Two Brexit related stories last week, showed how Britain is currently having its cake and eating it. The first had to do with the High Court decision to subject Brexit to a parliamentary vote. The court ruled that article 50 – the EU article that must be activated by any country wishing to leave the union – cannot be invoked without parliamentary support. The second story had to do with the sharp increase in tourism to London that Euro Star reported. According to reports on Bloomberg, Euro Star saw an 18% increase in the amount of passengers travelling from Paris to London.
Both of this stories point to the complexity behind Brexit and how experts who oppose it, rushed to judgement when they asserted that it would sink Britain’s economy. First of all Britain is still a member of the union until it invokes the very article that the High Court says cannot be invoked without parliamentary support. If the British parliament were to hold a vote on invoking article 50, the motion would probably be defeated. In the meantime, while the government appeals the decision, Britain will remain in limbo.
If the Euro Star report can be considered as evidence about the advantages of a weaker pound, then this limbo is Britain’s opportunity to have the cake and eat it. Brexit fears have taken a toll on the value of the Sterling, which has been great news for tourism – and might also be good news to exporters. More tourists mean more foreign capital flowing into the country and more employment opportunities for people in the tourism sector.
Britain has thus been able to enjoy the privileges of having complete access to EU markets while its currency slides under the threat that it will eventually leave the union. In the meantime European consumers seem to be benefiting from the situation as well, and it seems this party might last more than the experts would have ever thought. Furthermore, there is still no indication about how a post-Brexit Europe will look like in terms of movement of capital, goods and people. So it seems like the Brexit party may never really be over, and Britain will continue to have its cake and eat it.