Friday, 24 June 2016

The not so 'United' Kingdom

The not so 'United Kingdom' as revealed by the geographic breakdown of the Leave/Remain published in following BBC article (Link in title)

EU referendum: Scotland backs Remain as UK votes Leave

Scotland has voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by a landslide 62% to 38% - with all 32 council areas backing Remain.
But the UK as a whole has voted to Leave - raising the prospect of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland had delivered a "strong, unequivocal vote" to remain in the EU.
With all the votes declared, the Leave side won by a margin of 51.9 % to 48.1%.
Ms Sturgeon's predecessor, Alex Salmond, said the result could lead to a second independence referendum

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More divides

There are more non-geographic divides cutting across the UK: the working class, suffering competition from EU migrants on the labour market, predominantly has voted for the Brexit.  Elder citizens on the countryside also teamed up with the 'Leave' camp. The 'Remain' finds many supporters among younger people, especially those having a University degree (many of which spent some time studying in Europe with the 'Erasmus' program).  Business owners and Academics see no perspective in the UK exiting the EU.  Many of them massively anticipated the Brexit scenario, transferring savings to USD or EUR denominated accounts.

Cleaning up the mess

Both exponents of the Brexit camp, former London mayor Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage left the political arena shortly after the 'leave' won the referendum. Disappointment among the populace favouring Brexit is widespread with a feeling of being led astray by both Brexit demagogues as well as some murmuring of cowardice because of their desisting political responsibility.
Boris Johnson lost much popularity in his cosmopolitan home city where predominantly 'remain' has been voted and did not run for leadership of the conservative party. Nigel Farage left the scene as UKIP party leader, which more or less decapitates the party. It is unlikely that UKIP will continue playing a political role.

Theresa May, until recently Minister of the Home Office, is to clean up the mess the Brexit decision left behind. Apart from carrying through the EU exit, the main challenge will be the keeping together of the UK.  Boris Johnson being nominated Minister of the Foreign Office caused quite a few eyebrow raising across Europe.  His lack of diplomacy is almost proverbial and as such this may be the last stage in his political career.

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