When I saw the result, I thought: ‘It can’t be true’. Yes, it was.
English people voted ‘Yes’ in the referendum about the Brexit – basically meaning to quit the EU. Votes: 52% decided to Brexit, while 48% opted to Bremain.
So they should be leaving sooner or later. But what we are watching now is a pretty convoluted situation because some Englishmen realized their (don’t take it too hardly) stupidity with this action.
Well, let’s see which were the proportion of voters:
(First list: Top 10 to abandon the EU. Second list: Top 10 to remain the EU).
We can see that regions like Gibraltar (96%), London (75.3%) or Edinburgh (74.4%) were some of the zones that tried the most to remain, whilst some others like Boston (well, I didn’t expect to find a Boston in England) had 75.6% of voters that wanted to Brexit. Anyone could wonder:
And why some of the most ‘popular’ zones in the UK wanted to Bremain?
The answer is pretty straightforward: because these are the zones the most favoured by the UK’s political and economical model. Let’s ponder over the following:
What did the UK have to make it… ‘important’?
- The financial industry. The United Kingdom has been established as a financial center in Europe. According to 2014 data, the City managed the 40% of every FX (Foreign Exchange) transaction, which approximately means a 40% of 5.3 daily trillion $; 2 daily trillion $, more or less.
- Its own currency: the pound. It was highly appreciated, keeping distance to the €.
- Its history. We have always received valuable information about the relevance the UK had had on its past, but we should also remember that, as well as Spain, it has commited some horrible divisions, such as the currently known conflict in Israel and Jordan.
- The English. I sometimes wonder why is nowadays English the de facto language of the world, and why should foreigners bother to learn English, while some of these English people don’t do the same to correspond that respect (such as with Spanish, Chinese, etc.). Regarding some data posted by The Telegraph journal in 2013, three-quarters of adults ‘cannot speak a foreign language’. In addition, it’s astounding the amount of money Assessment Centres generate from their material, such as the Student’s Books, Workbooks, Audio Samples, etc.
And that’s it. Somebody might be asking me now:
But they had some sort of importance when the Industrial Revolution happened, right?
Obviously, but we are including an important factor over here: the past. It seems that Spain was also ‘relevant’ once upon a time, but it has been losing some of its relevance for a long interval. And the situation doesn’t seem to be showing signs of improvement, according to the results from last Sunday.
So, regarding the situation, someone could wonder what does the UK win leaving the EU. In my humble opinion, they will be damaging themselves on every aforementioned point, because:
- The financial industry remained in London because it was highly privileged, with unique concessions from the EU. When the City losses its stategical position, many businesses linked to finances (banks, fintech companies, etc.) will simply shift to another city called Frankfurt.
- The sterling was highly appreciated because of the financial industry of the 1st point. When this ‘stability’ from the financial businesses vanished, the pound started a free fall on its valuation in the markets. It was quite predictable, though.
- The history. Since now, the Anglosaxon culture tried to build an idyllic culture fostering the best parts of it, as well as ignoring the ‘darkest moments’. However, if we want to consider the history on the whole, we should remember that conflicts like the one with Daesh were generated thanks to the UK’s contribution.
- Regarding the language, the USA helps quite a lot on it, but considering that nowadays, different economical activity poles are present (USA, Europe (except the UK) or China), it doesn’t seem very logical to me to use English as the de facto language. I guess it will keep having a main role as we have already spent some time studying English, as well as it has already been ‘standardized’ as a business language, but it doesn’t seem so obvious to me anymore.
In addition, Brexit also harms other countries, such as the USA, because it made it lose some advantage that the dollar had over the yen and the yuan. It will also affect some other currencies that rely on these ones, like the mexican peso that got devaluated again as a reaction.
Isn’t there any positive counterpart here?
Well… It seems that some British people are feeling more ‘independent’ from Europe now; some people even want to call this day ‘The Independence Day 2’. Despite that fact, they won’t be technically independent until The Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50 is triggered.
And that’s it.
What saddens me the most is to see who decided for who. From the plots shown in this link, I’d like to highlight one of them: the one identifying the voters’ age. Secondly, I’d like to show the population pyramid of the UK:
In a country that has fewer and fewer young people (this suddenly reminded me to Spain…), we can see that the eldest people are the one that have the biggest impact on the society. And this was the case of the Brexit. Then, we could say that the eldest generations have decided the future of the youngest ones, when young generations should be able to decide their own fate, building a way to the progress.
In a nutshell? I think it has been a historical milestone for English people, as it already became part of the History. However, I hardly believe English people will remember this as a correct step; it might not benefit the UK, but it might strengthen the EU, fostering more united politics on the following years. But I feel that we still have to wait a bit to see the ravages that certain patriotism attitudes cause in this globalized world of ours; a fact that, even some try to refuse, is already in our lives.
[Originally written at June 27th, 2016]