UK Voted OUT
On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on whether to remain part of the European Union (EU) or to leave. The votes have now all been counted and the decision is to LEAVE the EU.
The UK joined the EU on 1 January 1973, over 40 years ago, when it was known as the "Common Market". As the EU, it became one of the largest trading blocks in the world. A referendum on whether or not to remain in the Common Market was held in 1975 and at that time, the vote was "to remain". The current referendum is only the third to be held in the whole of the UK in recent times, the previous common market referendum being the first. (Other referenda have been held in some parts of the UK separately.)
The UK's Prime Minister, David Cameron has said that he will step down as Prime Minister within the next 3 months, so there will shortly be a new Prime Minister, whose job it will be to take the UK out of the EU.
Scotland and Northern Ireland
The United Kingdom is made up of 4 areas, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of these 4 areas, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain within the EU. Scotland may now hold an independence referendum to see whether they should leave the UK and become an independent country within the EU. Some politicians in Northern Ireland have suggested that a "Border referendum" should be held to see whether Northern Ireland should join with Ireland, to remain within the EU.
Interesting Times Ahead
FOPP politics EUreferendum BREXI
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/eu-united-kingdom-2016-problem-1473958/
melody23 wrote on June 24, 2016, 2:24 PM
I knew if the vote was leave we would be hearing nothing but 'we want another referendum!' the people spoke in 2014, that's democracy we decided to stay a part of the UK and then just because the UK makes a decision people don't like people want another shot at independence, sorry but you had your chance, the people made their choice. I mean seriously what are they going to do, give us a referendum every two years until the vote goes their way?? bet they wouldn't be asking for another one if we had left the UK. It makes my blood boil to be honest. I do however think its a little unfair that overwhelmingly the Scottish and Northern Irish people voted to stay yet the overall vote is leave, but at the end of the day everyone cannot have their own way. Scotland would (and always would have regardless of what the pro independence people said at the time) have to apply to be a member state of the EU, who may or may not accept us (likely they would though) and that's a long process with lots of criteria that we would have to meet. It is simply not as easy as holding another referendum, deciding to leave the UK then asking Europe nicely to take us back and we go on as before. Northern Ireland however wouldn't have to do this because it would potentially be joining an existing member state rather than becoming a whole new country.
lookatdesktop wrote on June 24, 2016, 2:41 PM
The American stock market went down over 400 points over night.
MegL wrote on June 24, 2016, 5:37 PM
Sterling currency fell by 10 per cent against the dollar at one point and the London stock market is down.
lookatdesktop wrote on June 24, 2016, 7:35 PM
Yea but gold is way up.
MegL wrote on June 25, 2016, 2:38 AM
Yes, a traditional "safe haven" in times of trouble
morilla wrote on June 26, 2016, 3:01 AM
As I stated on another site...
This is a major part of the problem with the media. They now feel it is their job to pronounce the "apocalypse" anytime something changes in the status quo; then, if the end of times doesn't happen, they'll tell you how the more rational among them ("only on this network") predicted good times as a result. The reality is NO ONE knows how this is all going to shake out and NOTHING is going to happen overnight.
The real problem for the U.K. doesn't lie in the decision to split. It lies in the margin. A 52% - 48% split is a majority, but it's not an overwhelming one and what you are hearing now are the cries of the 48%. What you're also hearing are a few among the 52% who either have buyer's remorse or thought it couldn't happen or now feel embarrassed/guilty/fearful. Had the split been more along the lines of 60/40 or 65/35, you'd hear similar wailing and gnashing of teeth, but far less attention would be paid to it as the margin would have been sufficiently large to indicate a true 'majority.'
The two biggest cries I'm seeing/hearing have to do with xenophobia and finances. Xenophobia is an intense and/or irrational dislike of those from other countries. A desire for control of immigration is not, by definition, xenophobia. In fact, controlling one's national borders is, actually, a key part of the definition for "Sovereign State;" and it's control which has been ceded to the EU as part of membership. (Remember, the EU started as an economic alliance; but, it has become as much, if not more, a political or geopolitical arrangement.) Concern over the numbers of immigrants from other countries and the appreciable lack of assimilation resulting in changes to one's existing culture via citizenship and voting is not, by definition, xenophobia. It is, by definition, a concern over the definition of 'nation,' which is defined as: "a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory." While globalists may think we've gotten past the ideas of Nation and State, something the EU has increasingly been cited as exemplifying, the reality is that all politics are still local and "tribalism" is still the name of the game. Don't believe me? You just cited England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in terms of each having their own, particular interests in this and the potential ramifications.
