Britain-WreckingBall

After 43 years of membership, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. A lot of news happened overnight as a result of this hugely consequential decision. Political figures from around the world have weighed in. Stock markets have spoken. Other causes have been raised again. And of course, the American public wonders how it will affect our world and our election. But the first question, of course, is …

NOW WHAT?

Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan explained in a segment on the BBC overnight that, while some things will change in the short term, the people who voted in this historic referendum understand that change doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a year or two to go through the process of withdrawing. Sure, some things will change in the shorter term, such as citizenship status, but a lot will stay the same:

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NOW WHAT? (David Cameron edition)
This one’s pretty simple. He’s out (video). David Cameron announced his resignation, to take place over the next three months and with a timeframe of having a new Prime Minister in October.

NOW WHAT (STOCK MARKET EDITION)?

And we’re free … we’re free fallin’♫. Seriously though, maybe don’t look to closely at your 401k today, as markets around the world react to the news by, well:

CrazySpongebob-Britain

It’s all about uncertainty. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Sterling is down more than 11% against the dollar in overnight trading, the biggest one-day drop since the last remnants of the gold standard were abandoned by President Richard Nixon in 1971. The fall was more than twice as much as on Black Wednesday 1992, when speculator George Soros and other hedge funds forced the pound to break its peg to European currencies. At $1.34 the currency is now at its weakest level against the greenback since its recovery from the sterling crisis of 1985—when it rapidly fell from these levels to a low of $1.05.

Global sentiment is just as fearful. Gold has jumped more than 6%, the biggest daily rise since Lehman Brothers failed, while the yen briefly went through Y100 to the dollar, a rise of close to 5% and again the biggest since the Lehman crisis. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock market average has plunged almost 8%, the most since the tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011.

The Hindustan Times calls it “carnage” in Eastern markets:

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slumped over 1,200 points or near 8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 975 points or 5% and South Korea’s Kospi sank 4.2%. Other Asian markets were also down 1-4%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 3.7% to 5,088.20.

The BSE Sensex was down 979 points or 3.6% at 26,023.22 and the wider NSE Nifty declined 305 points or 3.7% to 7,965.70.
“The knee-jerk reaction seems to be on account of the fact that most people expected a verdict of remain in the EU and the vote has turned out to be exit. Brexit will dominate the headlines for a few days,” Rajeev Thakkar, CIO, PPFAS Mutual Fund, said.

But stability is in the future. Let’s hear from MEP Hannan again:

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NOW WHAT? (EU Edition)
Uncertainty again. The Daily Beast reports that we could see #Frexit and #Italexit campaigns. Irish political party Sinn Féin wants a reunification vote. And then there’s Scotland.

Scotland voted solidly for Remain. Now they say their future is with the EU, not the UK.

Scotland sees its future firmly in the European Union, its leader said on Friday as most of the rest of Britain voted to leave, raising the specter of a new independence vote and the possible dissolution of the United Kingdom.

That didn’t sit well with J.K. Rowling, but there is strong opinion on it in Scotland. Anyone who remembers the last vote for independence from the United Kingdom knows this is not a fresh feeling.

And of course, this, from USA Today:

Spain will hold new national elections this Sunday after a vote in December split the Spanish Parliament among mainstream parties and insurgent movements which could not agree to form a government.

The upstart Podemos party, which does not advocate leaving the EU but does seek to alleviate the economic restrictions imposed on its members, may gain momentum in the wake of the British vote. Or the new uncertainty may prompt Spanish voters to take a safer route with the mainstream parties.

Right-wing euro-skeptic parties in France, Austria and Germany as well as the populist Five Star Movement in Italy will all seize upon the British result as a reason to loosen their own ties to Brussels.

The British rejection of the EU marks the culmination of growing hostility among the European public to the aloof bureaucracy that closer economic and financial integration has spawned.

It was the EU refugee crisis in the past year in the wake of turmoil in the Middle East that exacerbated that hostility and drove much of the anti-EU sentiment in the British referendum.

NOW WHAT? (U.S. Edition)

Let’s keep this simple. It is not about Donald Trump. But Donald Trump will try to make it about him. The refugee crisis and the problems of massive immigration are more pronounced there than here, but if liberals had their way we’d catch up quick. Ordinary citizens, and especially those with age and wisdom, see the folly of the “take it all forever” politicians who would destroy borders and, subsequently, nations. Every American politician should at least keep that in mind.

BOTTOM LINE

Maybe all of these things will come to pass and maybe they will not. But the earth has moved under the feet of all the world. The United Kingdom has left the European Union and embraced their own independence and sovereignty. Democracy worked, the people spoke, and their words will travel around the world. The lamentations will be loud and those (liberals) lamenting will make dire predictions. The celebrations, too, will be loud, and those celebrants will declare a new dawn.

But the only things we know for certain are that this was a momentous and historic decision on the part of the people of the United Kingdom, the consequences will be widespread and long-lasting, be they good or bad, and most importantly of all, it is NOT about Donald Trump.

Stay tuned.