Nobody expected the British people votes « leave », this way concretizing the « Brexit », the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU). This is what Cyceon has heard repeatedly overnight as politicians, VIPs and journalists were progressively realizing that the British people did vote “leave” – with 51.9% of the total vote and a 72% turnout. This wasn’t surprising at all at Cyceon whose articles warned many times in the past months that the disappointment of the people about the EU had reached unprecedented levels.
A main driver for the victory of the “leave” camp has been the systematic accusation against those voting in favor of Brexit of being against Europe. The “remain” camp failed to grasp the deep reality of a British people – like most of its European counterparts – who actually tried to convey the message that it does want to remain European, however not within the framework of an EU it deemed – reasonably or not isn’t the question here – unable if not unwilling to defend the European interests inside and outside Europe’s borders.
Controversial issues like terrorism, mass immigration, loss of national sovereignty and cultural independence, the lack of democracy and representativeness inside the EU institutions were too often treated like second-rate topics by EU and most of the British officials as they were in fact major concerns inside the minds and in the day-to-day life of so many British people. The EU is now under unprecedented pressure and indeed could disappear as a result of the Brexit.
For now, it will be another EU that will have to survive with Germany as the continent’s strongest force ever, a fact that could prove counterproductive, especially for France where the majority of the people seems tempted to “leave” the EU and questions the German leadership more and more. Whether you like it or not, immigration has been at the center of the Brexit debate and European identity questions will be a major determining factor for the upcoming elections.
The presumptive nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election in the US originates as well from an identity crisis ground swell that’s sweeping across the “European world” from Seattle to Moscow. As long as incumbent elected politicians fail to realize this fact, the trend will keep strengthening. Putting forward The City as an ally against the Brexit showed the huge extent of their inability to understand what was at stake. Once again, this was a question of perception and the least one can say on this historic day is that current European leaders and a majority of the European citizens don’t see reality alike.