Brexit: Let’s Learn the Lesson and Hope a Better Europe Will Arise

EU Referendum
Fact box

Electorate — 46,501,241

Turnout — 72.2%

Nation results
Remain — 48.1%
Leave — 51.9%

Results per country plus London
England
Remain — 46.8%
Leave — 53.2%

Scotland
Remain — 62%
Leave — 38%

Wales
Remain — 48.3%
Leave — 51.7%

Northern Ireland
Remain — 55.7%
Leave — 44.3%

London
Remain — 59.9%
Leave — 40.1%
Source: BBC

Andrew Wrobel

About Andrew Wrobel

Andrew Wrobel is head of editorial of Emerging Europe. Trained as a journalist and a film maker, he has worked for broadcast media for almost 15 years, covering business and economy and, occasionally, culture and tourism. He has authored and contributed to a number of international business, investment and trade-related publications and reports. In 2014, Andrew was awarded, by London-based EVCOM, for his coverage of an awareness campaign UKTI ran about CEE. He's a moderator, panelist and a media commentator. Twitter: @andrew__wrobel

Reality, as we Europeans knew it, is gone now. It’s been replaced by worry, concern, uncertainty and insecurity. Within the first 24 hours since the official result of the EU referendum was announced we have seen global stock markets lose about $2 trillion in value; Sterling suffered a record one-day plunge to an over 30-year low, which resulted in France overtaking the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy.

What else is to come? No one can predict it. What is certain is that it’s just the beginning and that it’s been self-inflicted.

A group of populist politicians decided to blame the obstacles and difficulties Britain faced on growing immigration in the UK. They incited the public to stand up to the European Union, painting them as the main enemy to achieving the country’s greatness. Other baby-kissers such as the Prime Minister joined along the way, and in order to win more support they called for a referendum.

What did they promise? Mountains of gold, that which people in mainland Europe call empty promises and a land of milk and honey. The Leave campaign predicted £350 million a week extra for the NHS as well as the end of VAT on household energy bills. They promised savings of £2 billion on energy bills. All in all, Leave campaign leaders promised the electorate spending commitments reaching £111 billion. On top of that they added falling immigration levels; Britain’s remaining a world leader and regaining of sovereignty.

A mere few hours after the result was announced, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, confirmed in a TV interview that his promise to fund the NHS, with the £350 million that the UK sends to the EU every week, was a campaign mistake.

Unfortunately, many put their trust in politicians and yesterday morning they woke up to a reality they hadn’t anticipated. More and more people are expressing their regret at voting to leave the EU. Some cited deceit, from the Leave campaign, as the reason for their misguided votes while others expressed regret in response to the economic repercussions. More than a million have already signed a petition on Parliament’s website that calls upon HM Government to implement a rule that states that should the remain or leave vote be less than 60 per cent, based on a turnout of less than 75 per cent, there should be another referendum.

It seems many Brits may not even know what they had actually voted for. About eight hours after the polls closed, Google reported that searches for “what happens if we leave the EU” had more than tripled.

On Friday, over 600 campaigners marched across London Bridge to the Shard building to protest against the “racist” and “anti-migrant” rhetoric of the EU referendum campaign. “This referendum’s campaign descended into an absolute pantomime, and the result is terrifying,” the organisers of another march with a vocal title ‘F**k Brexit rally’ wrote on Facebook, calling on people to arrive at Parliament Square at noon on Saturday, June 25, and “show strength in the face of a decision none of us can truly predict the outcome of.”

How could the UK even think that in a globalised world, modern economies can succeed by withdrawing from international agreements? Great Britain’s decision to leave the EU doesn’t affect the country only; we have already seen the repercussions of Brexit being felt all over the globe.

The reaction of the EU’s leaders to Brexit was firm: “We now expect the United Kingdom’s government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. […] 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.”

Constitutionalists are debating whether there is a way out of the current situation or if leave means leave. “In purely legal terms, the referendum result has no effect at all; the vote is advisory, so, in principle, the government could choose to ignore it. In political terms, however, ministers could not do that,” says Dr Alan Renwick, the Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit at the University College London (UCL).

