Post-Brexit Uncertainty

 

Roger Cohen of the New York Times termed it a “leap in the dark.”  Donald Trump hailed the vote, crowing that Brits are “taking back their country.” And Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, declared the vote “a victory against big business and big politics.”

So, what does this vote mean to you? Well, for starters, as I write this post at 9:55am on Friday, the US stock market is down 500 points. You might see your 401K drop 10, 20, or even 30%. That’s your retirement money, the extra you set aside for your later years. The Federal Reserve is watching. There is already a lot of volatility in the world – and we are all connected, you know – Asian markets fall, the British pound sterling plummets.

Spain is calling for joint control of Gibraltar. Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, began a new move today to hold a new referendum on independence from the UK. And perhaps most importantly, Brexit spreads across Europe, with Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark all calling for referendums. Is immigration the reason? Possibly it is the major reason. “Between 1993 and 2014, the foreign-born population in the UK more than doubled, from 3.8 million to around 8.3 million, said Oxford researchers Cinzia Rienzo and Carlos Vargas-Silva. “During the same period, the number of foreign citizens increased from nearly 2 million to more than 5 million.”

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In my opinion, the Brexit vote wasn’t about the economy. It was about xenophobia. And if America doesn’t pay close attention, we could follow down the same dark path.

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11 Comments

If the Donald says it is a good thing, you know it is NOT. I heard on the news last night that after the vote in the UK, Google hits for BREXIT jumped exponentially by the very folks who were voting for it. That’s AFTER the vote!

Thanks, Martha. Two phrases jump out at me:
“We are all connected, you know” – apparently, 52% of Britain doesn’t know, or hopes to ignore it. Even though technically an island, that doesn’t mean much these days.
And Brea’s comment – “ugly club”. It is, it truly is. Again, 52% of Britons appear to have joined it, including, I should mention, people I love. As one of the other 48%, I’m dismayed at where we go from here.
The silver lining, perhaps, is the way the younger generations voted. Hopefully tomorrow’s leaders can hang onto their attitudes until they’re in power.

Devastated. It’s a giant step backwards. Who knows what will happen now. We are all afraid – the rug has been well and truly pulled from under our feet.

I’m glad you put the more precise term, “xenophobia,” on it. When we call people “racists” or “bigots,” we’re not getting the full picture, and those terms don’t accurately describe many of the people (especially in their own words) who hold these opinions. It’s xenophobia. And if someone doesn’t know what that word means, I urge them to look it up and own it, if it applies, and seriously contemplate if they want to be included on the list of xenophobes in history. It’s an ugly club, to be sure.

I’m devastated. You’re right about it being xenophobia. As for the future, I’m very afraid.

I voted to remain. Today I am saddened, shocked… and afraid for the future.

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