Monday, July 04, 2016

EU Brexit vote could be reversed as people take to the streets of London

Britain's exit from the EU is by no means certain, as the main political parties deal with internal splits and resignations. 

Following Britain's historic referendum in June, when 17 million people voted to leave the European Union, there have been mass protests in London at the weekend and petitions signed by millions of people calling for a "second vote".

The EU referendum has divided the nation into two camps – leave/out and remain/in. Just over 50% of voters opted to leave the EU, but that still left 16 million unhappy people who want to remain.

Immigration is again high on the agenda, as those who voted to leave have been branded by some as xenophobic and even racists.  They would argue that the main reason they voted 'leave' was to return control of the country from Brussels to the democratically elected UK government.

There have been sporadic reports of racist attacks, mainly in the form of ugly verbal abuse, against migrants since the referendum.

The tide appears to be turning against the leave voters, with warnings of a UK recession and the loss of its triple A credit rating. This could result in higher borrowing costs for the UK, although I seem to recall that it was the same credit rating agencies which gave the thumbs up to U.S. sub-prime mortgages securities, which led to the financial crisis in 2008. 

The possibility of post-EU job losses does not help the leave camp’s case, with several multinationals and banks threatening to move their headquarters to Paris or Frankfurt.   

Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned following the referendum, has refused to invoke Article 50, which would officially start the exit process, perhaps leaving the door open for a reversal of the peoples’ democratic decision.

Mr Cameron's successor looks increasingly likely to be the current Home Secretary Theresa May, who was firmly on the side of remaining in the EU.  

Although the referendum vote is not actually binding on the government and would have to be ratified in Parliament, it would be difficult to ignore the wishes of 17 million voters. 

However, with many leave voters suffering from buyer’s remorse, there is no doubt that a second referendum could swing in favour of a vote to remain in EU, especially if previously absent younger voters register and exercise their vote.  

This story is set to run and run. UKIP leader Nigel Farrage, who arguably forced Cameron into promising only the third referendum in English history, has stept down this week. The opposition Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn is facing a coup and Scottish Leader Nicola Sturgeon is taking advantage of the chaos and calling for another independence referendum.

Former London Mayor and leave campaign front man, Boris Johnson, dropped out of the race for the top job last week to the surprise of his supporters who saw him as a future Prime Minister. Perhaps he does not want to be seen as the man who actually took the UK out of the EU for good?

In the meantime, ordinary folk like you and me have to leave the politics aside and get on with our lives running our economy. The stock market and pound may go up and down and the Governor of the Bank of England may cut interest rates to stimulate growth, but the average person has to carry on earning, spending and saving.

Are you happy in your job?

UK workers tend to work much longer hours than their counterparts in France and Germany, and our labour laws are more flexible, which is one reason why so many foreign companies choose to invest here. Large numbers of workers are now on so-called zero-hour contracts, which is good for employers but offer no guarantee of how many hours will be offered to the employee on any given day.

Whilst most are grateful to have any kind of job, it does follow they are happy with the daily grind and drudgery of work. Unlike their parents or grandparents who accepted the status quo, many younger people are looking for something more out of life – they actually want a life and are not prepared to work for 40 years doing a job they hate in the hope that they can enjoy their life in retirement.

Even if young people do their time and reach the magic retirement age, the chances are they will have little to look forward to in terms of a pension. The previous baby boomer generation had the luxury of full employment and final salary pension schemes, which are now almost exclusively only available to public sector employees. The country is facing a ‘pensions time bomb’, where millions of people will be unable to retire due to lack of resources even after earning money throughout their working lives.

There are options to save into a private pension (the benefits of which are not guaranteed), but with wages being forced down and the cost of housing reaching record levels due to a population boom, most ordinary workers will never be able to save enough to live on during a retirement which could last as long as their working lives.




The home based work and business revolution

There has been a substantial economic shift during the past decade helped on by the technological and information revolutions.

Millions of people are now choosing to work from home and avoid the pain of leaving their families behind for employment thousands of miles away.  

Major outsourcing platforms like Upwork.com and Fivver.com offer anyone with a laptop and an internet connection the chance to earn a living working from the comfort of their own home anywhere in the world. 



We can also trade stocks and shares or foreign exchange (FOREX) using inexpensive real-time technology that would have previously only been available to large institutions.

Students can also earn legitimate degrees from major universities online at a fraction of the cost of travelling abroad.

Making money with home-based businesses like AffiliateMarketing - selling other people's products for a commission - now offers huge opportunities in the home-based business economy and I believe it is only just getting started. 

Companies like Amazon and Ebay offer affiliate marketing programs, albeit for small commissions meaning you have to sell a lot of products to make serious money. With some schemes, you will need quite a bit of technical knowledge to set up your own websites, systems and marketing campaigns.

More and more people are looking to ditch the daily grind of commuting to work, doing a job they hate and spending their lives trading their time for money working for someone else.

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