There's life in the UK after Brexit Jim, but not as we knew it

25 June 2016, 14:40
Sherif Hasan

The Brexit referendum was always going to be a game changer whatever the result 24 June 2016

Be careful what you wish for they say, as indeed did I, and I had warned in other pieces too that whatever the outcome the UK landscape would never be the same again.

Today we have a divided island that is still rubbing its eyes in disbelief, quite apart from currency traders and analysts all suffering from far too little sleep but hopefully having lined their pockets to good effect in the meantime.

The voting was close. Ok, not as close as some had thought even but still divisively close nonetheless with Leave wining with 51.9% and 17,410,742 votes vs 48.1% and 16,141.241 for Remain.

The fallout is widespread quite apart from within the financial markets and already a petition for a second referendum on UK's membership of the EU has gained more than a million signatures following the vote to leave.

The petition states:

 "We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60%, based on a turnout less than 75%, there should be another referendum."

Thursday's voting saw a 72.2% turnout, significantly higher than the 66.1% turnout at last year's general election, but below the 75% mark suggested, a figure not seen at any general election since 1992 although the Scottish referendum in 1984 had 84.6%.

The parliamentary petitions system is overseen by the Petitions Committee, which considers whether petitions that receive more than 100,000 signatures should be raised in the House of Commons and debated.The committee is due to sit again on Tuesday and we will learn more then.

There are also calls, fanciful maybe but calls nonetheless, for London Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare the English capital independent from the UK and apply to join the EU.  A petition to that effect already has its own 100,000 signature so far. Across all 33 boroughs in London 59.9% of people voted to stay in the EU, with the Remain vote polling more than 70% in some boroughs. 

I warned in the ForexLive pre-Brexit webinar that this referendum had captured the passion of the nation regardless of whether anyone fully understood the issues and I likened it to the English Civil War where family members literally found themselves on opposite sides of the battle-field.

Throw into the mix the potential devolution uncertainties that I highlighted as GBP-negative as voting was still underway and mentioned again after before reporting this from Scottish First Minister Sturgeon.

Have no doubts dear overseas reader that today the UK stands well and truly divided and there is a lot of anger and resentment from one side and a feeling of angst/apprehension tempering the euphoria of the other.

We have a new PM to find ( not an easy task given the lack of suitable candidates), most likely a new fin min and possibly a whole new parliament if it is deemed unacceptable/untenable that a Lower House containing a majority of Remain campaigners should take our re-negotiations and law-making forward to their conclusion. The opposition Labour party has a rebellion of its own going on given that its leader ( deep down a Leave voter) gave a less than convincing case for his party's Remain stance.

I don't find any of this a surprising reaction or outcome but in the cold light of day, and after the nation has either celebrated victory or drowned its sorrows, the reality everyone is waking up to in more sober but hung-over state is unveiling its cloak of increased uncertainty.

Ultimately I believe that the Leave vote will prove to be a positive one but don't expect the UK, or its currency, to be jumping for joy anytime soon.

Share it with friends: