When "Brexit means Brexit" or does it not?

Theresa May has become the new Prime Minister July 13th to lead the UK's negotiations to leave the EU.  Theresa May a mild advocate to remain in the EU, but strong advocate on revising migration policies will have to face the very significant challenge of dealing with tough negotiations with the EU in post Brexit. Prime Minister May will have a tough time ahead in order to keep the UK in the single market but also give out the necessary signals to world markets that the UK can cope with the negotiations and maintain a divided population aligned in the path ahead, whatever the twists and turns of a political leverage and negotiations to handle now. 


The market is not keen on "disturbances" and Brexit was bound to be one of those destabilizing situations.  Brexit was bound to be disturbing for financial markets, investors and key stakeholders worldwide.  Therefore the news of Brexit once materialized in the referendum vote opened the way for volatilty and unstability in financial markets. Fear and shock upon shares and bonds had a negative effect as soon as the result was announced worlwide.  The pound plummeted in a record low in 30 years.  Big corporations reacted in awe and uncertainty was the word of the day.  Doubts over the UK's resilience to cope with a fractured nation (Scotland voted to remain and so did North Ireland) and the possibility of being left out from the European single market has debilitated the confidence needed amongst global investors, companies and stakeholders to keep business in the UK. Locally, the press continues to backfire amidst the sentiment of division, those who regret having voted to leave the EU and those who feel a tiny minority of Leave voters have sealed the nation's fate to steer intot the unknown.  Revolting agaisnt the EU and revolting against the democratic game of referendums can only add more uncertainty when alignment, cohesion and governance are key to send the right signals to stabilize the market.

Indeed, what we have witnessed contemporary "revolting".  When Great Britain was growing into an Empire and the new merchant class rose in numbers and in power, they "revolted" agaisnt their own King and decided Parliament's rule had to prevail over the King's privileges. Today, and following Kenneth Waltz's theory of political trends, one has to look into patterns in history to foresee a pattern here.  Revolting against another form of oppression has taken place in contemporary times.

However, in order to understand what went on and why did all this happen, it is essential to cool the head and look at the broader picture.  The UK and the Brits have a history of not fully complying with the EU's supranational guidelines, the UK kept the pound and managed to exert the migration "brake" when times were perilous for security on borders.  But it is also true that the UK - like most countries in western civilization - does not live in autarchy, therefore, the current phenomenon of desaffection amongst the population towards establishment and status quo - like the King and its privileges in the past - could not longer be encapuslated. Indeed in a world of contestation - let us take the case of America today and the run up to the presidency with Trump as a candidate - political leaders suffer from attrition and the recent Panama papers' case affecting former PM David Cameron had its effect too.  

What has happened with Brexit is not isolated case, and whether the nationalistic, xenophobic sentiments run high in the whole of Europe now, they only intensify the variable here, which is "we had enough of long-standing crisis, we had enough of big corporations using the liberal values of a Union to profit, we had enough of not being able to protect our own citizens in our borders"

This should be a wake up call to reform the EU which stands high on the protection of values such as free movements, peace, stability and welfare for its citizens.  Time is high up to look into the aspects, policies, decisions that went wrong, because "revolting against oppression" has happened and it is not politically driven but bottom-up ignited.

With Brexit and the shock in the markets, we are witnessing probably the inauguration of a new world order. One where the population has a say otherwise..... they might revolt again

By Soledad Soza, July 13th 2016

For more information see Stephen Waltz' opinion on Brexit  and Eric Voeten on a new world order