The World After Brexit
On the 23 rd June, 52% of the British voting public voted in favour of a Brexit. And then all hell broke loose. For some the result was a surprise*; the pound dropped to thirty year lows, the FTSE wiped off $100billion in four days, and David Cameron resigned not only as Prime Minister, but as Conservative Party leader too. He really had no choice, having spearheaded the “Remain” campaign after all.
Now, almost a month after the events we look at what Brexit means and if we are any closer to Great Britain leaving the EU.
The former Home Secretary Theresa May fought off one round of a leadership contest, before her competition backed down and handed her the role of Prime Minister.
A lot of the talk in the immediate wake of the vote was regarding the fact that the referendum wasn’t legally binding. n fact, the referendum just told Parliament the want of the people, but MPs still have to pass it into law. That’s where things got complicated…
Immediately Scotland, who had voted in favour of remaining in the EU, suggested that they might try to push for another independence referendum. There were impassioned speeches in the European Parliament, meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon scrabbled to get legal advice on how Scotland could avoid exiting the EU – she even suggested she might veto the move when it came to Parliament.
As this was happening, online petitions popped up calling for a second referendum, people who had voted leave started to understand the implications, and a poor bloke from Manchester became the butt of internet jokes when he learnt that his vote actually counted for something. Democracy, huh?!
But, with all that going on no one has had the chance to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. And that’s where things take another twist and turn…
Everyone is banging on about Article 50, but few know what all the fuss is about. Essentially it is an agreement that allows any member of the EU to leave. But it’s a little complicated; the article has only been in force since late 2009 and it hasn’t been tested yet, so no-one really knows how the Brexit process will work. That is hardly comforting seeing as the new Prime Minister is adamant that the UK are leaving…
Theresa May Go. She May Not.
The former Home Secretary Theresa May fought off one round of a leadership contest, before her competition backed down and handed her the role of Prime Minister. Despite Cameron saying he would stay on until autumn, May already has the keys to 10 Downing St, has rejigged the cabinet and given her inaugural speech as only the second ever female British Prime Minister. And if that wasn’t enough the PM has even jumped a train to Scotland to have a chat with the head of the SNP.
One thing she hasn’t done is invoke Article 50. Despite saying that “Brexit means Brexit”, it doesn’t actually mean anything at the moment if the Houses of Parliament haven’t pushed it through…
And if Parliament pass it, and it goes to the House of Lords but is rejected… well, the UK is back at square one, with the majority of the population wanting to leave the EU, but nothing in place for that to actually happen.
So. What Now?
In short, no one really knows where we go from here. he Bank of England has decided to leave interest rates unchanged, which gave a boost to the flagging pound, but the wider ramifications of Brexit remain to be seen. This is an unprecedented event, and the global markets remaining twitchy at the very mention of the UK. Until a plan is in place for the extrication of Britain from the single market that underlying fear is likely to continue.
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