IF you watched this week’s media circus around ‘Brexit’ –  leading to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, you will have realised how different news channels reported at times vastly different information, and how they promoted different points of view depending on their sentiments.

In the main, Sky News, CNN and BBC pushed the envelope of Fear. The world was certain to collapse if the UK left the EU. Their counterparts at Russia Today (RT) and Al Jazeera reported in more neutral fashion, although RT’s economics wild card Max Keiser went on record as saying:  “Ornery Brits just put a gun to global market’s head and blew its brains out. Incredibly impressive I must say. I underestimated UK moxie.”

What transpired in certain quarters is that UK Prime Minister David Cameron evacuated his bowels when the result came through. In shame, he promptly resigned but then offered to stay on. He won’t be evacuating 10 Downing Street just yet, like a ship’s captain hiding under the covers of his lifeboat until they reach the shore!

Twitter, the wonderful condensed source of all opinions, was abuzz with opinion on Friday and here are a few:

From Deborah Patta (@deborahpatta): Incredible that the UK would actually be so stupid as to shoot itself in the foot to vote to leave the EU!

From Prof David Bullard (@lunchout2) in response to Patta:  It’s about who rules you Debora. Would you like the SA legislative body to be based in Nigeria?

From Gary Player (@garyplayer): However you voted, Brexit will be the world’s most complex & time consuming divorce ever.

From Charles Savage (csavagegt247): (The Leave Vote) highlighted that those that control the money don’t control the vote & the divide is alarming!!!!  This is a step in the wrong direction and exit voters will bear the brunt!!!

From Donald Trump (TV interview):  It’s great. The UK has taken its borders back, taken its currency back, taken its country back!

From Old Blue (oldblue 600): If this was the predicted apocalypse, it was a very British one, it was over by teatime. President Obama decided that we wouldn’t be in the ‘back of the queue” after all and that our “special relationship” was still strong. The President of the European Commission stated Brexit negotiations would be “orderly” and stressed the UK would continue to be a “close partner” of the EU. Several countries outside the UK stated that they would begin bi-lateral trade talks with the UK immediately.  The £ plummeted, then rallied past February levels. The FTSE closed on a weekly high!

From The Motley Fool (UK-based Financial Advice Online):
The decision to leave the EU has taken uncertainty to levels not seen since the financial crisis, but this will surely be a bloodless coup. For now there’s nothing to do but to take a deep breath, grin and bear it – and to keep focused on your long-term investing goals.

Stock market investors around the world, and here in South Africa, were reeling yesterday as shares plummeted, but some were smiling while remembering the words of Baron Rothschild: “The time to buy is when there is blood in the streets!” This is a marvellous time to obtain quality stocks at low prices.

Do you have a better sense of balance now? The sun is out, we’re all ok!

Let’s proceed to what the UK’s exit from the EU can mean for the South African horse racing and breeding industry. The answer is:  The UK’s giving the finger to the EU may be the best thing to happen to SA Racing in the last 20 years. We’ll need to get lucky, but perhaps Brexit will be the best thing to happen to SA Racing, ever!

Professor Ian Sanne: "We need to grab the moment as the UK is struggling to economically justify the Brexit move."
Professor Ian Sanne: “We need to grab the moment as the UK is struggling to economically justify the Brexit move.”

Approached on Friday evening, Professor Ian Sanne, a member of the South African industry Task Team charged with consolidating the efforts of the equine and racing industries and veterinarians, as well as (until now) funding mechanisms ahead of applications to the European Union, commented: “UK, independent of Europe, may provide the SA Equine industries with the opportunity to negotiate with one country to export based on a protocol from a low-risk infected zone with PCR test and vector-protected quarantine facility.

“The novel approach is currently in design, the UK now has the advantage that a decision can be made independently from the EU. Changes to the EU legislation that specifies a two-year lock-out period from any infected country will no longer apply. The UK could be open for business with SA more quickly than the rest of Europe.

“I am cautiously optimistic. Demonstrating unique trading opportunities will be the key to underscoring the independence of Britain from the EU. May also be the key to keeping others in the UK.”

If you want to know how hard we’ve tried to lift restrictions, ask Peter Gibson and members of various negotiating councils what dealing with the EU has entailed thus far. Think of one of those SWAT-team movies where a bunch of policemen storm a door with a barge pole and give it an enormous thud and it breaks open. The difference is, the EUs door is arguably as solidly closed today as it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago.

Perhaps now, we can put away the barge pole and negotiate with a small, centralised group of people about flying our superb thoroughbreds straight into the UK.  If we can accomplish that, the economic spin-offs will be mind-blowing.  Good thing is, the Poms like us. We’re cut from the same cloth in many ways. A South African sponsors their biggest race. There is synergy and good will, people!

Former Champion Trainer Mike de Kock has said on a few occasions: “(When export protocols allow us to fly direct) the flood gates will open and great investments will flow into South Africa.”

Today is a day for strong and renewed hope, in anticipation of what could happen for us in SA racing. Don’t condemn the UK’s move out of the EU too soon. If you’re a racing fan, you should be overjoyed. At Breakfast today, pop a cork to celebrate Brexit!


  1. Makes sense, and hopefully we can make a breakthrough soon. Prof Sanne calls for quick action, hope he follows through.

  2. the problem with the brexit vote is that it is not being reported correctly because they keep harping on the 52-48 margin when in fact out of the 385 voting domains 240 voted leave and 145 voted remain ? and in my domain of st edmundsbury the leave vote was 57-43 and this area has always voted conservative so they went against what was expected ? but prior to the vote every one i spoke with told me they were voting leave as did i, and i fully expect the UK to open up for new trade worldwide because in reality we don’t need anything the EU sells .