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What will Brexit mean for the UK?

Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds ANL-151025-114649001
Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds ANL-151025-114649001

What will Brexit mean for the UK? The simple answer is that no-one knows.

No-one knows what our immigration laws will be. No-one knows how it will affect our constitution or the future make-up of the United Kingdom.

Brexit has sent shockwaves through the British political establishment, commentators and business leaders for one reason: no-one actually thought it was actually going to happen.

Before the poll around 60% of people thought Britain would vote to remain. Even after the referendum, one third of people do not think Brexit will actually happen.

Perhaps this is because of the petition for a second referendum, which has over 4.5 million signatures. Even to me as a Remain supporter this seems little more than sour grapes,

However, nobody knows what leaving actually looks like.

The Leave campaign never set out a comprehensive plan for what Brexit would mean beyond broad statements such as “take back control” of some policy areas. Some of their promises, such as “£350 million per week,” for the NHS are already unravelling.

The division over what Brexit actually means has already plagued the Tories’ leadership contest, with Michael Gove pulling a Machiavellian manoeuvre that would not look out of place in ‘House of Cards’, forcing the favourite Boris Johnson out of the race.

It must be remembered that the winner of the contest will become Prime Minister and will try to implement their own vision of Brexit. Given that most of the candidates have said they oppose a snap election it means they will not have a mandate from the electorate on their proposed EU deal.

So while the Government is divided, surely the official opposition would focus on uniting the country? No chance.

Labour MPs, last week, took the unprecedented step of passing a motion of no confidence in the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn by 172 to 40. Somehow, Corbyn still believes he can be Prime Minister, despite the fact he cannot even fill all shadow cabinet positions.

At one point, barely an hour went by without another Shadow Cabinet resignation. In fact, Pat Glass was appointed Shadow Education Secretary on Monday and had resigned by Wednesday. That must be a record.

Although leadership politics is intriguing, it avoids discussing what really matters to everyone in the UK: our new relationship with the European Union.

At the moment there is no vision as to what the negotiation would even look like.

Why is this?

It appears that even the leading politicians in the leave camp did not believe they could win, meaning they did not need to provide a plan for it to work. The broad church of ideas within the Leave campaign made a plan for Brexit impossible.

So whilst we wait to see who are next Prime Minister will be, it is distracting everyone from the most important question of our time:

What will Brexit mean– for people of all ages, all backgrounds, all political persuasions?

It seems that no one has an answer yet.

-- Dan Wood is a student at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds


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