As of last week, the United Kingdom has yet another Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Or as he is more commonly known here in the States: The British version of Donald Trump. In a country of nearly sixty-seven million people, Boris was elected by, *checks notes*, ninety-two thousand one-hundred and fifty-three people or roughly .0013% of the population. Yay democracy!!! Boris’ rise comes on the heels of previous Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to negotiate a successful Brexit deal. This is of course because Leave campaign and its supporters have what some would call delusional expectations concerning the terms by which the United Kingdom would be allowed to exit the European Union. Something akin to a child wanting to eat nothing but cake and refusing to eat their vegetables. Also, the cake is spiked with arsenic and buying it every day will lead to complete economic collapse. But I digress.
Boris is a hard-liner when it comes to Brexit. His ascension to Prime Minister, combined with the refusal of the E.U. member states to re-open negotiations, means the most likely outcome in all of this now is for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union without any kind of deal in place; what is colloquially known as a “No-Deal Brexit”.
So what does a “No-Deal Brexit” look like? Well, the extension Theresa May negotiated is up on October 31. On that date, without another extension or approved deal in place, the U.K. will immediately leave the customs union. With no trade deal in place, the terms between the U.K. and E.U. would be reset to the basic guidelines set out by the World Trade Organization. Tariffs would immediately begin applying to British goods being imported to the E.U. This will likely harm many industries in the U.K who will be unable to compete with their tariff-free European competitors. A “No-Deal” would also result in border checks which would, in addition to overwhelming U.K. ports unaccustomed to performing such checks, endanger the Good Friday agreement by creating a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In the short term, a “No-Deal” could cause supply-chain disruption and sudden price shocks on a wide array of goods. In the long-term, a “No-Deal” could result in significant harm to a number of British industries and cause the pound to take a sharp dip in its global purchasing power.
This, of course, could have all been avoided if the British public had realized it was being sold a bill of goods by the “Leavers”. Instead, the Leaver who misled the public the most (well okay, second-most after Farage) is now Prime Minister. Boris seems poised to deliver a “No-Deal Brexit” if for nothing other than sheer stubbornness. It would be a shame if the citizens of the UK did not get some say in that, either by a second referendum or a general election, but it seems increasingly likely that a small segment of Tories will succeed in driving their entire country of a financial cliff.