Britain has voted for its culture, its independence and place in the world, overlooking the economic consequences the verdict would bring.
The case for the ‘Leave’ pack, who has outplayed the ‘Remain’ group, is easily reflected in Brian Lass’ statement, who is a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics. “There are two things at play here. One is the cultural nostalgia for Britain’s lost place in the world. This idea that Britain used to matter, Britain used to be able to do things without having to consult Brussels.”
“Remain” supporters were of the opinion that staying in the union is better for the British economy and that concerns about migration and other issues are not important enough to outweigh the economic consequences of leaving.
It all started when British Prime Minister David Cameron faced increasing pressure from the populist right over immigration and Britain’s EU membership. He didn’t want to hold a vote on Brexit at all.
However, in 2014, to appease the dissenters in his own party and stop the rise of the far-right UK Independence Party, Cameron promised to hold a referendum on leaving the EU if his Conservative Party won the 2015 election.
He kept his promise. But he was never in favour of exiting the EU. He even campaigned vigorously for a “Remain” vote. At the same time, he allowed other members of his government to campaign on the other side.
Consequently, soon after the referendum results were out, Britain Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation.
“Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have all had their say. We should be proud of the fact that in these islands we trust the people for these big decisions,” said Cameron.
He further added, “I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”
Though the future political and economic consequences of the verdict are difficult to predict, it will surely affect the British economy, immigration policy, and UK’s unity.
Cameron stated, “A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I think it’s right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU.”
Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union establishes the procedures for a member state to withdraw from the EU. Once Britain invokes Article 50, it will have a two-year window in which to negotiate a new treaty to replace the terms of EU membership. Britain and EU leaders would have to hash out issues like trade tariffs, migration, and the regulation of everything from cars to agriculture.
The economic consequences are immensely vast to have grasped completely. It will have its own consequences in the stock exchange.
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, ha exemplified the economic consequences before the results were out.
He said, “If you are Nissan or some other car producer with major production in the UK, today, the same safety standards and environmental standards allow you to sell everywhere in the European market. But if the UK leaves the EU, you would no longer be able to sell into other European markets, not because you face a small tariff but because you’d have to go through another set of safety certifications. This kind of thing would be repeated in every industry you can think of.”
The next issue comes of the all- important immigration. There are currently about 1.2 million Brits living in other EU countries, while about 3 million non-British EU nationals live in Britain. Thanks to EU rules, they were able to move across the English Channel with a minimum of paperwork. Britain’s exit from the EU could change that profoundly.
Lastly, UK will be broken now. United Kingdom is made up of four countries — England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Now that the United Kingdom votes to leave the EU, it may not stay united for very long.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, had even said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union, she will hold a new referendum in which Scots could vote to exit Britain — and then rejoin the union as an independent nation.
Source- Telegraph, BBC News, www.vox.com