After World War II, British statesmen were among the first to talk of a union of European nations. The Brits have just voted to be out, after 43 years of membership in the European Union, which for many nations in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus is still a synonym for peace, stability and prosperity as well as an ultimate goal to attain. We need to do our best to reform the supranational system and to make sure the EU won’t cease to exist as a result of this major blow.

The UK’s vote to leave has come as a shock for Europe. Hopefully, it will also be a lesson about avoiding populist ideas. Scaremongering and empty promises propelled the Leave campaign but you can’t have your cake and eat it: you can’t curb migration and have robust economic growth at the same time.

RELATED ARTICLES

Europe Needs To Be More Proactive In Embracing Armenia

Partnership is the Key to CEE-Indian Business

History as Destiny? Institutional Erosion in Ukraine and Poland

Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

Poland’s Confusing GDP Growth

Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

The Competitive Edge in Central and Eastern Europe

SOFIA BULGARIA - MAY 5: View of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Sofia on May 5 2016. Sofia is the largest city and capital of Bulgaria.

Prepare for a New Europe

Belarusian Journalists Still Face Huge Problems

Defending EU Values in Poland and Hungary

Eu hungary poland

Could the West At Least Help Ukraine To Insure FDI Against Political Risks?

The Voice of European Business Must Be Heard Loud and Clear by Brexit Negotiators

People Power Reminds the Government of the Rule of Law

Impact of Brexit on EU-CEE Not Overstated

theresa may brexit

Czech Own Currency Insures Against Euro Losses

Euro Czech republic emerging europe

Ex-Transition Economies’ FDI Recovery

dollar euro fdi

Under Promise, Over Deliver: Prospects for the EU’s Eastern Partnership in 2018

Eastern partnership

Big Fish, Small Fish, Where to Fish? On the Eve of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Poland Needs to Cling to the Eurozone

zloty euro emerging europe

Is the CEE Region About to Steal the Outsourcing Crown From India?

Amazing view on the Taj Mahal in sunset light with reflection in water. The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river. Agra Uttar Pradesh India.

Old Fashioned Skulduggery Overshadows the Elections in Moldova

Czech Republic Renaming Has Real Economic Costs

A Positive and Modern View of Entrepreneurship

The Global Outsourcing Industry — the Rise of the Phoenix

The GREAT London Food Scene

Bakery in London

Poland’s Capital Saturation Lower Than the Czech Republic’s

deloitte fdi poland

Will Poland Leave the European Union?

polexit

Romania Surviving the Waves of Recent Political Tsunamis in Europe

Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Baku

2018 Elections — Vital Decisions for Hungary’s Future

Victor Orban energing europe

Fiscal Policy Predictability in CEE — It’s Time for Change

LGBT in CEE — A New Acceptance Is Being Born From Migration

Is there any prospect of ‘Polexit’?

poland european union polexit

Measuring Growth of Societies with GDP Alone Shows an Incomplete Picture

PiS Uses Media Control to Bring Poland to Heel

Jaroslaw kaczynski pis emerging europe

The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe

Poland Challenges the European Identity

Poland emerging europe

Examining How a Strong Swiss Franc Could Single-Handedly Topple Poland’s Economy

EU-CEE Is Still Growing at a Healthy Rate

Prague emerging europe

Adam Smith’s Warning for Poland

Is the Level of Foreign Ownership a Problem in Emerging Europe?

Flags of European countries flying from their capital cities. Viewed from the South.

