Post-Brexit: What Next?
1. The Current Situation
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union at 11pm U.K. time on Friday, March 29, 2019.
Theresa May’s current conservative cabinet has provisionally agreed on how much the U.K. owes the EU, the situation of the Northern Ireland border, and the status of the British citizens living outside the U.K. and the EU citizens living in the U.K.
Talks are now moving on to future relations between the U.K. and the EU.
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2. A Generational Vote
On June 23, 2016, 52% of the United Kingdom’s population decided to vote for exiting the European Union (the turnout was 72%). The vote was marked by a generational divide. Polls have indicated that 75% of voters aged 18–24 were pro-stay, while 67% of voters 65 years and older were pro-leave.
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As an addendum, the British overseas territories had no say in the Thursday referendum.
In practical and rhetorical terms, this means a vote for nationalism, independence, and border security. Consequently, this means a vote against globalism, Brussels’ bureaucracy, and immigration. It means also a vote for true freedom of speech, individualism, and assimilationism, and, consequently, a vote against political correctness, establishment, and multiculturalism.
Brexit does reflect not an overnight change in people’s vision, but rather an embryonic development since the 1973 accession of the U.K. to the EU, adding in time layers of dissatisfaction and frustration. This evolved from economic issues (trades and tariffs) to national security issues (the Islamic terrorist attacks in London, Paris, and Brussels, over the period of 2005–2016, committed by citizens or immigrants, including political refugees).
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3. Procedure of Leaving the EU
Brexit is an advisory vote, and the British government can legally ignore the referendum results. But the political reality will push the executive to respect the popular vote.
The U.K. will not exit the EU right away. It is a long process that might take at least two years until completion. Many issues will be renegotiated, related, but not limited, to: trade, currency, citizenship, governance, and security. Even the replacement procedure for the former premier, David Cameron, took more than two months.
Art. 50 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty on European Union establishes the procedures for both withdrawal and rejoining. In short, the British premier shall notify the European Council (the EU executive branch) of its intention, and the EU “shall negotiate and conclude an agreement” with the U.K. The agreement shall be concluded by the council, with a qualified majority of the member states, after obtaining approval from the European Parliament.
Then, the EU treaty shall cease to apply to the U.K. from the date the agreement is enforced. However, if the agreement is not accepted by the British people, a second referendum might be held in order to see if the voters accept the negotiated agreement. If the agreement is not accepted, the U.K. can leave the EU unilaterally, by rejecting the negotiations. This is a risky position, leaving the U.K., for instance, without a free trade agreement, and being imposed of tariffs on some U.K.-EU trade. In this last situation, the EU treaty shall cease to apply to the U.K. within a two-year period after the U.K.’s notification.
The idea of a second referendum was favored by Boris Johnson, a Brexiter and one of the Conservative leaders.
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Johnson, a former London mayor and currently the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affiars, has advocated for Brexit, unlike David Cameron and Sadiq Khan, the current mayor and Trump-detractor (now copiously booed by the over-joyous Brexiters). Curiously enough (or maybe not), Johnson bears a striking resemblance, not only in ideology, but also in looks, with Donald Trump. Who, by the way, spent his time during the British referendum in the neighboring Scotland, in order to promote his golf courses, and who praised the Brexiters for their victory.
4. New Horizons
The choirs of lamenters were always right on the short term. But in the long run, new horizons will always be in front of us. Most probably, the U.K. will smoothly slide, with a renewed — non-European — leader role, into its (British) Commonwealth of Nations (established in 1931) and will be evolving from now on as a new world political power pole.
Precedents like the Swiss confederation or the former British empire have proven durability over time, provided that a majority of people involved is ready to sustain such political constructions. And Brexit has succeeded exactly because a majority of people involved showed such support.
NOTE — Versions of the article were published in:
AMERICAN THINKER (El Cerrito/San Francisco, California) [<30 comments]
Blog: Post-Brexit: What's next?
In practical and rhetorical terms, this means a vote for nationalism, independence, and border security. Consequently…
INTELLECTUAL CONSERVATIVE (Phoenix, Arizona) [800+ views; 3 comments]
Post-Brexit 2018: What Next?
1. The Current Situation The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union at 11pm U.K. time on Friday, March…
MEDIUM (San Francisco, California) [100+ views; 3 comments; 100+ likes]
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