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High anxiety in European politics, and yawns in U.K. markets Add to ...

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Investors this week face a barrage of European economic and political events that should leave them rattled. But on Monday, as they were allegedly staring into the great unknown, they were as complacent as cattle grazing on a mountain pasture. How to explain that?

Their reaction seemed so counterintuitive. The week started with the news that Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, will seek a second Scottish independence vote some time between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of 2019. As early as Tuesday, though more likely at the end of the month, Britain will trigger Article 50 of the European treaty, signalling the start of formal negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union – Brexit. Never mind that “Britain” might not even exist then, if Scotland bolts before the two-year Brexit process is finished.

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