Brexit Sunshine

Did the sun rise this morning? I guess Brexit wasn’t so catastrophic after all.

The United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union, though the details of the divorce may not be finalized until the end of 2020. Until then I expect there will be a certain sense of uncertainty.

My guess though is that the biggest feeling in the UK this morning is relief – the thing is, for all intents and purposes, over. When Britons voted in June 2016 to leave the EU, I doubt many people expected it would take this long. By the end I imagine even those who voted “remain” just wanted the thing over.

It will take time for the ramifications of Brexit to be fully felt. I’m going to make a prediction though: Five years from now the only question remaining will be why they didn’t do it sooner.

There were multiple reasons why UK citizens voted to leave the EU, and admittedly it was a close vote. Rightly or wrongly, the central government in Brussels was seen as out of touch at best, and dictatorial at worst. Having been to Brussels, I understand where that sentiment is coming from.

The fact is that Britain has a strong economy and an educated workforce. They don’t need to be part of the EU to survive. And going it alone, after more than 40 years as part of Europe, may inspire the people to new heights. From en emotional perspective alone, people may think they are better off, even if initial numbers tell a different story.

There will be Brexit horror stories in the weeks to come. You can count on hearing about this company struggling, or that commodity not being available in British stores (or on the continent – finding aged cheddar is difficult in my area of Germany).

It is the long term that will tell the whole story. Which is why I suggest that it will take a few years before the pros and cons of Brexit can be properly evaluated.

For now, the sun rises each day, just as it did when the UK was part of the EU. For most citizens, nothing has really changed.

Even the currency remains the same. Some person twenty years ago decided Britain would keep the pound and not adopt the Euro.

I wonder who that person was, and how they feel today? We’ll probably never know.

 

2 comments

  1. Great post! We are not getting a lot of accurate information about Brexit here in the states. I’ve always been curious what the people (not politicians) going through it feel about it.

    We go through a similar, but smaller version of this every four years here in the US. During every presidential election, we are told that the very existence of the US is hanging in the balance and, if we elect the wrong person, the Union will be in tatters and dissolution will not be far behind. The media whip the populace into a frenzy, each side believing that the other side will not only bring ruination to the country, but that demons from hell will be released and will stalk the land.

    Then, we all wake up the day after the election, realize that absolutely nothing has changed (except some names and faces), and that the permanent political ruling class in Washington DC is still in charge, just like it has always been. It is business as usual and we all go about our days as if nothing happened. Because … in many ways … nothing actually happened.

    1. You have an insight into American politics that most of your compatriots have missed.

      Only in America could a billionaire run as the champion of the lower classes of which he has never been a member. Only in America could a twice divorced candidate who boasts about sexual assault become the darling of the Christian right.

      As Pete Townsend said, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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