Not given much consideration by UK voters is the fact that they’ve basically set Northern Ireland on a course to a vicious sectarian political battle:
Recklessly, casually, with barely a thought, English nationalists have planted a bomb under the settlement that brought peace to Northern Ireland and close cordiality to relations between Britain and Ireland. To do this seriously and soberly would have been bad. To do it so carelessly, with nothing more than a pat on the head and a reassurance that everything will be all right, is frankly insulting…
Meanwhile, the European Union is doing what it has to do: playing hardball to preserve the EU.
We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way.
As agreed, the “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union”, reached at the European Council on 18-19 February 2016, will now not take effect and ceases to exist. There will be no renegotiation.
What, you thought you could have a do-over? Use the vote to negotiate better terms within the EU? Leverage membership to get better trading terms outside the EU? Nope. If you want a trading agreement, start from scratch and come to us with that proposal. For now, you’re out. You said what you wanted, and you’re getting it.
That new settlement they refer to included some concessions on EU immigration:
The Commission intends to adopt a proposal to complement Directive 2004/38/EC on free movement of Union citizens in order to exclude, from the scope of free movement rights, third country nationals who had no prior lawful residence in a Member State before marrying a Union citizen or who marry a Union citizen only after the Union citizen has established residence in the host Member State.
Those concessions are now canceled, and the UK has to obey EU regulations until it leaves. So, expect anti-Europe newspapers like the Daily Mail to be full of stories about migrants illegally entering the EU, marrying an EU citizen, and suddenly being able to live permanently in Britain — until the next Prime Minister gives in and pushes the Article 50 button to start the countdown. I’ve seen people suggest that the PM might just avoid pushing the button for years, but I think the media will make that politically untenable. There’s also the distinct possibility of the other EU countries passing resolutions which the UK has previously blocked, making delay even harder for the Conservative government.
The big financial credit rating firm Moody’s has cut the UK’s credit rating to ‘negative’.
Police are investigating signs left outside schools saying “no more Polish vermin”. In Newcastle, far right protesters demanded that repatriations begin.
As I mentioned in my previous article, when the UK leaves the European Union, the city of London will lose its ability to service Euro-based derivatives trading. This is now being confirmed by the European Central Bank.
In The Guardian, Yanis Varoufakis thinks that brexit could be terrible for the rest of the EU as well:
The only man with a plan is Germany’s finance minister. Schäuble recognises in the post-Brexit fear his great opportunity to implement a permanent austerity union. Under his plan, eurozone states will be offered some carrots and a huge stick. The carrots will come in the form of a small eurozone budget to cover, in some part, unemployment benefits and bank deposit insurance. The stick will be a veto over national budgets.
Of course, the fallout from austerity policies is what made UK working class people angry enough to vote leave in the first place.
In more amusing news, Ian Paisley is advising people to get Irish passports. And the massively popular online petition for a second referendum now turns out to have been started by a “leave” voter who was expecting to have to use it to campaign against a successful “stay” vote.