Brexit: Systematic Risk and a Warning

By David Korowicz, originally published by Geneva Global Initiative

  • September 26, 2019


“It was only after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union that people began to seriously consider how it might be achieved. Some had assumed it would be trivial. For them, even waiting out the two-year official notice period prior to departure was an indulgence that displayed an unpatriotic lack of resolve.

Most were not so sanguine.


But on all sides, there was a general unawareness of just how complex and risk-laden the departure would be. This only gradually came into view.


Months after the run-down had been triggered it was discovered that:

(1) over 759 treaties would have to be renegotiated.

(2) There was growing alarm that the intricate web of Just-In-Time logistics that enable industry, supermarkets and medical care could be profoundly disrupted, especially if the UK left without a deal.

(3) Each week new concerns came to the fore, for example, how do you slaughter millions of livestock and dispose of the carcases if the market for them evaporates?

(4) When the scale of the potential disruption became clearer, military contingency planners were drafted into various government departments to help direct the response.”





“It has been a disorientating and depressing experience for many to experience the rise in anger and polarization of recent years. But the reality of our lives, irrespective of wealth or position, is that we are thoroughly interdependent with each other, the socio-economic networks that bind us, and the planet and its living system that holds us all. When we tear at the fabric of our relationships, we undermine the welfare of all, and our capacities to face the dire challenges ahead.”