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What Brookings Experts are saying about Brexit

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What Brookings experts are saying about Brexit

(REUTERS/Neil Hall) Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London, Britain June 19, 2016.UPDATED, 6/28/16

Voters in the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. British PM David Cameron has resigned. The choice in favor of “Brexit” will have significant economic and political consequences that Brookings scholars have been analyzing and commenting on. Here is some of what they are saying.

Ben Bernanke: “Even more obvious now than before the vote is that the biggest losers, economically speaking, will be the British themselves. … In the United States, the economic recovery is unlikely to be derailed by the market turmoil, so long as conditions in financial markets don’t get significantly worse: The strengthening of the dollar and the declines in U.S. equities are relatively moderate so far.” Read more »

Richard Reeves: “Brexit was an unnecessary referendum staged to settle an internal Tory party squabble. David Cameron was playing with fire. And now the whole house is burning.” Read more »

Matteo Garavoglia: “A rather homogenous socio-demographic group of white, poor, uneducated, elderly, and rural Englishmen have pulled the rest of Britain outside the European Union. … Europeans, meanwhile, have to catch up on the time they spent dealing with 40 years of British foot-dragging. Great opportunities are out there to be seized.” Read more »

David Dollar: “Brexit has little direct effect on the Chinese economy though it does increase the risk of financial volatility. In the long run it is hard to see it as anything but a plus for China as the West continues to decline and China continues to rise.” Read more »

Michael O’Hanlon: “… after acknowledging such real, if finite, concerns, we should take a deep breath and relax. … it is true that we need to take seriously the skepticism about globalization that UK voters have just voiced in a powerful and emphatic way. But the postwar global order is hardly falling apart.” Read more »

Steven Koltai: “The historic vote in the UK to leave the EU, is nothing short of the beginning of the end of these institutional frameworks [e.g., the EU, World Bank, and IMF] that have by and large, created the longest and most prosperous period of sustained peace in modern human history.” Read more »

Mireya Solis: “Brexit is not the final indictment of globalization, and our futures are not yet destined to be ruled by the politics of grievance.” Read more »

Philippe Le Corre: “Now, the shots will be called from Berlin, Paris and Brussels. Ironically for such a proponent of free trade and free markets, London will no longer have a voice. Between the U.S. and the ‘new U.K.,’ everything will need to be reinvented.” Read more »

Constanze Stelzenmüller: “… Britain has severed its ties with the E.U. for a delusion of sovereignty and control. For the average German — we share borders with 10 other countries, and our prosperity rests on world trade — this is just bizarre.” Read more »

David Wessel: “It might be an inflection point in globalization and the institutions that have served us—by my view—pretty well since the end of World War II and particularly since the fall of the Berlin Wall.” Listen on NPR »

Thomas Wright: “Hard as it is, the EU should adopt a generous approach and try to make Brexit as smooth as possible, which includes ensuring good relations with Britain after it leaves, even if it takes considerably longer than two years.” Read more »

Fiona Hill: “Like the fall of the [Berlin] wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fallout from Brexit could have momentous consequences. The U.K. is of course not the USSR, but there are historic links between Britain and Russia and structural parallels that are worth bearing in mind as the U.K. and the EU work out their divorce, and British leaders figure out what to do next, domestically and internationally.” Read more »

Elaine Kamarck: “The Brexit vote was a severe jolt to Britain, to the European Union and perhaps to the global economy. However, it is wise to take a deep breath before concluding, as Donald Trump was from his golf course, that it means a Trump victory in November.”Read more »

Homi Kharas: “If Brexit is an isolated event it can be contained. If it is the start of a more pronounced backlash against globalization, we should all worry, most of all those of us who are concerned with the lives of the poorest people on our planet.” Read more »

Josh Meltzer: “The animating idea behind the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (EU) was been based on the premise that the U.K. will be better off, that it will have more freedom to act when not constrained by its membership in the EU. This is a myth that at its heart failed to understand the nature of sovereignty in a globalized world.” Read more »

Greg Clark: “London’s position as global city will not necessarily be substantially threatened by the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, but it will require some very important adjustments and confident negotiations, starting right now.” Read more »

Bruce Jones: “… a dramatic day in Britain, a momentous day in Europe and, one fears, a portent in the broader debate about the West’s relationship to a globalized and open world.” Read more »

Constanze Stelzenmüller: “I know my friends are dismayed … everybody here [in Berlin] wanted Great Britain to stay. For us, Britain has always been a force for good in Europe, an important beacon for liberal trade policies, defense policies, an ancient democracy, and I think people here are just devastated.” Listen on NPR »

Richard Reeves: “Immigration played a role in the Brexit campaign, though it seems that voters may not have made a clear distinction between EU and non-EU inward movement. Still, Thursday’s vote was, at heart, a plebiscite on what it means to British.” Read more »

David Wessel: “The onus is now on those elites, on the leaders of U.S. companies, on academic and think-tank scholars, on internationally aware politicians (including, especially, Hillary Clinton)—all those who fear that Brexit portends a turning point in the post-World War II and post-Berlin Wall world order—to come up with something more than a modest expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance. If ever there were a time for bold proposals, it’s now.”  Read more »

Kemal Kirişci: “Let us hope for the time being that the ‘politics of fear’ that brought about the Brexit result does not spin out of control, and make Europe (foremost Britain) regret its decision to reject the wisdom of Schuman, Adenauer, and Monnet—and all the others who’ve chosen to walk in their path.” Read more »

Bill Galston: “In the short to medium term, this is bad news for both Britain and Europe. And it is bad news for the United States as well.”  Read more »

Justin Wolfers: “In response to the British vote to leave the European Union, the American stock markets have moved more than they have in response to any presidential election over the past 60 years.”  Read more »

“It does appear we are at a tipping point in terms of the future of our politics. … Does it continue to be a politics that is generally outwardly focused, focused on an open global economy and opportunity and optimism? Or is it one that is nationalistic and more inward looking and more about closing countries off?
— Senior Fellow Thomas Wright on “All Things Considered,” 6/22/2016

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