Understanding the Brexit outcomes

Article published on June 29, 2016
Article published on June 29, 2016

After years of caveats and months of campaigning the British people voted to leave the European Union. This represents an unprecedented move in the history, even though the relationship between the two has always been difficult.

The expectations were high on both sides – Remain or Leave - and during the vote's counting Nigel Farage's UKIP leader has even said the Remain camp had edged it. After all the votes were assembled, the Leave counted approximately 52% of the electorate's vote against 48% for the Remain side.

The outcome of the EU referendum came as a shock for many British – even the ones who voted Brexit. While this may be ridiculously confusing, we have come to understanding how uninformed the British people were about the significance of the referendum itself, let alone the consequences of what a leave vote could bring about. According to Google Trends, one day after the EU Referendum, the top questions registered in the UK were “What does it mean to leave the EU?”, “What is the EU?”, and “Which countries are in the EU?”. This displays an enormous lack of sensitivity to such an important political decision.

Who voted to Leave?

However, when dissecting the electorate of this plebiscite, we come to the conclusion that the vote to leave was mainly supported by the elderly sector of the population. The faction that is not paying taxes any longer and living off on guaranteed pensions. The majority of the youth voted to Remain and are now in shock and apprehension towards the future.

Many leave voters have admitted had never believed the UK would actually leave the EU, others regretted their vote. In the meantime, an online petition in the UK – with nearly 4 million signatures - is calling on a new referendum but constitutional experts consider it very unlikely. Life might become a bit more bureaucratic for all the EU citizens living in the UK as well as for British living in the EU.

In any case, both campaigns were not informative rather a propaganda machine to support the credos of each side. Even if that implied lying, this was the case of the Leave side, supported by Nigel Farage. Apparently, one day after the referendum, the £350 million which used to be sent to the EU and were intended to go to the NHS, was a "misunderstanding". Probably one of the most captivating arguments of the Leave campaign was a big and despising lie.

European reactions

Overall, it was a sad day for the European Union. British citizens living in Brussels and elsewhere are devastated by this outcome. European Commission's and European Parliament's presidents Juncker and Schulz are incredibly irritated with the aftermath of the referendum.

EU leaders are now pressing for the UK to call on the article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, founding the legal principles how a Member State leaves the Union. However, the UK is delaying the official call on article 50 and Europe is getting anxious and afraid of the enthusiasm of extremist parties in the EU with the same convictions as UKIP and Front National.

Media on Brexit

Due to the enormous consequences of this political decision, Brexit made the front cover of each newspaper or magazine and every opening of breaking news across the globe. What has the media been saying?

For example, The Financial Times expectedly focused on the economic and financial impact of Brexit asking "What will Brexit mean for the city of London?". POLITICO accused British voters of “unleashing an economic and political tsunami” and added that it’s going towards the US, where GOP candidate to the White House Donald Trump, praised the Brexit’s aftermath. The Canadian based Global Research focused on the social triggers of this political decision taken by the British people writing that "The UK’s ‘Brexit’ Vote Is Actually a Referendum on Xenophobia".

Conclusions

Given the Brexit outcome, the UK must now reorganise its grounds. David Cameron has already announced its resignation, though by October, and the most likely future PM will be Boris Johnson. A series of resignations were presented to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is struggling to keep the party alive and united. The political turmoil must be replaced by an orderly restructuration of both Conservative and Labour parties.

After stability is settled, focus should be put on the NHS and on the British social security system. Moreover, the UK must fortifies its ties with future strategic international players and reinforce trade agreements with its counterparts. When debating a Brexit case scenario, many analysts were considering several approaches such as the Swiss or the Norwegian model, both wealthy non-EU countries with trade agreements with the EU and the rest of the world.

Nevertheless, each case is a single case and even if the UK tries a transition – which might well be successful – the first stages of experiment and implementation will be harsh.