Starting with Japan, stock markets across the world reeled in shock and saw big drops with the results of the June 23 Brexit poll in the UK – where the voter turnout was high at 71.8%, and the vote went 52% to 48% in favor of Britain to exit the European Union (EU) or “Brexit” as it has become popularly known!
Pound Sterling took an immediate and severe beating – unprecedented since the 1970s when it was first floated, as did UK’s real estate. David Cameron, the man who started this historic event rolling when he promised to call for an in-or-out referendum – has resigned his post. The world is shocked and in disbelief – and worried about the far-reaching effects of Brexit, such as a domino effect with more countries leaving the EU and laying the ground for possible conflict in the region at some future date.
The EU operates as a ‘single market’ with people, services, money and goods moving around its 28 member countries as if they were one country, avoiding tariffs with the Euro as the common currency for 19 of them. It has its own parliament, which rules a wide range of subjects such as the environment, transport, consumer rights and other matters for the total region.
In the aftermath of the “irreversible” result favoring Brexit, most people are now found questioning the need for such a referendum with some calling it an irresponsible act by the British government. As with any closely called result, many are dissatisfied with the outcome. Reports show the British Googling the internet for information on what the EU is…with some now regretting their “Leave” vote…now that the divorce is looming on the horizon.
But the reaction of the world and the negative economic outcomes, which are already visible and quite dramatic, were enough to make them realize that they may have been too hasty, as regret sets in.
Foreign investments into the UK may slow to a trickle as the economic uncertainty of Brexit is bound to keep investors away until things settle down. United Kingdom citizens working in the EU and vice versa will face tremendous uncertainties as will businesses. And what about trading relations between the UK and the other countries in the EU? Uncertainties abound. Given the xenophobic nature of the vote, Britain is already witnessing situations where overt racism is becoming rampant!
The exit is approved by people who question the need to pay membership fees to the EU and, in most cases, don’t like other European nationals coming to live and work in the UK. They may also have resented the EU exerting an influence and control over the UK which ran contrary to their memories of the glory of the British Empire!
Like any divorce, there are often numerous underlying causes. Here are a handful:
There is no doubt that, marred by undertones of xenophobia, racism, nativism and Islamophobia, the vote was an emotional decision instead of being a rational one. It’s laced with bitterness, hatred and violence marring the debates running up to the vote.
This sudden divorce is not petitioned for yet! The United Kingdom will have to re-negotiate the future terms of its current trading arrangements with the EU before it can leave.
And, as in the case with parents, the parties will still have to deal with each other! The exit has two routes – one is through negotiation between the UK and the EU, and the other is that there is no withdrawal agreement and the UK ceases to be a member two years from notifying the EU it intends to leave, but must still abide by all applicable laws until such a time. What a long, drawn-out battle it becomes.
What does the UK have to look forward to? Potential fallout includes:
The result of the referendum will not be legally binding on the UK unless the Parliament of Britain passes the necessary laws with both the House of Lords and the House of Commons ratifying the decision to leave the EU. With the resignation of the Prime Minister, Britain may go to polls again – at which time the parties may once again bring up the issue of the Brexit as a part of the election mandate and seek a reversal.
Seen for long as an empire on which the sun never set as it straddled the globe while simultaneously reviled as the poster-child of colonialism, slavery and xenophobia, the UK may see itself diminish and become small and lonely in stature – all because of the decision to hold this referendum.
Only time will tell if the Brexit is a glorious opportunity bringing in prosperity or a grievous mistake that’s set to irrevocably reverse its fortunes!
What do you foresee for the UK’s Brexit vote on the workforce?
Mail (will not be published) (required)
eight + = 14
Thanks for Subscribing to DCR Blog.