image source: BBC
This is not the end. It is the beginning.
So, against all odds, hopes and common sense, the United Kingdom (or at the very least England and Wales) are leaving the European Union. But where does that leave us? Somewhere new. The entire political landscape of Europe has been irrevocably changed. And as the political elite are still scrambling to make sense of the news, the everyday person is left with the scaremongering, and the hype. But now, we must put this aside and start looking towards the future.
We have two years of negotiation and rewriting to try and make something better. This may not be the situation we would have preferred but this is the one we've got, and it opens the door for sweeping changes that could dramatically alter the political reality of not just our continent, but the entire world.
“Britain for the British”
Immigration seems to have been the main issue affecting Britons if the media attention and referendum results are to be believed. But despite this, seemingly overwhelming, dismissal of Britain's responsibility to global humanitarian affairs, this is not something they can avoid.
In September, the United Nations is meeting in a summit to try and organise a worldwide economic and practical response to the migration crisis our planet is currently experiencing. Now unless Britain’s next referendum is on whether or not to stay in the United Nations, merely exiting the EU won't have any effect on the outcome, or Britain's role in theses talks. SO sorry UKIP, you're not out of woods yet.
So, unless the UK wants to find themselves on the receiving end of UN sanctions. They will HAVE to work with the world on the subject of migration. Any attempt not to would be seen as a violation of UN charters. At which they would be very, very angry with you, and will probably write a letter telling you how angry they are. But seriously, Europe is not the entire world, we have just spent the last 500 years believing we are. The 51.9% Britain's who still rue the loss of their mighty Empire, please, reflect on what that truly means.
Now, the next issue which in particular is concerning NPO's and Human Rights Organisations; is in relation to a number of EU laws and regulations governing the application of Human Rights within its member states. Especially Britain's position in relation to the European Court of Human Rights, which, to many, is seen as the last bastion for fair treatment when your own country's legal system lets you down.
Well Britain, here's my challenge to you. Do one better. You have an opportunity to redefine your application of Human Rights. So why not make it something even grander, even more humanitarian, even more, well, morally sound, then the current models. 48.1% at least still believe in these ideals, so maybe you didn't want your “independence”, (a ridiculous notion, as I don't recall the UK being anything but, ie. the sterling, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this bloody referendum in the first place) but now is the time to start making your voices heard.
This may not have been the result you wanted, but its what you got. So I beg you, for the rest of the world's sake, start lobbying now. If your right-wing politicians want to make a new Britain, make sure you involved in that conversation. Don't bury your head in the sand and cry over your mistakes. Get up and start campaigning now. You just need to swing 3% more people, and you can really make a difference.
If the UK has to be on its own, then make it a shining example. Make it the best it can be, don't let fear and hatred rule it any more than it already does. Over the next few weeks, many of the promises made by the Leave Campaigners are going to be dragged into the reality of the situation. Use that against them. Crush their bigoted ideals, and make Britain something you can truly be proud of. Not a metaphorical idea, a mere shadow of former “glory”. This is not your “American Dream”, this is a British Reality. Seize the opportunity, please.
Scotland and Northern Ireland
Well, I never thought I'd see the day republicans come out in favour of the European Union. Traditionally, they have seen Europe's involvement in Irish affairs, as another form of colonial power. But now, now the referendum has presented them with an opportunity that hasn't seemed remotely realistic since 1921; the chance to have a democratic vote on a United Ireland. Who knows how they'll bring this campaign into action. Or what the opposition to this within the North will cause. Let alone how the Free State will react to Gerry Adam's presumptive ambitions.
Could this ignite the Troubles all over again? Or will the people of the North come an agreement that a Britain operating outside the EU isn't a Britain they want to be a part of. Taking aside traditional cultural and religious differences, Ireland could look very nice to the average Nordie.
There's marriage equality, serious pushes for equality for women (in relation to the workplace and reproductive rights) we have a, mostly, progressive outlook towards immigration as well as emigration. We've what is widely regarded to be a far fairer tax system, a more inclusive welfare state. And the benefit of learning from Britain and America's mistakes in relation to Universal Healthcare. Not to mention, one the most important factors, we're still part of the EU, and we're in the Eurozone. And while there is a lot of uncertainty as to the overall stability of that union. Especially now, I can't see our role changing with the organisation. One would hope, fear of another Brexit-like event will keep the EU pushing forward to make even more positive changes in terms of reform and economic standards.
As for Scotland, the Nationalist Party has been given a free pass to say “I told you so”. One the main arguments for Scotland annexing itself from the UK was fear of an EU pull-out; well, here it is. Scotland made it clear in their last two referendums, they wanted to remain in the UK and in the EU.
So now they have to choose. Will they choose to be part of building this new Britain? Or will they strike out there own, confident in the support of the European Union? Once again, it is too early to tell. But as I have asked above, the Scottish must think about what they can achieve both in and out of the UK. And how they can make this seemingly disastrous situation into the improvement half the population believe it can be.
Captain Britannia: Civil War
Over the last few months, Britain has been divided on this issue. And these results truly show how split they are. But the vote is cast, the results in and now it is time this division ended. Make peace with your enemies, because, unless you want to leave your own country (in which case I hope you will be permitted to do so :P) these enemies are all you have now. They're not bad people really. Help them. Teach them. Work with them to make your nation into something you can all be proud of.
Ireland and England have always had what has been called “a special relationship” and there's no sugar coating exactly why that it. Regardless of what's gone on in the past, know that relationship still exists. All you Remain campaigners who have lost hope, just look across the water. Because all of us are on your side, and we will support you if really want to “Make Britain Great Again” but only if you mean “great” in the dictionary definition. Because the old noun of GB won't find any supporters outside their 51%. The world will never forget the truth of what the British Empire was. And if you want to make something out of this mess, neither should you.