Is Great Britain destined for history’s dustbin?
On Thursday, David Cameron’s Conservative Party won a surprising electoral victory. But a lot of folks have opined that the Tories’ troubles are just beginning. The rise of the Scottish Nationalist’s up north and Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on England’s place in the European Union have many wondering whether Cameron will become the founder of “Little England,” an England cut off from Europe and bereft of Scotland and Wales.
Photo: Mpdc 100. Source: Wikipedia
But reports on the death of Great Britain have been greatly exaggerated. The vast majority of Brits still want to be part of the EU. The Pound is a major world currency, and doesn’t have the Euro’s problems. The UK Independence Party – UKIP – only won 13% of the vote and just a single seat in Parliament, despite Britain’s annoyance with meddling bureaucrats in Brussels.
And even though the Nationalists won all but three of Scotland’s seats in the House of Commons, it’s by no means certain that the the Scots want to leave the UK. For one thing, Scotland just had a referendum on independence which the Unionists clearly won. For another, the economic case for an independent Scotland is much weaker now, with oil so much lower than it was at the time of last year’s referendum. Canada’s Parti Quebecois has held power for a long time, and Canada isn’t in danger of breaking up. Voting for the PQ seems a safe way for Quebecers to assert some cultural independence.
The old-fashioned view is that it’s better to win elections than to lose them. David Cameron has a lot of work ahead of him, but it’s likely his victory was based on the UK’s recent economic success as much as anything. English equities are a core part of any global investment portfolio. Last week’s vote only strengthens their place.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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