EU referendum aftermath brings near Anarchy in the UK following the Brexit vote:
As we all know on Thursday the 23rd June 2016 the people of the United Kingdom voted by a 52% to 48% majority to leave the EU following a turnout of 72% of those eligible to vote. Since the result of the EU referendum some of the Remain campaign warnings, collectively titled ‘Project Fear’ by Brexiteers (leave campaigners) have proven to be actual consequences, with significant volatility in global markets, particularly the FTSE 250 and a fall in the value of sterling against the US dollar and the Euro. The UK also lost its AAA rating.
I think the market volatility and sterling exchange rate fall following the referendum leave result were inevitable. The impact was worsened by the immediate aftermath and actions (or lack thereof) from politicians and campaigners on both sides of the debate. David Cameron resigned, George Osbourne vanished and was then biblically resurrected 3 days later, whilst Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage didn’t seem to have a clue what to do.
So our Government has become a headless chicken, the chancellor’s position is untenable, the leader of the opposition is facing a coup, the country is divided and fellow human beings across the UK have faced a significant increase in racist abuse. The only coherent voice seems to have come from Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England and Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of the Scottish parliament. The SNP is now looking to seek a second referendum for Scottish independence from the UK. Talk about Anarchy in the UK, it’s a mess and the problems inflicted will take time to heal.
I voted to remain in the European Union, not because I’m particularly fond of the EU, but because it’s not all bad, and the negative impact of leaving the EU would result in serious uncertainty and negative economic impact on the UK. I also had, and still have very serious concerns over Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, although I don’t have much faith in Cameron and Osborne either.
The vote was cast and the result was the UK will leave the European Union for better or for worse. Personally I think it’s a bad decision for business, for workers and for homeowners, but we have to accept it, that’s democracy. The blame for this situation should rest fairly and squarely on David Cameron, for instigating the referendum to appease the right wing conservatives and UKIP. Additionally, Boris Johnson shares responsibility for supporting the Leave campaign, in my opinion, purely for his own personal political positioning. He now looks likely to become the Prime Minster, and it’s ironic that he hasn’t been elected by the voting public. A general election may follow, but that is unlikely, as Boris will want to hold onto power for as long as possible.
We have several Brexit milestones ahead of us over the coming months and years, but the only way forward now is to unite as much as possible, remain positive and focus on the future one step at a time. A cohesive government and a united opposition party will help, followed by a positive approach to the EU exit negotiations over the next two years or so. The main facts of Brexit are:
- Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the mechanics of leaving the EU and a member must give the European Council notice
- This is unlikely to happen until at least September 2016 once a new conservative leader and Prime Minister is elected to replace David Cameron
- Despite demands that the UK get on with extracting itself from the EU, there is no legal compulsion that notice under Article 50 is issued
- Once Article 50 notice is given negotiations to commence a withdrawal will begin between the UK and the EU and a two-year exit clock will start ticking
- The UK will remain an EU member state during the negotiation period
- The negotiation period can be extended beyond two-years with the agreement of both parties, but this is highly unlikely
- As an EU member during withdrawal negotiations the UK will still have to comply with EU law and nothing changes until we actually leave the EU. UK businesses will still have to comply with EU law, and the free movement of goods, capital and people will continue as it did prior to the referendum
- The UK will continue to make contributions to the EU budget until it leaves the EU
Based on the above you can see why a vote to leave the EU has delivered none of the promises of the Leave campaign and delivered all the consequences of a leave vote, as warned by the Remain campaign. The timescales and uncertainty are part of the process and it’s painful. The pain is worsened given the turmoil the referendum has created, and the actions and inactions of key players in this debate on both sides of the argument.
It is now up to the people and businesses of the UK to deal with the consequences of political ineptitude, arrogance and self-interest. We deserve better and the phrase none of the above springs to mind.