There is no exit from Brexit. The day after Britain decided to leave the European Union, press accounts were full of mea culpas from repentant “Leave” voters. Over the weekend, more than 3 million Britons signed a petition calling for a new referendum on that last referendum’s result. But on Monday, outgoing prime minister David Cameron nipped a Brexit rematch in the bud.
“That’s not remotely on the cards. There was a decisive result [in the EU referendum]. The focus of the Cabinet discussion was how we get on and deliver that,” a Cameron spokesperson told The Independent.
There is still hope for Britain’s “48 percent” — as Politico notes, a second referendum is just one of many ways a Brexit could be thwarted. Last Thursday’s vote is not legally binding, and Parliamentary approval is required to commence divorce proceedings with the EU. Thus, the U.K.’s largely pro-“Remain” Parliament could simply rebuke the democratic will. Alternatively, it’s possible the current political chaos could spur a new general election this fall. A Tory or Labour candidate could then campaign on remaining in the EU and, upon victory, claim a mandate for overturning the plebiscite.
But a Brexit remains overwhelmingly likely. While news outlets have lavished attention on “Bremorsers,” post-referendum polls suggest “Leave” voters are overwhelmingly pleased with their decision.
Global investors, on the other hand, are not. The S&P 500 dropped 2.1 percent early Monday, to its lowest point since mid-March, while the pound fell to a three-decade low. According to Bloomberg, more than $4 trillion has been erased from global equity values since last Thursday’s vote. But U.S. Treasury secretary Jack Lew says such short-term volatility shouldn’t have you too worried.
“There’s no sense of a financial crisis developing,” Lew told CNBC’s Squawk Box Monday. “Obviously this is a change in policy that has implications which change the decisions that investors make. So I’m not saying there’s not an impact on markets, but it’s been an orderly impact so far.”