your comments are just wishful thinking

  • 35 Neverland July 9, 2016, 7:38 pm


    A smart guy I once worked for used to say if you read the Politics section of the newspaper before the Companies & Markets section then you know the country’s in trouble

  • 36 Richard July 9, 2016, 7:47 pm

    @ Neverland Don’t get me wrong, companies are afraid and they have right to be. They would be irresponsible not to be. Doesn’t mean the worst possible case will come true. In fact, as a powerful lobby group it is highly likely the worst case will not come true for the very reason businesses are talking about it.

  • 37 JimH July 9, 2016, 8:23 pm

    A) “2. Any economic forecasts are pointless.”
    B) “if there is a deep recession ( which seems likely)”

    Is B not an economic forecast?

    “the brightest and best could vote with their feet to live and work elsewhere. This type of brain-drain cripples countries for a generation because those who leave are the ones most able to, precisely because they are the highest value so will qualify”
    Cripples countries – as witness Poland perhaps – due to a policy insisted on by the EU and apparently enthused about by many posters on here.

    ” the vote to leave was a victory for ignorance and myopia.”
    And anybody who voted to remain is a short-sighted money focused lame-brain whose only measure of quality of life is the size of their salary.
    I could expand on the above view at some length and am tempted to do so by the remain supporters repeated statements that they are the only intelligent and sensible people in the country and anybody who disagrees is clearly a Northern Yob or a Country Toff or a Barry Blimp who is incapable of adding two and two together. I will not do so in deference to this being TI’s blog but the level of discussion on here in the last two weeks has been well short of adult. It seems to have become a financially oriented version of the Daily Mail or Sun. Please can we revert to sensible discussion of carefully justified and thought through views of investing life rather than wild claims and name-calling.

  • 38 Topman July 9, 2016, 9:12 pm

    @Jaygti(32) “Any economic forecasts are pointless”. “Also if there is a deep recession (which seems likely) …..”

    You contradict yourself – pointless or likely?

  • 39 MarkT July 9, 2016, 9:34 pm

    Interesting debate, I voted leave for democratic reasons but was 60/40. I suspect many others were similarly conflicted. As this is an investing site that I visit and learn from regularly one of the phrases I see regularly is ‘put your faith in capitalism’. We will be alright no matter what. People will always want to make money and if Europe plays hard ball unforeseen opportunities will open up. They always do.

  • 40 Steve July 9, 2016, 10:11 pm

    This Brexit business is just going from bad to worse, what with FREE trade deals on the table with Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, India, Ghana, US, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland, not to mention this £23m investment from Mars. I mean just what in God’s name where those ‘Brexiteers’ thinking?



    “Chaverendum” Well maybe the BBC would like to call it that but reality was there were lots of wealthy folks who voted leave as well as the less well off.
    If we are to assume all the brightest boffins are in London and all the fund managers / financiers are the brightest individuals then with the UK stock market being higher now can we assume the brains of the country think the UK has brighter prospects out of the EU.
    Why else have they chased the UK market higher?
    I don’t think the big problem to solve is our prosperity,we have always been global traders and now the EU barrier is going other countries are clambering over themselves to do trade deals,maybe we can have tarif free Japanese cars instead of the EU imposed 10% tariff.
    I feel the bigger problem is the failing EU will be hit hard without our contributions and the complete collapse of the EU will be blamed on us,when it’s been failing for some time.
    The elephant in the room is the Euro only works for Germany,the southern parts of the EU are shafted by the Euro.

  • 41 Steve July 9, 2016, 10:20 pm


    The EU project is doomed just like the previous projects the Zollverein
    And the Latin monetary union


    Even the problems that they have with Greece have been done before,
    You would think we would have learnt from these previous failed projects.

  • 42 Jaygti July 9, 2016, 10:20 pm

    Not contradictory at all!

    It’s my economic forecast, and it is indeed pointless!

  • 43 FI Warrior July 9, 2016, 10:28 pm

    @JimH. ‘Cripples countries – as witness Poland perhaps – due to a policy insisted on by the EU and apparently enthused about by many posters on here.’

    I have a Polish acquaintance who came here 10 years ago and through incredible sweat built up an excellent company, his is simply the best. So out of curiousity, even way before this xenophobic outbreak, I asked him why he came here to face so many obstacles if he’s that good, it’s a good question, why couldn’t he do the same at home? He explained that the economic policy at the time was to tax businesses upfront on projected sales, which means that if you are a shoe shop and buy in £100 000 of stock, you pay the maximum possible taxes before the sale of a single pair. Seriously. I assume if there’s a disparity (damages for example) you’d have to then jump through hoops for a refund; now even if getting that is relatively pain-free, the resulting cash-flow problem is a killer for any business.

    Now the current Polish government is seen as more extreme in other ways, such as marked xenophobia, so it is causing disquiet in the EU. (ironically) The main point to focus on here is that what pushed him to the UK was not anything to do with the EU, directly or indirectly, it was the short-sighted and economically illiterate policy of his own national government, which to add insult to injury the EU is scapegoated for.

