Consequence : a result or effect, typically one that is unpleasant.
Britain is suffering the consequences of cynical politicking. David Cameron came up with the idea of a Brexit referendum as a means of remaining in power. He used the idea to appease the Eurosceptic wing of his own party, and secured a majority government for the Conservatives in Britain. Then he had to pay the price by giving what he promised.
The Brexit referendum in the UK has rolled the country back 100 years. On the one hand you have British people who still think they have an empire. They want Britain to be “Great” again. They miss the “good old days” long before they were born when Britain stood in splendid isolation from European politics. These are people who simply have no grasp of the complexities of international trade in the modern world. They believe the lies about the EU costing Britain money. They don’t understand that their jobs are reliant on exports to the EU and on the flows of trade, capital and currency through Britain because they are in the EU.
On the other hand you have Brexit voters who are simple xenophobes. They have no passport, have never really encountered other cultures and frankly are afraid to do so. They rail about “poles taking our jobs” while refusing those same jobs. They are happy to accept the lies about the “Schrodinger Immigrant”, you know; the one who steals your job while living on state benefits.
The Brexit outcome has divided the United Kingdom. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland all want to remain in the EU. Those who voted to leave are the old, the uneducated and the working class; the very people who are best protected because of EU membership. They are people who do not understand economics.
The politicians who lied to the voters about the benefits of leaving the EU seem to be shocked that anyone actually listened to them. Now that they have succeeded they are facing the awful consequences of the outcome. What is their reaction? They are all running for the hills. Cameron, Johnson and Farage are all gone. Gove will soon follow. The idiots who launched this ship of fools have refused to step on board and take the tiller. They can see that there are no happy outcomes to this path.
Sterling is taking a beating on currency markets and the purchasing power of the British has already collapsed. International companies who sited in the UK to gain access to the EU are reviewing their location options. This will have enormous consequences in terms of employment levels. The EU is playing hardball with the UK in trade terms. The politicians who believed they would have Norwegian style access to EU markets are now feeling like Maxwell Smart with the end credits rolling, as the doors close in front of them.
The Scots voted only 2 years ago to remain in the UK on the Conservative Party campaign slogan of “Better Together”. For the Scots the idea of better together encompasses Europe, not just England. If England successfully negotiates its way out of the EU we may see Scotland negotiate its way out of the UK and back into Europe.
That outcome could see an interesting dynamic emerge. There is a potential for a United Kingdom of Scotland and Northern Ireland standing separately from the Britain of England and Wales.
All across Europe it was understood that the ordinary voter finds it difficult to understand the benefits of EU membership. The layman sees the bureaucracy and the raft of laws and regulations. It is easy for cynical politicians to make personal capital by attacking the EU. The truth is that the EU is the greatest force for peace in the history of the planet. It converted a plethora of quarreling nation states into a peaceful and cooperative economic bloc. It turned a mixed bag of nations into a formidable economic bloc. The long lists of seemingly tiresome rules and regulations that underpin this cooperation are designed to protect the citizens of Europe and to enhance their lives.
No experiment is perfect. The EU is a work in progress, but it is a great thing. It takes a particularly small minded, short-term focused, self-serving politician to attack such a wonderful institution. But then modern western democracy is based on small mindedness, local issues, the time-frame of the next election and selfish politicians. When I go to the polls I want to vote for leaders, people who will do their best for the welfare of all the people. Instead I am faced with candidates who promise to deliver medical cards, hospital beds and planning permissions to people who do not deserve them. I despair.