Common Sense: Brexit

July 1, 2016 JERRY KASSAR
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If I lived in London and could vote, I would have voted to leave the European Union. Personally, I think national identity, self-determination and the direct effect this has on democracy out-weighs the counterbalancing monetary argument every time.

On my visits to the continent, I have always been amused by how much each country, its people and governments really did not like each other — amused but not surprised since European history is filled with tensions between various nations and ethnic groups.

And these tensions have only been aggravated in recent years with the many different approaches each member of the European Union has utilized to deal with the enormous refugee problem. Frankly, the present arrangement in the European Union makes a refugee problem in Germany a problem in France and as such a problem in Belgium and so forth and so on.

Combine this with an always strong English nationalist character with the end result being England, the largest part of the UK, by far voting heavily to leave the EU. It was joined by the much smaller Welsh region, but not by Scotland or Northern Ireland. This is an uncomfortable result that will certainly complicate the many legal changes that will need to be made and voted upon by the British Parliament over the next two years.

Another winner in all this, but mostly by default, is New York City. A significant piece of the London financial industry is expected to move back to New York to take advantage of the existing trade, treaty and regulatory agreements that New York City-located businesses operate under. Additionally, New York City real estate is once again expected to be the beneficiary of large sums of foreign money looking for a safe haven.

Americans will also find a European vacation heavily discounted due to the Euro and British pound sinking vs. the dollar. Of course, the reverse is true and fewer Europeans will be coming to New York to shop and tour.

It will be two years before it is all sorted out. And in that time Britain will select a new Conservative prime minister and in many other ways adjust to a new European economic and likely political arrangement. It is what the British people wanted. It was done in a democratic manner and the people will enjoy the benefits of what is, without question, their decision.

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, I wish once again to remind my readers that celebrating our nation’s independence by shooting off illegal fireworks is not a good idea. New York City has numerous ways to enjoy large legal fireworks displays on the Fourth. Take your family to one of them instead of annoying your neighbors and their pets with illegal and dangerous rockets and small explosives .

It is worth noting that about 15 years ago, an elderly Bay Ridge couple died in a house fire caused by several small rockets lodging in their roof and igniting a fire that eventually entered into their house.

The Fourth should also be a time in which you discuss our nation, its history and the significance of our freedoms with a youngster, so he or she can better appreciate the meaning of the day.
Enjoy a safe, and meaningful Fourth of July.

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