It’s been a funny few days since the results of the referendum became clear. I stayed up to see the first results come in, and when Newcastle weren’t definitively “In” I feared the worst. When I woke up at 5am and went downstairs to watch the ongoing coverage, those fears were confirmed.
Not that leaving the EU will be the worst thing we ever do; in fact I took a test and was advised that I was “60% In”, i.e., I can see that there might be benefits in leaving. I just worried that the potential disruption would outweigh any upside, and unfortunately so it has turned out. There really is no plan for an orderly secession and the UK currency and shares have taken a pounding. I’m kind of hoping that is due to the markets betting the wrong way on the outcome and having to unwind their positions, but we’ll see – it’s only been two whole business days since the result.
Lots has happened though; Cameron resigned on Friday morning even before I started work, and then Sunday and yesterday (Monday) 20 members of the Shadow Cabinet resigned, and there is going to be a vote of No Confidence in Corbyn later today. If that leads to a leadership contest, which is highly likely in my opinion, he will get re-elected by the members and the split between the PLP and the grass roots membership will become more pronounced.
So while the secession is a slow, drawn-out process which will probably last two years or more, there are already casualties to the outcome.
Cameron has said that the incoming PM will be responsible for triggering Article 50, the official notice that we are leaving the EU, but there are some legal opinions advising that we would need to pass an Act of Parliament in order to do that, and since most MPs are anti-Brexit I struggle to see that happening. And someone could run for PM on an anti-Brexit ticket – i.e., promising not to invoke Article 50. Cameron promised that he would give a referendum and he has, now he’s resigned and it turns out that the referendum is only “advisory”, which means it doesn’t have to be implemented. Yes, there would be uproar, but it might be the best of both worlds.
Or, sod it, let’s break away, let’s not negotiate with the EU, since they’re having a hissy fit (“there will be no informal negotiations before Article 50 is invoked”), and let’s see how we get on.

But please, not with Boris Johnson at the helm…?

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