Friday, 1 July 2016

First 7 days after Referendum shock

We’ll all remember Friday morning 24 June 2016: the news that Britain had voted by a small margin to leave the European Union. 

Everyone had expected the country to vote to continue with the status quo: 43 years of membership of the European Community. It was not to be. 

The repercussions were immediate and haven’t stopped 7 days later.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, immediately resigned. 

The credit agency, Moody’s, downgraded the UK’s bond rating from stable to negative. Other ratings agencies followed, resulting in Britain losing its cherished triple ‘A’ rating.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that her government would not allow Scotland to leave the EU – meaning instead that Scotland might hold another referendum to leave the United Kingdom. 

The Financial Times reported that some banks based in London were preparing to move some of their operations out of Britain, since Brexit could mean that they would lose their right to operate across the EU.

The referendum result triggered a spate of xenophobic ‘hate crimes’ across the UK. 

In Newcastle centre a banner proclaimed, ‘Stop immigration start repatriation’. In Cambridgeshire police investigated laminated signs reading, ‘Leave the EU – no more Polish vermin’. 

In just 7 days since the referendum vote, police have logged a five-fold increase in hate complaints.

It soon became clear that despite the strong ‘Vote Leave’ campaign, there was no plan on what to do next. Brexit campaigners sheepishly admitted there was no Brexit plan. The government, they said, should have had a plan.

Although the FTSE 100 quickly rebounded from the Brexit shock, the FTSE250 immediately fell by over 7% the morning after the referendum – its worst one-day drop since 1987.

The mid caps market – considered to be a more accurate gauge of the UK economy – then fell again, down almost 14% since the Brexit vote. It is yet to recover.

The British pound has also continued to take a daily battering.

Just a week after the referendum, Bank of England boss, Mark Carney, starkly warned that an economic downturn was on its way and that Britain was already suffering from “economic post-traumatic stress disorder”.

Although ‘Leave’ campaigners promised that a vote for them meant ‘taking control’ and ‘getting your country back’, nobody currently seems to be in control of the country. 

Both the Conservative government, and the Labour opposition, are in meltdown. 

A fierce and vitriolic fight is now taking place in the Tory Party to find their new leader, who will automatically become our Prime Minister.

And a fierce and vitriolic fight is now taking place in the Labour Party between those who want their current leader to go and others who want him to stay.

A poll by Survation claimed that already over a million people who voted ‘Leave’ had now changed their minds.

This is just the first 7 days of turmoil, unrest and uncertainty following the shock Brexit decision of 23 June 2016. 

Maybe things will settle and improve in time, or get worse. Nobody really knows. 

Neither are we sure what country we are now getting back. 

Just 7 days later, and the country we left behind seems to be in the misty, distant past.

• Click to read

Vital viewing to understand how Vote Leave lied 'on an industrial scale' to win the EU Referendum. Illuminating and brutally honest assessment by Professor Michael Dougan an EU law expert from Liverpool University. Click to view (20 minutes):


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