The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union is a disheartening victory for isolationists, nationalists and populist conservatives around the world.
Britons’ decision will have a huge effect on the global economy and world politics. On Friday it caused huge volatility in currency and stock markets.
Some analysts describe this decision as “the biggest breaking point after the Cold War.” That sounds apt.
The United Kingdom is probably America’s best ally in Europe. After this decision, the United States could lose influence on business, political and military issues on the continent. President Barack Obama had called for voters in the United Kingdom to support staying in the Economic Union.
The Brexit (Britain’s exit plan) decision is also a decisive moment for the European Union. By Friday, people in France, Holland, Sweden and Greece had started to talk about similar referendums in their countries.
That could lead to a disaster for a union that has had a principle of free movement, free trade and common citizenship among countries.
Just hours after the results were announced, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump said, “Britain will be stronger after Brexit.”
No, it won’t. In fact, Brexit might cause the fragmentation of the United Kingdom. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU, while British voters said they wanted to leave. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that there would be a second referendum for Scottish independence because her people want to stay in the EU.
The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron immediately announced that he would resign. Boris Johnson, one of the Brexit campaign leaders, is his most likely successor. That would be a real victory for populist and isolationist politicians all around the world.
The Brexiters ran an immoral campaign against refugees, Muslims and foreigners. They lied about “Britain sending 350 million pounds a week to Brussels.” They used a picture of refugees in the row on Slovenian border as a campaign banner. They claimed 76 million Turks could flee to Britain and destroy the country because of the EU.
This week was not a great one for freedom. Instead, it was an example of how chaotic the world of politics has become.