It has been a month since the UK voted to leave the European Union and it has been one of the most chaotic months in recent history. We have a new prime minster, who has put in an entirely new cabinet, the opposition is in a state of disarray and Scotland could either walk away from the UK or try and lever the whole thing back into the EU. So the big question now is, what happens next?
Let’s start with the government. David Cameron is no longer the prime minister, after the referendum lost the public’s confidence in him. He has been replaced by Theresa May, who has ditched most of Cameron’s old cabinet and made some interesting choices for hers. Big names have gone, George Osbourne has been replaced by Phillip Hammond as chancellor and Michael Gove (who briefly ran against May in the leadership contest) has been replaced by Liz Truss as justice secretary. Boris Johnson is back in the public eye, after shocking the nation by not running for prime minister, he has been appointed as foreign secretary. This decision has raised the eyebrows of many but it will be fascinating to see how he handles the role. David Davis will lead the negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU. Theresa May has impressed many with her ruthless attitude in appointing this cabinet but she needs to carry this attitude forwards over the next two years and carry this attitude into the exit negotiations, the leaders of France and Germany have already made no compromise statements regarding the UK leaving the EU.
The economy is something that needs to be sorted sooner rather than later, it has been revealed that it has fallen to a level not seen since the world economy crashed in early 2009. The pound was dramatically weakened on the day after the vote to leave, though this has led to the number of exports increasing. Confidence in the market has also taken a hit, purely because of the uncertainty that the Brexit vote has caused. The GOP has fallen by 0.4%, which isn’t the dramatic decline that some experts predicted during the campaign but at the same time does pile pressure on the Bank of England by the economy.
Perhaps one of the worst things to come out of the Brexit vote is that hate crimes have risen by an estimated 57%. There have been far too many racially motivated attacks, verbal or physical, across the country in the month since the Brexit vote, police estimate that there have been more than 280 reports of hate crimes each day than in the same time period in 2015. Obviously this is ridiculous for many reasons, but the one thing that the UK really needs now is unity. That’s what Cameron called for in his resignation speech and what Jeremy Corbyn said we all needed to do in the midst of the EU exit. Those two people have been divided on just about everything over the last year, that they have finally united in something suggests that maybe they rest of us should do the same.
So what is to be done to improve the country in the wake of the EU vote. Well, we need to bring confidence in the UK economy back up to the improving levels it was at before the referendum. If there’s more confidence in the economy, developing countries such as China and India will want to do trade deals with the UK and the UK will be better placed to do the same deals with the EU and America. Brexit can work out if these investments and trade deals do come about. Theresa May’s new government needs to do whatever it can to get the best possible deal in leaving the EU. Access to the free market would be ideal, but that will inevitably come with the free movement of people in and out of the EU. That would help British citizens working in the EU, but would also do little to reduce immigration, which was one of the main driving forces behind the vote to leave the EU.
This is not an easy time for Britain and the British people, but we can make Brexit work. For everything that was debatable in the Leave campaign, they did have some genuinely good points. This country has faced many challenges throughout the last month but now we have a stable government and a team to negotiate our way out of the EU. Hopefully they can get a good deal and Britain can kick start life outside the EU.
Image credit: flickr.com/mctjack