June 23rd Becomes Britain’s Independence Day
As the polls opened in Britain on the morning of June 23rd recent polls where showing a slight lead had returned to the “Stay” campaign and political pundits were bold enough to predict a 55% to 45% victory for remaining in the European Union. Yet as the polls closed and the vote came in, Britain saw a surprise unfold before her eyes, the vote lead bounced back and forth between Leave and Stay until all of a sudden it stopped bouncing and Leave held the lead without yield.
Cities and metropolitan areas that were expected to vote with large margins for remaining in the Union did not see the strong margins that were predicted. While in cities like Birmingham the Leave campaign overcame extraordinary odds and pulled off a narrow victory, and after these victories across the nation, leave triumphed with a national win.
Yet the fight is far from over. Britain will not be free of the European Union overnight. The official process of exiting the Union is laid out in article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and can take up to two years to fully implement, and those two years are likely to be a turbulent time in British, European, and even global politics. Talk of the resignation of Prime Minister Cameron, the early dissolution of British Parliament with a call for new elections, and even the possibility of another Scottish referendum on if the Scots wish to remain a part of the United Kingdom, in which if they had another chance might not vote to stay this time.
The financial world like the political world will also be in for a tough road ahead. The British pound has already began to fall and will likely continue to before it finally bottoms out. While also uncertainty about future access to the European Single Market and therefore concern over the future state of international trade will have the business world on edge for some time. Not just in Britain but across the world, seeing as the United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest economies.
Today, though, Britain regained its national sovereignty, through the democratic process, which is all the more astounding because in Europe until now has only voted for more government, not less. Yet Britain has decided on this occasion to throw off the shackles of Brussels and the centralized, globalized, government that comes with it.
As it is always said but rarely felt, there is a price to pay for freedom. Jobs might be lost, this vote for independence will not only be felt by the wealthy business and political classes, but also by the average citizen as well. Yet to be frank, this is better now than later. If the European Union were allowed to continue on unchanged as the massive, bureaucratic, nightmare it has been it would only tighten Europe together in the suicidal pact that would kill the continent when it finally collapsed under its own united weight, with much worse consequences.
Now instead of that outcome Britain has given themselves and Europe at large a fresh chance to change that outcome for the better. There is no guarantee they will make the right decisions.
Yet the sun is shining in Britain today as it rises over the white cliffs of Dover; a fitting symbol of the bright future that today I hope shall dawn on the British Isles.
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