UK’s EU exit could spill disunity in Britain and Europe

The Brexit vote has hit all parties concerned in the UK, EU, and the wider world with a deafening bang

Mohamed Chebarro

Published: Updated:

The Brexit vote has hit all parties concerned in the UK, European Union, and the wider world with a deafening bang. It has even been described as a hasty couple’s decision to separate after 43 years of marriage. The decision has been made and the pain felt, yet the devil lies in the details.

How to divide the assets, the house, the dog, the music collection? What about custody of the kids and paying the expenses for lawyers or any future maintenance fee? The list usually gets longer by the day and at some point a feeling of regret surfaces, we shouldn’t have allowed matters to get this far.

In the UK-EU affair, post exit decision, matters are showing signs not too dissimilar from the couple metaphor. Like every marriage, relations have been bumpy throughout.

However, early indications reveal that the “pro-leave” campaigners did not fathom the implications of their campaign. They did not lay down ways to keep Britain working and the kingdom united and the people reassured that there would be life for Britain after the EU. The decision to exit the EU triggered Scottish calls for a referendum this time to exit the UK and remain in the EU.

UK prime minister David Cameron was quick to concede defeat, and announced his resignation, hence throwing the ball into the Brexit camp to handle the exit talks with an EU leadership that is bent on making UK pay despite many diplomatic statements.

But this could be the least that should worry the journalist and writer turned politician Boris Johnson who is tipped to take over the Conservative leadership from Cameron and also the government. Johnson’s legitimacy as the head of government will be wobbly as he did not run and win a UK general election.

The EU and the UK’s political establishment should use the British vote to leave to review the EU project and its tenets and remind politicians that EU was formed so that faith reign over fear

Mohammed Chebarro

Many believe that the Conservatives party post Brexit is divided and might not be able to rally behind Johnson’s one clause manifesto, which is to negotiate the terms for a speedy and smooth exit from Europe.

At the same time, the opposition Labor party in the UK is not stable and it is unlikely that, with its present leadership, will be able to convince voters to win a general election. Even if it did so, then it is unlikely to want to lead to clean up a mess created by the Conservatives.

EU after Brexit

The EU after Brexit will never be the same again. The Union is being questioned, the super state project is under the spotlight as voices from extreme right exclusionist parties become vocal in many European hinterlands.

And this is easy considering the underperforming EU economies and an over exaggerated fear of migration on the future of the Union. Like in any marriage separation friends of the couple stay quiet and not confound the grave situation that will one way or another affect them too.

EU commission has called for speedy talks and maintains that exit is irreversible. Such slogans further the divide among many member states.

Deciding a separation is one thing but containing its reverberation is another. International financial markets fell sharply following the announcement of Brexit results and are not likely to correct unless steps are taken to shape in a reassuring way the next phase and lessen the impact of this divorce on the UK and the EU.

Like in any divorce the world of the couples will not resemble their marriage days. And as is the case with a classic divorce, no one is ready for the day after. The UK, just like the EU, did not prepare a plan B.

But what is true is that UK’s unity, and its political and economic stability, seems to be at stake. This is regardless of the anti-migration rhetoric and dubbing Europe a monster bent on stealing hard-earned UK workers’ pay and their taxes.

For the EU and the UK’s political establishment should use the British vote to leave to review the EU project and its tenets and remind politicians that EU was formed so that faith reign over fear.

It was meant for inclusion to replace exclusion and to prove that united we are stronger on political, economic and social fronts. That’s a message lost in many UK and EU edicts and policies that has rarely noticed citizens’ life of every day.
Mohamed Chebarro is currently an Al Arabiya TV News program Editor. He is also an award winning journalist, roving war reporter and commentator. He covered most regional conflicts in the 90s for MBC news and later headed Al Arabiya’s bureau in Beirut and London.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.