Stela Stancheva

The Irony of Brexit

The People of Her Majesty The Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland have cast their vote: Leave the European Union!
No matter how shocked we all are and how fast some are trying to make (wrong) assumptions and even conclusions about the future of the Union, the true is that
1) The referendum exposed how divided the so called United Kingdom is, and
2) The EU Member States, indeed, are better together IN the Union, IN the Single Market.

It is clear now that the People in Northern Ireland and Scotland demand a present and future as EU citizens. Legally they have the right to take action and leave the UK. Most probably they will do so.

What is interesting now, among all important and urgent issues that require wise solutions, is that all the comments and analysis by economists, bankers, business executives, university professors and students actually point one thing: EU membership has many advantages. These numerous questions and comments are the best pro-EU campaign I have witnessed ever.

Yes, EU is free movement of goods, services and capital.

It seams to me, only yesterday after the result has been announced, some people in UK have realized that new trade agreements need to be negotiated and surprise, surprise, there are not that many experts skilled to do the job. Simply because, as a EU Member State, UK has been benefiting from the Single Market and its rules and the trade agreements with other countries, which the “Brussels bureaucrats” the Brexiters happened to blame, have negotiated for all Member States!
Outside EU, UK and London shall forget about being “the gateway to Europe”. Forget about future investments at least in a mid-term. Many financial services and people will (probably) need to be re-directed to Dublin or Frankfurt, for example. What’s in place for the IT experts, accountants, lawyers and all sort of business consultants in the City?
Outside EU the UK economy is not so attractive any more simply because of the uncertainty. Investors avoid unpredictable partners. Just one example: today’s signals from Beijing, as presented by CNN in relation to the China-Russia Presidents meeting, indicate concerns about the huge UK-China deal agreed just a year ago in exchange to having UK insisting for EU granting China a “market economy” status.
Outside EU, the British Government shall also negotiate the “right to establish and provide services” for UK nationals and legal persons.

But EU is not about money and money only. EU legislation is most of all and on first place, about people and their well being!

EU citizens are free to move, stay and work within any EU Member State!
This is how we gain knowledge, skills, learn foreign languages, know better other cultures. This is what makes us rich!
Many British enjoy it as well and live happy ever after in Portugal, Spain, France…
Students, researchers and professors from UK and EU enjoy the mobility right, often supported by EU grants. Their knowledge and research results save lives; make our homes and cities healthier and environmental friendly; boost the economy; create new jobs; attract investors; point to new skills needed and modernize the national education and training systems…
Does UK need EU? Yes!

Can Brexit initiate the domino effect? It could, but because of all the benefits the EU membership provides and safeguards, which are now widely presented in the media and defended by the business, investors, banks, scientists and researchers, UK citizens living and working in EU, it will NOT!

The Brexit vote to Leave on 23rd June 2016 made the UK weaker and less united than ever, and the European Union stronger and more attractive and competitive than ever! The aftershocks of Brexit have produced the best positive case of EU membership, and thus, Remain!

Somehow, this is an irony, isn’t it?

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