The EU referendum result: What happens now?

By breakfast time, The UK’s fate had been sealed. A resounding 51.9% had voiced their frustration and Britain had made history, they would be leaving the European Union and our Prime Minister would resign by October.

As the clock struck 10pm June 23rd, a leave decision was 4/1 with Ladbrooks, by midnight, those odds had dropped drastically as did the pound sterling. At 10pm, the pound to dollar exchange rate stood at 1.4863 following independent polls leading to a comfortable win for remain. However, after Newcastle and Sunderland’s shock results early on, confidence was depleted and the going notion was, “sell, sell, sell”. This morning the pounds currently sits at 1.379

Scotland and Northern Ireland didn’t win a majority for leave, what happens to them? 

The United Kingdom is exactly that (for the time being anyway), they are a united force in the EU, therefore all four EU home nations, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have left the EU. However, Northern Ireland was not a resounding win for remain, with only 56% wanting to stay in the EU.

Scotland however was as expected, with every single constituency voting to remain. It is therefore no surprise that Nicola Sturgeon retorted this morning that in the SNP’s most recent memorandum, another referendum for Scotland’s independence would be triggered if the UK left the European Union. Sturgeon declared that “I am determined to do what it takes” to keep Scotland in the EU.

If Scotland was to leave the United Kingdom, it could also cast more doubt on the pound sterling. Therefore we can expect that within the next two years of negotiations with the EU, Scotland will hold another referendum.

What result can we expect?

To be clear, voting remain in this referendum and voting independence in a possible Scottish referendum are two vastly different things. Voting remain in this election and seeing remain win would have seen the whole of the UK remain and the pound sterling in Scotland. Voting independence in another referendum and moving into the EU would result in them almost certainly obtaining the euro.

However based on Scotland’s voting in the EU referendum and Scotland’s 44% wanting independence back in 2014, it is well within the realm of possibility that Scotland could leave the UK and rejoin the EU within the next two years.

What is Article 50?

Article 50 is a piece of legislation that has been thrown around in recent weeks on both sides. Article 50, when triggered, formally notifies the intention to withdraw from the EU, forcing a two year clock of negotiations to wind down. After this period of time, the treaties between the EU and the UK no longer apply, and the UK is officially a lone wolf.

What does a leave vote mean for the United Kingdom and the European Union?

Putting aside whether we are better financially either way, what message does the United Kingdom send to the rest of the world by leaving?

To digress briefly, the United Kingdom has found solace in poking fun at the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, who boldly states, “Make America Great Again”. What does it mean exactly? We have seen that a big part of the Leave campaign has been about regaining control again, being a great nation again. That in some way we have wound up down a road and lost our co-ordination somewhere along the way, and that perhaps the only way is back up that same road.

The EU is not perfect, there are problems with it for every nation. For a political union of such a size, that is hardly surprising. Cameron pleaded with the British people on debates that whilst in, we can try to reform together and create a stronger and fairer EU, but vote out and it’s for good.

Our relationship with the European Union will no doubt be somewhat damaged. Threats have been directed from France regarding a Brexit, stating that they would not renegotiate immigration and financial rules.

A senior EU source told Politico: “If we say you are outside the EU but can keep all of the advantages, access to the single market without any solidarity, it’s a terrible message for the rest of the EU.”

Following a Leave vote, Labour has voted no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn and after a long dispute since he became head of the party following Ed Milliband’s departure, it can’t be said that this is a surprise either. Many people are drawing the final straw to Jeremy’s reply in regards to the immigration limits that some of his party had suggested, “I don’t think you can have one whilst you have free movement of people”.

Many experts believe that some labour voters who were on the fence leaned towards Leave. Ed Milliband stated last night on BBC1 that he didn’t believe that this comment had any particular affect, however other people in labour suggest that perhaps they didn’t get certain messages across, particularly on immigration.

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, suggested that he believes from “travelling across the South, that much of the leave vote was an anti-establishment vote, where these small coastal towns have been left behind whilst the rest of the country has moved forward.”

If we briefly think of the Arab Spring which originated in Tunisia at the end of 2010, it quickly spread across Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. It is being asked whether such a democratic domino affect could occur in the EU.

According to Reuters, a recent survey observed that both France and Germany consider that the EU is going further in the wrong direction than in the right direction, with a staggering 2/3 polled in France believing that the EU is not performing as it should.

“Across all six countries surveyed – the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Britain and France, representing around half of the EU’s 500 million population – most people felt things were going in the wrong direction.”

To be pessimistic, Europe would be an isolated place should the EU ever collapse, reminding us of the pre World War Two Europe in which Fascism grew and swept the world.

This next two years is going to be perhaps one of the most interesting periods of european politics ever. Despite what experts have stated, no one yet knows what it means for the economy, but through negotiations and the performance of the pound-dollar exchange, we will start to form a more concrete idea of the post-EU United Kingdom.

One thing we do know, is that the United Kingdom is a land of frustration and a land that is currently divided. Despite people’s opinions on the outcome, the government and the people must come together to move forward in the most positive way possible.

We want to know your thoughts, are you happy with the vote to Leave?

Rhys Wilson-Plant
Bjournal

Image: BBC

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