Here's the situation:
I think that sums it up. Oh, you want more? Fine...
So what happened? David Cameron, prime minister and leader of the Conservatives was facing pressure from backbenchers and the rise of UKIP before the last general election said as part of the Tory manifesto that if elected, a public referendum would be called on the UK staying part of the EU. Cameron and George Osbourne, the chancellor of the exchequer took on journalist MPs from the same party as them Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, unsurprisingly joined the leave side and a positive campaign of Remain saying we'd eat shit if we left and BJ/Gove saying that we could have it all if we left the EU while no-one ever talked about what would happen if we stayed ensued.
So what was the result?
We're leaving, we're leaving. Do me a favour don't, even speak our name now.
The UK leaving the EU, eh? So, when are they out? We don't know.
What? Well, they need to invoke article 50 and we won't do that until the next prime minister. But from that point, there's 2 years maximum negotiation about trade and the like before the EU treaties no longer apply to the UK UNLESS every single other member country votes to keep the negotiations going.
Oh. But there must be a plan here? Nope. The leave side say No. 10 should have had it and he quit.
Cameron quit? What else is the political fallout? Yes, Cameron will be gone by October. On top of that, the SNP and most of Scottish parliment other than the Scottish Tories want to do everything in their power to remain in the EU. This is because they overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU, including a possible independence referendum. Northern Ireland want unity with Ireland too because of it. The LIberal Democrats are also saying they will keep us in the EU if we vote for them as "part of the 48%
So who's going to be the next PM? Like any good XFactor style vote, it could be anyone. The favourites are Boris Johnson & Theresa May, but don't count out Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox just yet! Gove, while on the winning side, still likes the idea of being BJs lapdog. Not that you'd know it, Boris and Gove have been strangely absent from the public view AND parliment.
Well if the Tories are in this much disarry, Labour must be in a good position then, right?
Corbyn has lost a vote of no confidence and now a new vote for leader will include him.
How have the markets reacted? Badly. They crashed pretty hard all over the world, but especially the FTSE 250. Sterling against the USD is around $1.30 to the £. The markets did recover on the day of posting, but no-ones quite sure if it's a dead cat bounce or if the markets are slightly improving as key politicians seem to favour the EEA.
So while I wrap my head around this Thick of It episode, what are the options the EU and the UK have?
- Ignore the vote and stay in the EU with a deal that we have now, none of Camerons "special promises" (the EU ones, not the ones he told to piglet) involved
- Negotiate to stay in the EEA. Traditionally, this would mean paying around the same to the EU as we do we now, but with none of the voice in the Euro parliment, none of the rebates and yet still keeping freedom of movement, but keeping access to the single market
- Leaving the single market and probably risking a recession
And if I have any other questions? Trust me, we all will. Keep posting and maybe we'll find the positivity again.