Finances? There will, inevitably, be a certain amount of uncertainty and it will be reflected in the stock markets, the exchange rate, etc. But, as of this moment, there is NO ONE who can specify, with any, 'absolute authority,' what will happen. There will be a lot of guesses, a considerable amount of fear-mongering and/or optimism, and you will hear every permutation speculated on in media broadcasts. But, this is uncharted territory which means, by its very nature, no one knows with any certainty what's there. When I hear billionaires like Soros and Rowlings declare this a disaster, however, I automatically suspect it might not turn out that bad for the 'average person.' Only time will tell on that score.
What I find interesting is that the gist seems to be the older, more rural, conservative populations seemed to be in favor of leaving and the younger, more urban, liberal populations had a preference for remaining. That makes it SEEM similar to one of the schisms we have in the U.S. vis a vis political agendas as well.
MegL wrote on June 26, 2016, 5:41 AM
No one knows what will happen, as you say. The referendum is actually only advisory, so Parliament could choose to ignore it - unlikely. An article elsewhere said that David Cameron's (current prime minister, resigned) failure to invoke article 50 (the "leave" article in the EU legislation) immediately has left a poisoned chalice for the next prime minister, as they will now have to be the one to invoke it, which some see as a poisoned chalice. Many people denied it was about xenophobia but that is what it was fought on and won on.
We all now have to live with the vote and its consequences, whatever they may be. To be honest, I suspect that very little will change immediately. There may be much bigger changes in the long term.
morilla wrote on June 26, 2016, 7:29 AM
I don't live in England, so it's a bit difficult to argue; but... I'm not certain that "xenophobia" is the correct term here. I won't argue that it was, in part, about immigration and the control of it. But, again, that is not xenophobia. Xenophobia is based in irrationality, something typically involving hatred AND fear. I suppose, from a certain perspective, the following could be seen as 'irrational'...
But, that perspective would require one think of themselves as a 'global citizen' rather than a citizen of a specific nationality. Again, that's more the definition of "State" and "nation." If you look up "Sovereign State" under Wikipedia, the definitions provided are a bit incomplete in their exposition, but they will suffice for the moment...
" We often use the words "country", "nation", and "state" as if they mean the same thing; but there is actually a difference:
A nation is a group of people who are believed to share common customs, origins, and history...
A state is the government and other supporting groups of people that have sovereignty over an area of land and population. "
By definition, then, a "State" has borders and represents a single government and "Sovereignty" means supreme power/authority. This is precisely what Gove is getting at when he states: " ...our membership of the European Union prevents us being able to change huge swathes of law and stops us being able to choose who makes critical decisions which affect all our lives. Laws which govern citizens in this country are decided by politicians from other nations who we never elected and can’t throw out. We can take out our anger on elected representatives in Westminster but whoever is in Government in London cannot remove or reduce VAT, cannot support a steel plant through troubled times, cannot build the houses we need where they’re needed and cannot deport all the individuals who shouldn’t be in this country... It is hard to overstate the degree to which the EU is a constraint on ministers' ability to do the things they were elected to do, or to use their judgment about the right course of action for the people of this country. "
While the history is a bit complicated, technically, while the U.K. was a founding member of the EU, the EU didn't exist until 1992 or 1993; i.e., about 23 or 24 years ago. That would mean that anyone under the age of, say, 40, would have a difficult time envisioning, let alone appreciating U.K. sovereignty in the form of not being 'answerable' to the EU to any degree. Interestingly, that age, "40," is approximately the dividing line between what is being termed "young" and "old" in the Brexit vote; with the 'young' being more inclined to 'remain' and the 'old' being more inclined to 'leave.'
