Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

The Brexit spiral begins


I’ve been warning since the Brexit vote that there could be a xenophobic feedback spiral:

We face years of escalating frustration on both sides of the negotiating table, as the British are confronted with the reality of a Europe that has no interest in making the fantasies of the Conservative Party come true. The British public will become more bloody-minded, unwilling to be dictated to by a bunch of foreigners, leading to a feedback loop of retaliation against the hostages, the EU citizens living in Britain and the British living in the EU. It could get very ugly.

According to the Guardian,

The chairman of JD Wetherspoon has fired a warning shot that the pub chain could stop selling drinks brands from other European countries if senior EU leaders maintain a “bullying” approach to Brexit negotiations.

For Britain to take a decision that harms its neighbours — with rhetoric that positively seems to relish the gratuitous harm to its neighbours — is a matter of high principle. Sovereignty! But when the neighbours respond in kind it is “bullying”.

I never heard of this chain, but then, the negotiations haven’t even started.

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