Before the referendum last Thursday on EU membership I wrote a piece advocating for the UK to leave the EU. I then went to the polling station and spoiled my ballot because after everything I thought my rather idealistic view would not be implemented by anyone on the Leave side and further to this I was not particularly inspired by anyone on the Remain side.
Firstly, I was surprised that we decided to leave the EU but moreover I was quite frankly appalled and sickened by two separate things – that racism won the day in England, something I had thought to be simply a fringe opinion, and that successive governments have caused it. I had been naïve and I did not see such a racist reaction as being so strong.
As a result of all this I believe the UK has finally signed its own death warrant.
It has been said very aptly that the UK is now in “uncharted waters” and indeed we are treading a path that never been walked before. The pound has slumped terribly, markets wobbled substantially and ‘secession’ seems to be the word on everyone’s lips. The UK has no real leader and the Tories and Labour may have finally drawn their last breaths in their own anachronistic ways. The political status quo has been smashed.
As I write this the Labour party Shadow Cabinet is falling apart, the Tories cannot locate the Chancellor or their new leader, and there is effectively no Government. Sinn Féin are pushing for a Border Poll in the hope of achieving Irish Unification and Scotland looking like they are likely to end up with a second independence referendum.
Predictions for what comes next
Nicola Sturgeon has suggested that she is going to investigate every way possible of keeping Scotland in the EU without first resorting to another referendum. I think she will find that the only legitimate way she can do so is to proceed with another independence referendum and by the end of the two year waiting period following implementation of Article 50 there will be an independent Scotland. I do also believe that there are grounds for a Border Poll to be held in Ireland and as such I think there will be a ceding of some territory to the Republic if not all of the North. If Scotland does indeed choose independence before the Border Poll is held however I think that Northern Ireland could vote more overwhelmingly in favour to join the Republic – potentially as an autonomous region.
In England and Wales, I believe Labour disunity and infighting could very well lead to two things: firstly, its collapse out of which could come two distinct entities, a socialist and Blairite one, and, secondly, the rise of the racist right with specifically UKIP doing well at elections if the working class vote does not have Labour to represent it. Sadly, I think England has been captured by a brand of racist politics that could have a hold over it for a while.
I genuinely did not see such a catastrophic result coming and neither do I think did Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. At the Leave Campaign headquarters when they delivered their statement following the result apparently it was a very sombre mood even though they had won. Also, Tony Blair has popped back up and was apparently seen going into the Leave headquarters on the day of the results which makes me very cautious and think about what his purpose is here.
Either way for England and Wales I think the road ahead will be perilous and fraught with danger. Thankfully for Scotland we may have found our way out and back into safety. We will have to wait and see how this develops in the meantime.
Image credit: flickr.com/mctjack