A 'nation' is more a concept of cultural history and shared ideals/goals. I'll grant there is likely some 'prejudice' and 'bigotry' involved on the individual level when it comes to, say, Muslim immigrants (since they seem to be the exemplar being touted by the "remain" crowd). But, to claim that the U.K. doesn't have an issue (real or pending) with the degree of Muslim immigration because 'economic data' doesn't suggest it to someone is simply theoretical legerdemain and aggrandizement for the sake of agenda.
The U.K. has an estimated population of about 64 million. Even those outlets sympathetic to the 'xenophobic' accusations acknowledge that, in 2014, there were 8.2 million people living in the U.K. who were not born there. ( http://www.vox.com/2016/6/25/12029786/brexit-uk-eu-immigration-xenophobia ) That means about 1/8 or 12.5% of the U.K. has not 'native born' allegiance to the country or the culture. That means it has to come from assimilation and acculturation. Interestingly, as of the 2011 census (which is older than the numbers we're working with), almost exactly 7% considered themselves "Other" when it came to nationality...
Given the issues the U.K. has had over the years (nigh unto centuries) with 'unity,' that alone is concerning. What does that have to do with Muslims? Well, again in 2011, "British Muslims" represented 4.5% of the U.K. population.
According to this January piece, the total is now over 3 million, with 50% born outside the U.K. (most, from outside the EU); with that equating to approximately 1 in 20 U.K. citizens. Again, much of this has happened since 1991; i.e., roughly the time frame of the EU, putting it outside the experience of many of the designated 'youth' to know a country with a different demographic make up.
As that piece further notes, there are some very real assimilation issues which have evolved. Without going into the various issues, let's say that a few are likely 'irrational;' but, many are just as legitimate in terms of concern for the national identity, not to mention the voting blocks such a percentage represents and, thus, the potential influence they wield when it comes to laws and sovereignty. It's one of the reasons even the VOX piece linked to above notes that: " Today, 77 percent of Brits believe that immigration levels should be reduced. " In other words, the concern is based in 'fear,' but only a part of that 'fear' is irrational. In fact, it is more irrational for a liberal outlet such as VOX to declare - " The best explanation is that Britain’s xenophobia over immigration is being activated. " - simply because they wish to denigrate and ignore the 'legitimate' (real and/or perceived) concerns many have by pointing to the hyperbole some use in connection with such concerns.
Remember, immigration is simply ONE issue in the broader Euroscepticism involved... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euroscepticism
Thus, to declare that Brexit was "found on and won on" xenophobia is not only a bit myopic, it is simply parroting the "liberal" agenda without considering the rational and legitimate issues involved. It also underestimates the intelligence of the voters; who were almost equally divided on the issue. I'm sure that some, maybe even 'many,' were swayed by emotion - on BOTH sides . But, to simply declare that one side was irrational and the other side wasn't is... well... let's say it says more about your, personal point of view than it does about your understanding of the other side's argument. It's exactly the same thing we're seeing here in the States where the Left screams things like xenophobia, racist, homophobia, the Constitution is outdated, etc.
MegL wrote on June 26, 2016, 10:25 AM
I suppose I was thinking more of the kinds of posts I got in my Facebook accounts, rather than pronouncements by politicians who have to be careful of exactly what they say, even when expounding "passionately". People created memes and shared them widely. The posts with "facts" often contained statements that were untrue but even if you pointed it out and the person said they just wanted to "know the facts", they still kept passing on or sharing even more of the same kind. Even now, many people said they voted for "exit" because the money saved would go towards the National Health Service but the politicians involved have now said that was "a mistake".
Squidwhisperer wrote on July 21, 2016, 12:01 AM
Less may be more...
Squidwhisperer wrote on July 21, 2016, 12:08 AM
Tough days ahead. It's odd watching a "nation" like the UK shift back toward this idea of "national" identity. What does that mean anymore - but - I would hope - a commitment to a view of how society should operate, in the best interests of ALL its citizens. Can't help but feel there's a whack of forces at work - Islamophobia, racism, fear, and - maybe most discombobulating - being there as an empire flirts with twilight...
MegL wrote on July 21, 2016, 2:03 AM
Yes, maybe wanting to hark back to "the good old days" otherwise known as motherhood and apple pie.