"Oh, no, no I've been through this movie before - Bob Dylan, 1964
Broken words never meant to be spoken, Broken treaties broken vows, People bending broken rules, Everything is broken - Bob Dylan 1989
Opinion by Owen Martin.
Last Thursday's Brexit vote has re-shaped British politics for good or for bad. It was akin to throwing up all the pieces of a chess game into the air and re-starting the game wherever the pieces happened to land. From an energy and climate point of view it is too early to say what will happen. Ireland may not have to build the North South Interconnector if the North revokes the EU legislation which prevents them from keeping their power stations open. Who knows, Britain may go into a period of traditional common sense where they dont have to worry about (nor spend billions on) changing the weather anymore. But any myriad number of things could happen between now and the time Article 50 is triggered, and between the time it is triggered and UK effectively withdrawing from the EU (Personally I was hoping to buy cheaper stuff from England but the sterling hasnt dropped as much as the media made out).
The following diagram is fairly self explanatory and comes from a Norwegian newspaper.
There are many hurdles that must be crossed before Britain makes an effective withdrawal, if it does at all.
In 2008, Ireland voted No to the Lisbon Treaty. In 2009, they were asked again. This time they voted Yes to the same but slightly amended referendum. In the intervening years, there was no great political shake-up. The Prime Minister, unlike in Britain, remained in office until the next general election in 2011. The opposition leader, Enda Kenny, also remained as leader. It wasn't until 2010 that opposition backbenchers revolted but Kenny successfully fought them off and is now Prime Minister (since 2011). Contrast this to what is happening in the days following Britain's cataclysmic vote. Of course, their vote is somewhat more serious although there was a real danger that Ireland would get left behind after their No Vote in 2008.
Let's see what was said at the time in 2008 after the initial vote :
|Prime Minister, Brian Cowen|
Britain's Foreign Secretary was also very clear :
Financial turmoil was the result :
Sound familiar ?
The day after the Brexit referendum the mainstream media were busy telling us that Leave Voters didn't know what they were voting on, that they hadn't understood the issues at all :
It is far more likely that the 28% of the electorate who hadn't bothered to vote were the ones busy googling the "EU". But Google and the media have planted the seeds of doubt. This is most likely a prelude to the Post - Vote Poll which I have no doubt will confirm their contention that leave voters, in general, were clueless. Here is the Post-vote poll taken after Lisbon Treaty Referendum Part 1 :
With the Tory leadership contest not happening for another three months, anything could happen in the meantime.