Serbia’s New PM Is Cut From a Familiar Cloth

Serbian flag emerging europe

Hungary and Israel: the Collision of Past and Present

Budapest synagoge

Albania’s Election Apathy

tirana albania

Swimpassing Dniester Without Prejudice To Democracy

Parliament of the republic of moldova in chisinau, national flag, stefan cel mare street, spring time with blue sky

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Moves from Frozen to Kinetic

Nagorno-Karabakh

Slovenia’s Presidential Election: Pahor Expected to Romp Home

Slovenia flag against blue sky waving in wind

Global Expansion in the Digital Age

We, the Post-Communist Generation, Have the Skills to Rid of the Past And Create Our Own Future

Macedonia’s Controversial Coalition Government

SKOPJE MACEDONIA emerging europe

Political Tensions Rise As Croatia Allegedly Breaks the Dublin III Refugee Regulation

croatia migrants

Let’s Stop Wasting Time Redefining our Place in Europe

Only a United Opposition Can Defeat Poland’s Ruling Law and Justice Party

Classical building of Polish parliament. Warsaw in Poland.

Breaking With Imitations of the Past

Can Armenia Keep a Foot in Both Camps?

European union armenia russia emerging europe

Ukraine’s Reputation for Cheap Labour May Not Ring True in the Long-term

Poland’s Unicorn, Slovakia’s Flying Car and the Future of Europe

European Volatility Makes Economic Development Slower for Ukraine

The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE

Outsourcing in Germany: Stop Talking at and Start Talking to

Finalising the DCFTA is Expected to Bring Multiple Benefits to Ukraine

CEE — Do We Need a Launch Pad For Our On-Site Tech Intelligence in the Silicon Valley

The Right to Water: Who Can Change Today’s Situation?

Hungary’s Nationalist Assault on Free Enquiry

victor orban ceu

Resignation in Ukraine: War, Revolution, Crisis — Some Things Never Change

Belarus 2020: Turning the Vicious Circle Into an Upward Spiral

How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?

Donald trump

How strong is V4?

Viktor Orban

Are There Differences Between How Tax Regulations in Poland and IAS Treat Intangible Assets?

Emphasising the Incongruence Between the V4 Countries

Macron emerging europe

United or Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow

Business Moving Forward with Cautious Optimism — Can Investors Win the Confidence Game?

The Capital Markets Union: a New Beginning in the European Financial Sector?

Where’s My Cheese? – The GREAT British Food Tour 2014

Cheese Shop

Stuck in Neutral: Georgia’s Constitutional Reforms

Tbilisi Parliament Georgia

CEE-Benefits and Disadvantages of Joining the Eurozone

forint zloty euro

Why Hungary’s New NGO Law Is Harmful for Business

Budapest, Hungary. Aerial view of the old city Budapest, Hungary with river and Parliament Building with cloudy blue sky

When Neutrality Isn’t an Option

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?

Poland: Is it Ready, and is it Time to Adopt the Euro?

A Bosnian Referendum Shows Russia’s Influence in the Balkans—As Well As Its Limits

Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front

The EU’s Choice: Fundamental Reform Or Disintegration

After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

After Its Significant Rise the Georgian Economy May Now Fall

Panorama of Tbilisi, Georgia in sunset rays. Vivid, saturated, splittoned image.

The Long Tail of Global Expansion

The Morawiecki Plan Promises a Brighter Future for Poland

Falling into Old Ways in 2017? Ukraine’s Struggle for Functioning Economic Institutions

Bulgaria Needs a Reform-Oriented Government to Take Full Advantage of its EU Membership

bulgaria emerging europe

Poland’s Drift Away From Democracy

Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country

January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

Polish Tax Laws — Fighting a Winning Battle Against Tax Evaders

Good Match But Unlikely Marriage

EU Visa-Liberalisation Strengthens Georgia’s Pro-Western Path

georgia emerging europe eu

Moldova Falls Victim to Politicising

moldova emerging europe

International Women’s Day — Let’s Take Action And Then Celebrate

China: A Giant That Is Hard to Crack

Regional Relations in the Western Balkans: Moving Beyond Folklore

Bosnia and Herzegovina flag with Serbia flag, 3D rendering

How Will Poland Approach the Brexit Negotiations?

E-lifestyle and Cyber Security: Some Views From Estonia

Cyber Security Protection Firewall Interface Concept

Central and Eastern European Consumers Are Joining the Global Trends for Change

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *