Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

I feel I should ‪‎rant‬.

The Brexit vote stunned us all.

Even though the outcome was expected to be close, the final opinion polls had pointed to a narrow victory for Remain in Europe, and was given a mighty blow when the real outcome stuck at Leave!

Britain’s decision to leave the EU is the biggest assault on the unity of Europe since World War Two!

I’m not ‪‎shocked‬ anymore just ‪‎angry,‬ and bitterly‬ surprised‬, at how close we came to establishing ‪‎common sense‬ with Vote Remain, on the ‬UK’s EU referendum!

‪As a result of the appalling outcome, the British Prime Minister – ‎David Cameron‬ ‪- had no choice but to ‎resign. 

And so he should!

David Cameron on Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
David Cameron on Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

I don’t usually write about politics on my blog, but what an ‪‎idiot!

David Cameron will be remembered as the man who orchestrated the ‪‎split‬ of 369 years of the Scottish joint establishment with the ‪‎United Kingdom‬, and probably go down in ‪‎history as the person ‬who began the wave of the breakdown, and fracture, of a 43 year international relationship with our neighbours – members of the ‪‎European Union!

To get my reaction, I was pretty much everywhere last week, making one statement after another, in this or that form of media.

But the one that I liked the most was the lovely TV news piece that I did with a German TV station called Deutsche Welle (DW), which is one of the world’s biggest international broadcasters, providing a broad picture of political and cultural life in Europe. A bit like the BBC, but mainly about Germany!

I was contacted by the Culture Department who wanted to do a piece for their TV magazine – Euromaxx. They wanted to talk to well-known British people who live in Berlin and to record our response to the awful outcome of the referendum.

I was looking forward to talking about how happy I would be. On June 23rd, I was sending social media messages on all my social media feeds, right, left, and center, pretty much all day.

And then.

It wasn’t a happy outcome!

But you know, I'm a professional, as is Jeremy Corbyn! @Toby Melville / Reuters
But you know, I’m a professional, as is Jeremy Corbyn!
@Toby Melville / Reuters

But you know, I’m a professional and so with my shoulders back and my head held high, I put on a pretty dress and went for my TV interview.

See for yourself: Bye-bye Love: Reactions to Brexit and auf Deutsche – Bye-bye Love: Reaktionen zum Brexit.

I think I did a good job!

This referendum was a complete and utter mess, and revealed the multiple cracks in a disunited kingdom – London and cosmopolitan, intellectual, middle class, younger Britain, on one side, and rural, provincial, working class, old-age pensioner England on the other.

Myself at the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It. 2015 © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself at the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It.
2015
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I’m so glad that I live in Germany right now!

On the assumption that the people have spoken, and democracy has taken effect, Britain will have to live with the political, constitutional, diplomatic, and economic consequences, and that starts with the shockwaves effect of other European nations calling for the same thing, and thus, creating a domino effect.

WHAT HAPPENED?
A referendum was held on Thursday June 23rd, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain, in the European Union.

Leave won by 52% to 48%.

HOW DID PEOPLE VOTE?
Both England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit, whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. I’m proud to say that both Manchester and London voted for Remain.

BRITAIN IS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

On paper. Nothing!

There’s no need for anyone to panic just yet!

It all depends on negotiations with the other EU member states. As I told you last week, no nation-state has ever left the EU except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

However, the first goal is to calm everyone down!

The financial market is all in a frenzy, Europeans are wearing shrouds and the Americans are having a bit of a laugh at our expense!

For the UK to leave the EU it has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Once this is invoked, the formal legal process of EU separation will begin. Britain will have two (2) years to negotiate its withdrawal.

This article was only written up in late 2009 and hasn’t been tested, so no-one really knows how the Brexit process will work.

EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – and that process could take some time. Until then, the UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiates a withdrawal agreement, and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc!

I'm British! Now what?
I’m British! Now what?

WHAT ABOUT UK CITIZENS WORKING IN THE EU?
It depends.

If the UK remains within the single market, it would almost certainly retain free movement rights, allowing UK citizens to work in the EU and vice versa. However, if the UK opted to impose work permit restrictions, then other countries could reciprocate, meaning Brits would probably have to apply for visas in order to work.

Working in the EU could become more difficult for UK expats, if host countries ask them to comply with more restrictive rules when it comes to permits, and setting up businesses. They may lose their automatic right to work within the EU area, and be asked to apply for Blue Cards.

It’s very unlikely that people already living and working abroad will be sent back to the UK, but it could become substantially more difficult for new expats to find work on the Continent, due to employment laws in 15 member nations, which states that non-EU citizens can only be hired, if no other suitable candidate has been found within the EU area.

She's an EU citizen. Just look at her gorgeous clothes!
She’s an EU citizen.
Just look at her gorgeous clothes!

WHAT ABOUT EU CITIZENS WORKING IN THE UK?
Again, it depends.

If the UK decides to introduce a work permit system (as it applies to non-EU citizens), then entry will be limited to skilled workers, in professions where there are shortages.

WILL A VISA BE NEEDED WHEN TRAVELLING OR ON VACATION?
Highly unlikely as the tourist pound will always be welcome.

British citizens can already visit many non-EU countries for up to 90 days without needing a visa, so it’s possible that such arrangements could be negotiated with European countries.

A British passport will still be valid as a document. @Reuters
A British passport will still be valid as a document.
@Reuters

WILL A BRITISH PASSPORT STILL BE VALID AS A DOCUMENT?
Yes!

It is a British document – there is no such thing as an EU passport, so it will stay the same although in theory, the government could, decide to change the colour, which is currently standardised – red – for EU nations.

WHAT’S THIS SINGLE MARKET MALARKEY?
The European Union single market developed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money, and people, within the European Union, as if it were a single country.

The idea was to boost trade, create jobs, and lower prices. However, it requires a common law to ensure products are made to the same technical standards and level of quality and expectation. Critics say it generates too many petty regulations, and robs members of control over their own nations. Other critics state mass migration (free movement) as having been abused by poorer East European countries who flock to wealthier West European nations.

No nation state has ever left the EU. Except for Greenland - an overseas territory of Denmark!
No nation state has ever left the EU.
Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

HAS ANY MEMBER STATE EVER LEFT THE EU?
No nation-state has ever left the EU. Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SCOTLAND?
Scotland’s First Minister – Nicola Sturgeon – is very unhappy, and said that it is “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland faces being taken out of the EU, when it voted to Remain, and that a second independence referendum for Scotland is “highly likely!”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NORTHERN IRELAND?
Deputy First Minister – Martin McGuinness – said the impact in Northern Ireland would be “very profound,” and that the complete island of Ireland, should now be able to vote on reunification with the Irish Republic!

The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson. Illustration @Martin Rowson
The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson.
Illustration @Martin Rowson

BRITISH POLITICS – WHICH WAY FORWARD? 
The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson.

What lies ahead is a complicated renegotiation of our relationship with our closest neighbours and most important markets. The talks with EU leaders will require seriousness, finesse, diplomacy and a capacity for building trusting relationships. It will also require flexibility.

On the other hand, we could become like Norway!

The UK could follow the Norwegian initiative. Close to the EU but alone in the cold!
The UK could follow the Norwegian initiative.
Close to the EU but alone in the cold!

WHAT IS THE NORWAY OPTION?
Experts believe that the UK could follow the Norwegian initiative which is not to be a member state of the European Union (EU), but to have a close association through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA).

EEA membership gives Norway full access to the EU’s internal market, allowing it to trade goods with EU states without customs fees, except food and drink, which is subsidised by the EU. Iceland and Liechtenstein are also members of the EEA.

In return for that access, Norway is obliged to implement all the EU’s laws relating to the internal market implementing about three-quarters of all EU legislation, including the working time directive.

Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union!
Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union!

