Impacts of UK’s Decision

The fallout from Britain's decision to exit the 28-member EU block has had significant impacts on diplomatic, financial and economic aspects. The reverberations have been felt, in some shape or form, in different parts of the globe. As the drive to reverse the referendum is already in full swing and gaining momentum, the outcome is inspiring separationist issues elsewhere.

The unexpected, perhaps shocking decision by referendum of the British people to leave the European Union raises more pertinent questions than ever before. And this is not without reason. The United Kingdom (UK) government after 43 years of membership of the Union must have convincing reasons to give the people of the country the opportunity to make this crucial decision.

Before we try to discuss the impacts of the decision, it is to be noticed that the percentage difference makes the outcome of the referendum not only a landslide but there were also millions who chose to abstain. The latest information heard at the time of writing was that based on British law, another referendum can be held and the petition signed by over 3.7 million people speaks volumes as the required number is 100,000. This means that those who may be regretting their previous abstentions could have another chance.

A survey conducted by the BBC shows that the majority of people who opted to leave the Union are older people comprising factory workers, fishermen and the relatively less educated. The younger generation’s future destiny was decided by people who have seen the best days of their own lives. These people, leaning to the far right, want Great Britain to regain greatness as in the colonial days of the Empire on which “the sun never sets.”

Can these remnants of those parents of the past turn back the clock of history? This is a relevant question to pose.

The decision has baffled almost all the citizens of Britain living in various towns and cities all over the world including the United States.

What has already transpired in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where most of the people have chosen to stay within Europe, is the debate of having a referendum within their respective territories on whether to stay within the UK itself or have their own independent sovereign nations. Should they opt for independence, some analysts predict that they could individually apply for membership to the EU. That request, if approved per the criteria set by the Union, they could be accepted if the reconsideration of the decision made last week were to be accepted by the EU.

On the economic front the financial giants like the IMF, IBRD, World Bank and other bodies that can make decisive indents in the economic situations of many countries are dismayed by the decision and. The future of the UK pound, which had plunged, but which seems to be settling was one of the negative impacts. Falling market figures that showed a decline by a significant eight per cent.

The Brexit move may also adversely affect some countries like Ethiopia which depends very much on both UK and EU aid and assistance in the process their respective development and security-ensuring projects in their respective domains.

In light of present pre-election debates in the US, the Republican presumptive candidate Donald Trump has not only readily welcomed the UK decision to leave the EU, he did not waste time seizing the opportunity to link the decision with future implications of the migration problem that European countries have now have on their hands. He proposes to deny the right of these countries to accept and live with or resolve the problem and supports, instead, chasing away Muslims and other citizens of Africa and the Middle East. In fact, he argues that Britain should expel those foreign-born UK residents of foreign origin.

Consequences of the Brexit can also be seen from the light of other countries, like the fragile situation in Spain. The other case which we know more and better for its Barcelona football club is the Catalonia desire to go it alone, a fragility which the next election is expected to show.

Although it takes at least two years to process the divorce of Great Britain’s decision, Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to resign from office much earlier. In fact, he plans to leave his office in the next three months.

From the perspective of what could be decided in the overwhelming decision to run and conduct a second referendum, we do not have enough material to give any conclusive statement at this point in time. However, we can safely say that “uncertainty“ is perhaps the household word in today’s politics.

We can speculate on some of the trends in the social, economic and political problems prevalent in some African countries, including impacts of tribalism and narrow ethnicism. Take the case of South Sudan and the consequential refugee pressures they place on neighbouring countries like Kenya and Ethiopia. We shall cross the bridge when we come to the river.

By Girma Feyissa

Published on Jul 05,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 844]



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