#Brexit 2030 – what a birthday party!”
“In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again.”
This is what the great economist John Maynard Keynes wrote in 1923 in his “Tract on Monetary Reform”.
Economists have seldom heeded his wisdom, yet often made a terrible fool of themselves with their conclusions and forecasts. So did journalists and other prophets, too, by the way.
No forecasts please! This is an intellectual game
Therefore, please do not misunderstand the following lines as a forecast – in the long run, all figures, data, facts of these lines and their inclined readers would all be dead.
So, until the storm passes, let us not venture a prognosis, but rather an intellectual game.
It is January 2030 and the weather in London is as mild and wet for the time of year as it was ten years ago. In 10, Downing Street, greying and thinning blond boy and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who enjoys getting used to his re-election, is preparing for the 10th anniversary of Brexit.
England and Wales are all that remains of the United Kingdom
Back in wet January 2020, King Charles still bore the title “Prince of Wales”. And the union between England and Wales will be all that remains of the proud United Kingdom in 2030.
Scotland – independent for almost a decade.
Northern Ireland – has its six historic counties back. The EU member state has obtained peace – an act of reason, additionally supported by Dublin and Brussels with subsidies – and become an important part of the Republic of Greater Ireland.
“Wealth, Commonwealth and Kingdom” – that is the motto in 2030
In London, then as now, Big Ben will toll again on this 31st January 2030. Johnson’s government will again issue a commemorative coin, as it did ten years ago, now with King Charles’ likeness and the new motto “Wealth, Commonwealth and Kingdom”.
The monarchy must be emphasized at this point, one simply has to understand that: After all the hailstorms that have rained down on the House of Windsor over the past decade, until the Queen, who had meanwhile abdicated, died 2027 at the venerable age of 101.
But what does this hull of a kingdom actually look like in our intellectual game, and what has become of renegade Scotland, defected Northern Ireland?
London is like Singapore and otherwise quite Chinese
Let’s start with London. The capital has indeed become the dreamed-of Singapore-upon-Thames, twice the size of the Asian island state, with twice as many inhabitants, half the tax rate and several times the gross domestic product.
Anyone who lives and works in London and can afford it gets away with five percent general flat tax. The oligarchs of this world were already numerous in England’s capital ten years ago, but now the wealthy middle classes of all continents have also come to appreciate and settle in the metropolis.
In Oxford and Cambridge, it is mainly Chinese who research and teach, and they are also well represented at the other universities. Johnson cancelled all Erasmus programmes with the EU and at the same time waived all tuition fees for Asians.
Not a single EU student can afford Oxford
Asians? Well, the People’s Republic of China was willing to accommodate Johnson with investments in the billions. Europeans are now studying in Edinburgh or Glasgow, in Belfast or Dublin – and feel at home there. The Indians are also more likely to go there, because Johnson didn’t really get into business with the former colony, or didn’t want to: the choice between Beijing and New Delhi was easy for him.
As promised in the 2019 elections, the prime minister has covered northern England with high-tech projects. London is paying, because the tax and banking paradise is bubbling with revenue, and so the Labour Party is usually left behind in its old strongholds in the north.
The express train from London makes it to Leeds in just under an hour, to Newcastle in two hours, that’s how much time the commuter once needed to get from the suburbs into the City of London.
The House of Lords was transplanted to York, to the “Eternal City”
The House of Lords was not abolished, something the left-wingers had dreamed of since Tony Blair’s time, but transplanted to York. Malicious tongues claim that the prime minister probably confused his birthplace New York with the “Eternal City” Eboracum from legendary Roman-Celtic times. His regular biographers, on the other hand, proudly refer to the ancient philological education: Johnson, after all, studied “classics” at Balliol College in Oxford and was always up for struggling for the appropriate Greco-Roman quotation. And in that respect, York, with its rich history fulfilled all wishes.
So much for England, we’ll cover Wales next time. Let us only reveal that climate change is making this beautiful place a popular destination for Asians and continental Europeans alike (the latter are now only called the continentals in everyday English, because many English people now feel even more European).
EU-Scotland has found its happiness with Norway
Scotland has developed the energy and marine resources of the North Sea in close cooperation with Norway and with all the advantages of an EU member. Scotland’s education and research sector is flourishing following England’s departure from continental education and higher education. Here too, climate change is helpful, in tourism and even in agriculture.
The united Ireland has hit it big
Ireland has hit it big over the past decade. This has not pleased everyone in the EU, as some felt that Dublin’s close links with the US IT companies were like riding the Trojan horse.
But let us wait and see and remember the long and painful history of the Irish: never before has this island been so prosperous, especially since the unification of the whole island in 2024.
And all the talks of crisis and doom in the years between the Brexit referendum in 2016 and the withdrawal in January in 2020?
Well, the UK has shrunk politically. And one or two sectors of the British economy have certainly suffered, the car industry for example. Growth remained rather weak at first, as did productivity, but that was already the case before the vote on withdrawal.
Sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals, banking and financial services, on the other hand, flourished, partly because the Chinese market opened up widely. The word “Commonwealth” was given a new sound, in cash terms. And even the state health service, so highly regarded by the British, was successfully reformed thanks to the income and new overseas customers.
Do they need to find a new finale for the Last Night of the Proms?
Only for the famous Last Night of the Proms a cabinet decision is needed: Could, might the audience in the Royal Albert Hall, waving the flag, innocently go on singing “Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves! / Britons never shall be slaves” – when the Britons, the British in the year 2030 are already a thing of the past?
At the time of going online with this intellectual game, the cabinet decision was still pending.