Brexit: The Four Big Unknowns

Brexit has happened. What does it actually mean and what can we do about it?

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Last Friday, the world woke up to the news that the United Kingdom had voted to leave the European Union. The divorce actually happened. 

48 per cent of us are in a state of grief, and discomfort. I feel like I've lost two friends; one in the EU, and another in 52 per cent of the U.K who voted to leave it. Never had I imagined this country could be so divided, but it is.  

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But, we must go on. The result reflected what a huge part of the country wanted. And however much remainers say leave voters were ill-informed, selfish, and that this decision was too complex for our country to vote on, it has happened. Here we are, swimming in Brexit, with many things unknown. 

What does Brexit actually mean?

One of the key issues of this entire debate has been that there are things that both sides simply don't have answers to. The clarity and confidence with which politicians have spoken during their campaigns has been false, because on key important issues like the economy, they just don't know what happens next.

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Will we lose trade from other European countries? Will there be tariffs on trade? What is going to happen to the NHS? Are we going to lose our freedom of movement in and out of European countries? Will our Parliament approve a proposed point system of regulating immigration? Until the process of physically leaving the EU has begun, we will be in the dark and left to fictionalize what our children's lives are going to be like. 

Scotland will renew efforts to become independent. But what about London?

In Scotland, the vote to remain was 62%, while leave was 38%. The majority feeling in Scotland is that they shouldn't sink on a ship they haven't chosen to board, which is why on Friday morning, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, announced that the option of a second referendum is 'on the table'. She wants Scotland to have this referendum within two years, which is the time limit on UK departure after 'divorce proceedings' have begun.

In London, the vote was almost as pro-Remain as Scotland. 59.9% of the capital's voters wanted to stay in the E.U. There is now a big conversation about what this means for Londoners who feel they too don't want to be on former Mayor Boris Johnson's sinking ship. In the wake of the referendum result, a petition was created urging Sadiq Kahn, the London Mayor, to push for London independence. Although this seems unrealistic, the results of Thursday's referendum speak loudly for the divide between certain parts of the country.

Who will be our next Prime Minister?

The process of choosing a new leader will begin with a selection of two candidates, chosen by Conservative MPs. There will then be a vote from members of the party on who they'd want to lead them, and also the country.

David and Samantha Cameron

In October, we will have another Prime Minister. While a big argument of the Leave campaign has been to 'claim back sovereignty,' non-conservative party members will be pretty powerless in the choice of our country's leader.

Many MPs see their main aim simply as 'stop Boris.'

Boris Johnson, the Leave campaign's poster boy, is the obvious guess when thinking about what the Tory Party is going to look like, and it has been said that he and Michael Gove are already planning their dream team at 10 Downing Street. Other possible runners are Teresa May, David Davis and Liam Fox. Many MPs see their main aim simply as 'stop Boris.' Sir Alan Duncan, former Conservative minister, said, 'Do not assume he is the darling of the Conservative Party activists. A lot of them don't necessarily want a permanent ride on the Big Dipper.' 

Will young people get a chance to be heard?

Much like the Scotland and London vote, the youth of Britain feel that they have been ignored. 64% of 18-25 year olds who used their vote did so for Remain. So the generation most affected by this choice voted to stay in the European Union. Secondary school students across the country have come out in anger at older generations who have not been thinking about them, and how their lives are going to pan out.

A majority of young people will now be feeling that their future has been decided by people who, let's face it, are likely to die sooner than them. These are people who haven't got a huge voice in Parliament, and need to be spoken for. In light of the referendum result, a petition has been launched online for another referendum, stating the result to be too tight and therefore non-justifiable. 

'What is the EU?'

On Friday, the second most googled phrase in the U.K was 'What is the EU?' When I went canvassing on Thursday, I met a woman who told me she 'had no idea what this whole EU thing was about.' There is a lack of information in this country, and we are puppets in a game between an elite of wealth, with massive misinformation pumped out by anti-EU newspapers.

In my utopia, we would redo the referendum. Take the vote away from those aged 70+, and instead give it to secondary school children, on the provise that they'd been equipped with all the information they need to make an informed, rational decision. At the end of the day, this vote was more important for me than it was for my Grandmother, and yet it was her generation that won. (She, however, voted Remain.)

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