NOTICE: The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of LA Mundi News.
It was June 23, 2016, when the Brexit referendum went on the ballot. It was also the day that the UK got into a tangled and cataclysmic mess that would dictate their domestic and foreign policy for the next three years.
Then-Prime Minister David Cameron (belonging to the Conservative Party) and the rest of the ”Remain” coalition thought that the Brexiteers would lose by 30% or more. They thought it would be a mere formality; but then the results came in. They were scared at first, to be sure, but still reassured themselves that Brexit could not possibly happen. They thought that the reason for their loss (51.9% of the vote went for Brexit) was low turnout. It might have been, who knows. They could have had another referendum the next week and stopped Brexit. Yet the Prime Minister, David Cameron, had made a promise to the voters to resign from office if Brexit went through. And that he did. He resigned some time after the vote, and the new Prime Minister became Theresa May, a member of the same political party, the Conservatives (also known as “Torries”).
We saw a similar situation in Italy, when their Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, had to resign as a result of similar pledge that he had made to his voters. He was replaced by a caretaker government until the next election, where the far-right and anti-immigrant parties won. Political parties with icons like Matteo Salvini, the proud anti-immigrant advocate who’s party once attempted to get Northern Italy to secede from the rest of Italy, on the same grounds white supremacists and racists often use.
Back to Brexit, before the three years of negotiating with the EU, President of the European Union Jean-Claude Juncker declared that all the British would receive during negotiations would be “salt and vinegar”. He was partially right, as the UK and the EU approach the date that Brexit will be finalized, the so-called ‘point of no return’, and neither side has made major concessions.
Brexit also revived the possibility of three different independence movements: first and foremost, the Scottish Independence Movement.
The Scots had always tried to gain independence, and in a 2014 referendum, they came awfully close. The Scottish were already tired of sheltering most of the UK’s nuclear weapons and being mostly ignored in Parliament (characterized by the widespread clip of David Cameron laughing in the face of a Scottish MP when asked about Scotland’s independence prospects). According to election maps, Scotland even has a more left-wing ideology (for the most part), and has a different language (for some parts). Most importantly, Scots overwhelmingly voted against Brexit. NOTICE: LA Mundi News does not necessarily support Scottish independence. The article merely illustrates a possibility.
Another independence movement that has gained steam as a result of Brexit is Gibraltar, the tiny territory on the edge of Spain, on the shores of the Mediterranean. The reason for their independence would be mostly economic, as they rely heavily on their Mediterranean shores, and their fishing industry as well as trade could be severely limited due to Brexit. Not to mention that people from Gibraltar cherish the ability to go in and out of Spain freely. NOTICE: LA Mundi News does not necessarily support independence for Gibraltar. The article merely illustrates a possibility.
Finally, and the least likely independence, is Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish-Irish border problem was mostly resolved due to the European Union, which allowed people to cross the border freely. Also, since Northern Irish and Irish businesses rely heavily on trade, it also means that with the EU most likely imposing heavy tariffs on the UK, they would struggle to export goods. What’s more important, though, is the free passage that Northern Irish and Irish people enjoy between their border. Without it, many businesses would go bankrupt and local economies along the border would slow down. More likely than independence, though, is reunification. Northern Ireland used to be unified with Ireland, until religious tensions between the mostly Catholic Ireland and the mostly Protestant Northern Ireland erupted into civil war. However, after two decades of peace, the tensions have subsided (for the most part) and reunification (as a result of Brexit) is more possible than ever before.
NOTICE: LA Mundi News does not necessarily support independence for Northern Ireland or reunification with Ireland. The article merely illustrates a possibility.
Meanwhile, in the realm of politics, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is more fragile than ever before, having barely survived a vote of no-confidence. Worse than that is the fact that Parliament ultimately rejected her deal, sending the UK closer and closer down a path without a deal.
France even launched a contingency plan to deal with a potential no-deal Brexit, according to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who stated that a no-deal Brexit looks “less and less unlikely”.
It all started when the Prime Minister called for snap elections (which means immediate elections regardless of how recent the last election was). The Prime Minister will usually call for elections when he or she feels that their party is doing well in the polls and would win if an election was called right then and there, even if it’s only been a year since the last election. May did the same thing and thought her party would extend their mandate and their majority, but they actually reduced their majority. She then received a challenge for the leadership of her party by Boris Johnson, who was then the Foreign Secretary (the equivalent of an American Secretary of State). Johnson lost and May retained her leadership of her political party after she fired Johnson from his post.
Now what happens? Time will tell, but one option (that is widely supported) is to have another referendum on Brexit. The only problem is, will Prime Minister Theresa May let there be a referendum?