ANY OTHER OPTION?
We could of course, go all the way, cut our losses, and opt out of any EU association completely, trading as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which deals with the global rules of trade between nations. However, experts agree that this is definitely not the way forward, and would only lead to an economic crisis.

Perhaps more!

On the other hand, Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union either but has a slightly more “hands off” relationship with the EU! In this case, relations between Switzerland and the European Union are framed by a series of bilateral treaties that allow Switzerland to participate in trading agreements.

In short, having our cake and eating it!

Brexit won't be the birth of "New Britain," but the break up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales!
Brexit won’t be the birth of “New Britain,” but the break up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales!

THE BIRTH OF “NEW BRITAIN”?
I doubt it!

The United Kingdom itself could break apart and begin the disintegration of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales – all countries who formed that most beautiful nation – otherwise known as the United Kingdom!

The leaders of Leave might have won the Referendum, but they have not won the battle, instead they have opened Pandora’s Box, and by doing so, unleashed profound economic instability, crushed relations with our closest allies, toppled a prime minister, and jeopardized the unity of the United Kingdom!

OMG!

BREXIT: SO BRITAIN IS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. NOW WHAT?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

Quite frankly, in the political mess that we find ourselves, nobody is a winner!

So Britain has left the EU. And most of us didn’t want to.

So what!

We can leave the EU, but we can’t quit Europe.

Because Europe is our continent.

We’re stoic.

We’ve got a stiff upper lip.

We won’t let those leaders determine our future with Europe.

We’ll somehow make it through.

Haven’t we always!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what? We'll somehow make it through. @Melissa Barreiro
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what? We’ll somehow make it through.
@Melissa Barreiro

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions connected to this most important referendum, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll be writing about my love for Europe!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week from June 28th – July 1st.

Strictly Stand Up – English Comedy Night – will take place on June 29th, at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin!

The Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive and Terminal 3, will be hosting True Stories. Told Live. Digital Nomad Style as part of the Tech Open Air Festival on July 14th, at Spielfeld Digital Hub.

I’ll also be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th.

Save the Date!

July is going to be sunny!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in July, you’re missing all the fun!

Watch this space!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

Were you surprised by the fact that Britain voted to leave the European Union? Do you think the UK is right to leave the EU or wrong to leave the EU? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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60 Comments on “Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

  1. I’m absolutely devastated.

    We’ve made a massive mistake.

    My plans/dreams of moving to Europe might have to be fast-forwarded. Getting my skates on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Lawrence!

      I’m afraid so. I love my country but I’ve always believed in unity, diversity and the common-together of the European Continent. I was delighted when the birth of the EU was put in place. And now look at what we’ve done! 😦 😦

      Like

      • It’s the epitome of, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”.

        The EU isn’t perfect – it needs reforming and reflection. But we’re better off in it, with all its imperfections, than out, IMO.

        People have voted leave – at many of them – under false pretences. All the money they’ve promised we’ll safe, isn’t going to the NHS, or on education or public funding etc. Some of it will, of course. But It’ll generally get squirreled away and benefit the few. Immigration is going nowhere.

        The fact so many people are regretting their leave vote – the fact so many people are now googling what the EU actually is and does – the fact the leave campaign seems totally unprepared for the task ahea – it’s just so maddening how so many made a massive decision, so flippantly, but also on the premise of what has turned out to be lies.

        The powers-that-be have totally underestimated the mood of the country. Had Cameron had any hint of us ACTUALLY leaving the EU, he’d have never called a referendum in the first place. Total miscalculation. Now he’s taken us out of Europe, possibly set the wheels in motion in breaking the UK up by Scotland leaving – I just hope Ireland and Northern Ireland don’t revert back to tense times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Correct! I studied political science for my BSc, and it was clear even to me, that a public referendum on Europe will always fail!
        It’s a sad state of affairs all round. 😦

        Like

      • Not at all Michelle! What I mean, is that Cameron thought that common sense would prevail and that British people would vote Remain. Common sense isn’t common, and to be frank, nobody should ever put Europe on the table!

