June 24, 2016

Holy S**t They Actually Brexited!

The world woke up today to news that the UK voted in favor of Brexit, aka leaving the EU, by a 52-48% margin. This historic vote will end the UK’s 43 year membership in the EU and is the first time that a member state votes to leave the Union. The unexpected “Leave” vote was buoyed by former Labor supporters in Northern England. Meanwhile, voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU. At the time of writing the British Pound was down 13% against the US dollar, to its lowest level in 35 years, and the London Stock Market opened down 7%.

David Cameron, Britain’s PM, announced that he will be resigning in the next few months, saying that Britain required “fresh leadership.” He was a leader of the Remain movement. 

So, what’s next?

  • Britain will need a new PM. It is unclear if there will be a shake up within the ruling Tory party, where Boris Johnson, the UK’s Donald Trump look-a-like and leader of the Leave movement, might take power, or if a new general election will be held.
  • Scottish leaders will push for a new referendum on independence from the UK given that they want to stay within the EU, bringing about the possible dissolution of the UK.
  • Stability in Northern Ireland will be under strain as Sinn Fein and other Irish nationalists push for possible unification with Ireland and/or independence from the UK. 
  • To actually leave the Union the UK needs to trigger Article 50, starting a two-year renegotiation that will figure out things like immigration and access to the EU market. In the meantime EU law still applies to the UK. Many hope that the UK will negotiate a treaty similar to the one Norway has with the EU. Cameron said that the new PM should be responsible for triggering Article 50. 
  • Other countries with large Euroskeptic populations might be holding their own referendums. There is already talk of Nexit (Holland), Swexit (Sweden), Dexit (Denmark) meaning that adding exit at the end of a word will be Europe’s equivalent of adding “gate” at the end of a scandal in the US. 

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: