The Great British schism: Is this the beginning of the end for Europe? – – Our News, Your Views

The Great British schism: Is this the beginning of the end for Europe?


History is often defined by narrow margins, and it was the narrowest of margins that heralded the end of the UK’s membership in the EU project.

Fifty two percent of voters across the UK voted ‘Leave’, meaning that today, the European Union will cease to exist as we know it.

The detonation of Brexit will have repercussions far and wide across the remainder of European countries, particularly those of the periphery of Europe’s ‘core’ members. There have already been calls in Scotland, for instance, for another referendum to whether or not remain in the UK. Scotland always favored EU membership by a majority of 62%. In countries such as Greece, Brexit is likely to further weaken the already tenous European ties, and rumors of a ‘Grexit’ are now afoot. Greece took a severe financial punishment, mostly inflicted by Germany, in the wake of the country’s monetary woes.

In the wake of Brexit’s results, the British Pound has taken a hammering, sinking to a 31-year low. Shortly after the outcome of the referendum became known, the currency’s parity against the dollar was $1.3 -a fall of more than 10%-, something not seen since 1985. Brexit also meant that the FTSE 100 index plunged 500 points, before somewhat recovering later on.

There have been diverse reactions to the UK’s exit from the EU. Politicians in Germany have said that it’s a ‘sad day for Europe, and the UK.’ Donald Trump, however, cheerfully claimed that it’s a ‘great thing that the British have taken back their country.’ Here, a spokesperson for the Government said that Brexit “clearly has very significant implications for Ireland, as well as for Britain and for the European Union”.

The next step in the process is for the UK to submit a formal resignation letter to the European Council. When will this happen is unclear, but once it does, a two-year period of exit negotiations will commence.

The UK’s wilful termination of EU membership signifies a momentous landmark in European history, one that has rocked the very foundations of the continent. We may well be witnessing the beginning of Europe’s disintegration.

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