Referendum: Brexit's Effect On Scotland And Northern Ireland


When Kenneth Clarke proclaimed in the House of Commons that “no sensible countries have referendums” he wasn’t just lamenting the outcome of the June referendum that called for the United Kingdom to renounce its membership in the European Union. As we’ve since learned, the decision to Leave or Remain was so incredibly nuanced and complex that the British public had hardly any idea what they were even voting for or against and even less understanding of what the consequences of that vote could be.

Indeed, not even the government actually knew how far the consequences would reach, and no one within the government had any plan on the outside chance that the vote came back to Leave. Those who pushed for the vote to Leave did so with manipulation, falsehoods and empty promises. Lest we forget, it was not even 24 hours after the votes were tallied that Nigel Farage told a broadcaster that his oft-repeated claim that the National Health Service would receive up to £350 million a week once the UK left the EU was, in fact, a mistake.

More than the sheer logistics of the actual divorce, the internal dynamics of the UK itself may have an even more profound effect on what the country looks like, and even what is left of the UK after it Leaves. Indeed, the UK is perhaps closer to a breakdown than it has been in centuries, threatened by renewed calls for Scottish independence as well as an increasingly complex and potentially disastrous situation in Northern Ireland. Ultimately the test of whether the UK weathers the self-fulfilling storm within which they find themselves may depend less on negotiations with Europe than with the growing and steadfast opposition within their borders.


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