As the dust settles on an historic day in Britain’s socio-poltical life, we are left to reflect on the full realisation that ‘we have done it’. That is, we have just voted to leave the European Union. A slap in the face of the Brussels autocrats we came to loathe, a wave goodbye to the unyielding Jean-Claude Junker. If only they had agreed to review their free movement of labour charter, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened?
Let’s remind ourselves how we got here…Well, when the Common Market was first set up, the French tried to block us from joining. This irked our politicians who then wanted to join even more, despite warnings that the Franco-German drivers of the free trade union were looking for closer fiscal and political union. Britain was unsure so a referendum was held in 1974 and the result was ‘Yes’. By then, General de Gaulle was dead, so we were permitted to sign the Treaty of Rome that gave us access to free trade with other (at the time) twelve members.
Fast forward 40 years and several treaties later, and, what is now the European Union has doubled in size, has its own currency, and is making no secret of its plans to become a federal super-state.
Over in Britain, the buoyant economy and relatively high wages had continued to attract a steady flow of migrants looking for work, at the rate of a third of a million per year. This had started to irk those who saw their living space being invaded, access to school places and health care restricted and jobs threatened, causing rumblings of discontent, roundly ignored by politicians and castigated as ‘rascist’.
Meanwhile, over in the Westminster Bubble, the ruling Conservative Party decided to action their campaign pledge to have an In/Out referendum on our EU membership, smugly believing that if they threatened and cajoled the electorate enough, they must surely vote to Remain. This would then dampen down protestors and allow them to go on their merry way of replacing expensive and troublesome British workers with cheaper alternatives.
They mis-judged the mood of the citizens in large parts of the country, and despite the combined urging of political leaders of all main (bar one) parties, the USA, IMF, EU, China, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, the stubborn Brits – mainly the English and Welsh – cast their votes to leave, winning an overall majority.
So now we sit contemplating possible trade isolation, a shrinking economy and the impending break up of the United Kingdom. Or, the glorious revival if a truly independent Great Britain….depending on your point if view.
Hooray for Politics!😠