    In the past, when the gypsies came into a town, every social ill was blamed on them, it was like Christmas for the local criminals, so when the UK is out of the EU, the govt. of the day here will have to own their responsibilities for the first time in decades; a beautiful silver lining.

    Remainers are not all saying that the EU is perfect, no human construction can be, I can only speak for myself with surety and my view is that no matter what its flaws, in the era it has existed, there has been unprecedented peace and prosperity in Europe. Reverting to Europe’s past, blood-soaked even within countries, (the UK’s history is not free of civil wars either) isn’t the answer.

    The fact that the EU has lost it’s way recently is due to a world-wide disease, Neoliberal, robber-baron, pseudo-capitalism, which has impoverished it, like most countries on this planet. What is needed is to see past superficial distractions (banana shape) to the real issues and rescue the dream of the EU from corporate capture, taking control of that back for ordinary people, so that is benefits the 99.9% of us instead.

  • 44 Jaygti July 9, 2016, 10:30 pm

    The point still stands though. anything that would weaken the resolve of the leave side, such as a brexit induced recession, would allow whoever is in power, considerably more room for manoeuvre.

  • 45 Passive Investor July 9, 2016, 10:40 pm

    @ Paul the leave voter. I completely agree with you that most on the Remain side completely fail to understand the intellectual and principled case for Leave. Simply put our case is that the EU is an anti-democratic institution run by a utopian elite who are completely out of touch with large swathes of the population of Europe.
    I would be interested to know whether @ the investor has any qualms about the democratic deficit in Europe. If he does then I would also be interested to know how much democracy he would be prepared to sacrifice for exactly how much supposed economic benefit?
    Please by all means debate the arguments about staying in the EU but don’t assume that all or even most Leavers are racists of a conservative mindset suffering from ‘generational complacency’.
    Incidentally on the narrow economic argument for Remain I am highly sceptical about the economic arguments which are generally based on extreme worst case assumptions (high tariffs, punitive lack of engagement by European countries, lack 0f moderating policy by UK governments e.g. reducing corporation tax, failure to grow trade with non EU countries etc etc)

  • 46 The Investor July 9, 2016, 10:42 pm

    @all — This conversation is getting seriously out there, despite a couple of earlier tactical non-approvals of pending comments by moi.

    I decided to let Steve’s Zollverein comment be posted up onto the site to show the dark path this sort of discourse can take us down (and that only the righteous light of my delete button heads off in normal times).

    Be good if we can get back to the collegiate discussion atmosphere I feel. 🙂

  • 47 Richard July 9, 2016, 10:46 pm

    There is always room to manoeuvre. If the lib dems win the next election. We will be straight back into the EU…….

    It is interesting, I know a few leave voters and none of them are wavering. In fact, being called stupid and racist etc if anything is hardening their resolve. They all say they accept some lean years ahead but it will eventually get better…….

  • 48 The Investor July 9, 2016, 10:57 pm

    @PI — This comment by Tyro on a previous thread goes into some detail about the alleged democratic deficit in the EU (or rather, the lack of it) and with far more knowledge than me:


    Typically when people talk about the democratic deficit of the EU, to my mind they mean that sometimes participants such as the UK have to agree to things that they wouldn’t ideally have agreed to.

    That’s the nature of a union of different parties with different interests. You win some, you lose some.

    I think the UK has demonstrably been a winner economically, and apart from a few unfortunate and outlandish cases (certain odious outliers sheltering under the Human Rights Act, for instance) I think we’ve benefited socially, too. The UK played a role in bringing us (and the rest of the EU) some of these benefits of course, by being within the EU.

    Sure, we didn’t get everything our own way. Or to put it better, as some people would have liked in every instance.

    Some wouldn’t like it either if, say Corbyn was elected. And some won’t like it if the Conservatives win the next election.

    Roughly two-thirds of the voting UK population didn’t vote for the ruling party in the UK currently. Is that a democratic deficit? Or is it a reflection or artifact of the realities of governing a country of tens of millions of people?

    I’d suggest the latter, and the EU similar in the context of a looser union of 500m people.

    Short of being a despot or a hermit, you’re always going to have to compromise in a world full of difference. I’m not at all persuaded that the compromises we made on account of being in the EU outweighed the benefits. There’s scant evidence, as pointed out by 95% of experts before the vote.

    When I hear people conflating EU membership with, say, the state of the UK steel industry, it’s pretty clear to me that people have just been pouring all their grievances into the EU project. There are other forces at work (some domestic, some global, some technological, some related to the stage of capitalism we find ourselves in).

    There are circumstances when I could imagine it would be worth withdrawing from the EU for democratic reasons.

    We were far from them to my mind. 🙂

  • 49 Neverland July 9, 2016, 11:25 pm


    “And anybody who voted to remain is a short-sighted money focused lame-brain whose only measure of quality of life is the size of their salary”

    Yup, that’s me, but equally what do you expect from a bunch of people you cannot help but calculate their net worth at least monthly?

    “Please can we revert to sensible discussion of carefully justified and thought through views of investing life rather than wild claims and name-calling”

    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?

  • 50 Neverland July 9, 2016, 11:36 pm


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

  • 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.