How can this have happened? Total political failure — don’t ever ask a question you don’t know the answer to; and when you make an argument base it on reason not emotion. Resignation seems too mild a fate for the man responsible for not only the break up of Europe but the possible demise of the United Kingdom.

Philip Jones gives the publishing reaction at The Bookseller blog. In the narrowest of terms the effect on publishing will probably not be massive: less than the effect of more fundamental changes which have been under way for several years now. Still it does seem that all publishing people, all intellectuals, and all Scots didn’t want this result. I saw a Tweet suggesting that the Mayor of London was looking into joining Scotland in seeking continued EU membership. Can we see London as the Nagorno-Karabakh of a new European Scotland?

The EU is two things: a customs union sort of thingy on the one hand, and a beautiful dream on the other. Now let’s be real: the beautiful dream bit has been looking rather frayed at the edges, and may already have been moribund. The economic aspects, while no doubt troublesome in the short term, are probably going to get chewed up and lost-sight-of in the welter of world economic changes which the future no doubt has in store for all of us. Reassuringly the Premier League has refused to speculate on the effect of Brexit on England’s footballing prospects: but lots of work permits are going to be needed.

While I am devastated by this decision, I have to reflect that often our worst fears turn out to have been exaggerated. Events have a way of taking over.

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