        Like

      • Cameron totally misjudged and underestimated the apparent national mood. As many of us did clearly.

        Ultimately, he was arrogant. If he actually thought Brexit would win he’d have never offered the ref in the first place!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your closing words though.

    We WILL be OK. We’re resilient. It’s all a bit hysterical at the moment but it’s to be expected. We must calm down and see the long vision.

    I refuse to start villifying people who voted leave, as some are. I refuse to cast 17 million people down as racists. I refuse to blame the old or the undereducated.

    There were many reasons to vote leave and the electorate who did are diverse.

    We must now come together and forge a new, positive UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lawrence!
      It’s a complete mess but it’s done now and we have to live with it and try to pacify each other AND our European neighbours! I don’t want to see a war over this or anything lol!

      Like

    • At last a thoughtful post on Brexit Lawrence

      Your posts are generally balanced and humourous and I wish you luck in Iceland.

      I was working in the Shipping industry when the Common Market started and have witnessed at first hand the corruption and fraud that came with it.

      I also think that if my Company’s accounts were so bad that they weren’t signed off for nearly 20 years I would probably be sending this post from Wormwood Scrubs!

      Like

      • Thanks so much Peter! I’m glad that you like my article,and I did put much thought into it although I haven’t yet been to Iceland. Finland and Denmark yes, but not yet Iceland lol!

        Like

  3. I feel gutted, bereaved, confused, stunned. I just hope there is something positive to come out of these…but right now I can’t think what that could be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And now that Iceland booted us out of Europe a second time – it’s all going wrong! hahahah

    I’m need of a change of scenery – might head off to Amsterdam next week 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am hideously shocked by the result and like you, I’m so glad I’m not living in the UK right now. I think all the economic and political stuff will be sorted in time (although it’ll be an absolute mess for the next few years) but the divisions and hatred this vote appears to have stirred up in the UK will scar the country for decades. I think there’s already deep resentment from young people who wanted to remain towards the older generation who overwhelmingly voted to leave. There have also been disgusting reports of hate crimes against people of other nationalities who have chosen to make the UK their home; a minority of the leave voters have decided that the result gives them the right to make openly racist and xenophobic attacks. I am so saddened by that more than anything – I’ve always been so proud of the tolerance and mix of cultures in the UK, now it feels like that’s been broken. I still hold a very far-fetched hope that this can somehow be reversed but I doubt it. I plan to spend the next few years away from all this in Asia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s devastating! And yes, I’ve heard of haters targeting people of Polish or East European origin. I mean ?&$§?!! I too prided myself on how tolerant a society Britain is. But I’m not giving up hope. They are many people who are civilised, tolerant, open-minded, and everything that we stand for, and love. They will make a stand. As we will. I’m sure.

      Like

  6. I’m really sorry to hear about Brexit. Everyone was making fun that only Britain could manage to exit Europe twice in one day #EuroCup. Honestly, it was a bad news but let’s wait and see what will happen …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Agness! I’m sorry too.
      What a mess! And losing to Iceland at the EuroCup was the last straw. Losing to Iceland!!! A nation that qualified to play in the Cup for the very first time, and that isn’t even known for football!
      p.s. Iceland played extremely well though, and they look gorgeous too lol!!

      Like

  7. As a Brit I was very interested to hear what you had to say. Very informative article. I know my American friends weren’t laughing. We were all in shock and it made us even more terrified about our election in November. I’m hoping the UK does not break apart. It was interesting to see how divided the vote went within England. Not very different than how votes go here in the states.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Nadeen!
      And honestly, I didn’t know you were British, somehow, I always thought that you were American…..! Nevertheless, you’re right. No-one is really laughing, in fact, it’s becoming quite tragic. Donald Trump as a serious contender for the American presidency? We all thought it was hilarious too. Until it wasn’t.
      I’m hoping the UK doesn’t break apart either, and I’m sure nobody wants that to happen, but sadly, things seem to be taking it’s own course.

      Like

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