A Brexit glossary of terms

For those American readers who are so fixated on the domestic presidential election that they have not been able to follow the Brexit situation as closely as they would like, Macro Man is pleased to offer the following glossary of terms to ease your understanding. 

Advisory, adj.   

1. The legal status of the UK referendum to leave the European Union

2. Sufficiently binding that it does not require a vote in Parliament or review by the legal system

The referendum was advisory, so of course the Government shouldn't have to stoop to a Parliamentary vote to enforce the will of the people.

Brexit, n.

1.  Brexit

Brexit means Brexit.

British judges, n (plural).

1.  Legal scholars who should have jurisdiction to render decisions on the law in Britain, rather than the European Court of Justice

2. Damned scoundrels who have no business impeding the will of the people

These British judges are enemies of the people for upholding the constitution.

Electoral mandate, n.

1. Something that no one in Brussels has, other than the mayor, the lack of which is a major reason to leave the European Union

2.  A superfluous requirement for a PM trying to circumvent a Parliamentary vote on the most important issue facing the nation

Theresa May needs to invoke Article 50 today and stamp out all opposition because Brussels doesn't have an electoral mandate.

Enemy of the people, n.

1.  A term frequently used in the Soviet Union to describe those opposed to government tyranny

2.  British judges

Scrub the Kardashian front page; let's put these enemies of the people on instead.

Negotiation, n.

1.  Back-and-forth discussion with the aim of coming to an agreement; something that can be accomplished within two years between the EU and UK on a wide range of issues

2. Something that took seven years between the EU and Canada on a narrow range of issues, subject to vetoes from regional parliaments

Once Article 50 is invoked, we will swiftly conclude our trade negotiations with the EU.

Parliament, n.

1.  The only body competent to implement the will of the British people

2.  A body that has no business voting on the implementation of the will of the people.

Parliament should not vote on any aspect of Brexit other than the Repeal Bill.

Referendum, n.

1.  A plebiscite in which voters are invited to express their views on an important political topic; can be advisory or binding

2.  A law for submission of proposed legislation to a popular vote to learn the nonsensus of public opinion.*

You Remoaners lost the referendum so your views are totally irrelevant.

Single market, n.

1.  A free trade area in Europe; what the UK hopes to maintain access to while avoiding most of the responsibilities of membership

2.  How many shops the average Briton can afford to shop at if sterling doesn't stop falling

The negotiations to retain UK access to the single market shouldn't take very long at all.

Sovereignty, n.

1.  What Brexit is meant to reclaim from Brussels

2.  Replacing their tyranny with our tyranny

I voted Leave to reclaim sovereignty, innit?


n.   A large enclave of people surrounded by water who steered towards danger, thus ensuring their own demise

adj.  The kind of success Boris Johnson wants to make of Brexit 

Brexit will be a Titanic success, just yuuuge.

* Nicked from Bierce 


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Click here for comments
November 4, 2016 at 3:27 PM ×

Nonplussed by nonsensus. What coinage is this?

November 4, 2016 at 3:43 PM ×

Dummy, n.
1. A pretend move in sport causing opponent to misread your intention
2. Human shaped object used to display clothes in shops
3. Object spat out by blog owner after BTL posts descend into politics in response to overtly political ATL post.

November 4, 2016 at 4:04 PM ×

This is excellent!

November 4, 2016 at 5:47 PM ×

Hugh Hendry -9.5% YTD

November 4, 2016 at 7:04 PM ×

2) cease developing; stagnate.
"ossified political institutions"
synonyms: become inflexible, become rigid, fossilize, harden, rigidify, stagnate, become unyielding/obdurate, become unprogressive, cease developing
"past oligarchies have fallen from power because they ossified"

As opposed to ossified from the the urban dictionary - which by the way I have good intentions of achieving over the course of the next 72 hours.

November 4, 2016 at 7:45 PM ×

Equities dribbling downwards into the close again? Still, it is notable that small caps are stronger today, and the RUT is positive, so the turn may already be in the market.

The climactic VIX spike has yet to appear, this just seems like moderate hedging of equity risk rather than outright fear. We still haven't pushed the button on any of our bounce trades. We are looking for VIX ≥25 (maybe even 30!), DXY~ 96.50. Monday morning?

Bruce in Tennessee
November 4, 2016 at 8:41 PM ×


I've been watching the weakness at the end of the day for some time now, as you know. I think I'm coming to the opposite opinion about a turn in the market, but that is what makes ball games...

If it breaks 17.5, I'll be serious money short the market...maybe what you pay your valet yearly....:)

November 5, 2016 at 7:37 AM ×

Makes me laugh how post-Brexit the UK posts strong economic data, while the EU data gets worse and worse.

Remain voters couldn't be more wrong.

November 5, 2016 at 10:27 AM ×

Good points LB and Bruce! The VIX probably isn't done yet.

I have been dosing away on holiday in Paris and in Denmark this week; hence my absence. I will have something more substantial later in the week. The elections are certain to lead to all kinds of tantrums. Probably best to keep watching instead of acting here.

My hunch is that the direction in equities is down, even if we have a short-term rebound. Too soon to get greedy here. My main idea is that the seasonality of the market got a whack this year ... i.e. we are due a flush in January, so I reckon patience is a good strategy here. I also don't think bonds are done selling off here. I think it will remain frustrating investment environment in the near term, before clear opportunities represent themselves.

On a random note, it seems to me that healthcare equities in the U.S. are carving out some value, even if regulatory/pricing risk is rising too. But I am starting to prepare a little shopping list here.

November 7, 2016 at 12:57 AM ×

Could this be the most volatile week for the year? Strap on ... it could get wild!

November 7, 2016 at 4:59 AM ×

FBI clears clinton on emails... late Sunday when the folks are at home ?

lol banana republic

November 7, 2016 at 7:32 AM ×

It took the FBI over a year to parse through 55k emails the first go around.

This time, the FBI parsed 650k emails in 8 days ! Amazingly HRC was found not guilty.

Interestingly, stocks that were sold continuously for 9 days, opened with a huge gap up to ensure no traders could join the rally. Markets and politics are beyond rigged. A free pass has been given to corruption at the highest levels. The USA is now a fully 3rd world nation.