The matter is decided – Britain is leaving. So what happens now?

The matter is decided – Britain is leaving. So what happens now?

We need to put the divisions of the past behind us and tell our European friends how important they are to us

by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith
posted Friday, 24 Jun 2016

Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU: 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in (BBC)

Like a lot of people, I went to bed last night thinking that Remain would win, and win by a comfortable margin. At 4am, for some reason, I woke up, and decided that it was not worth checking my phone for news – but then changed my mind. After that there was no getting back to sleep.

This magazine has published articles from Brexiteers and from Remainers, both of whom made eloquent cases for their positions. This balanced approach was the entirely right thing to do, as, let us remember, there were good arguments on all sides. There have been a few overheated expressions of opinion, especially in the hothouse that is social media, but many, like this magazine, have striven to keep it civilised. And that is a good thing.

And now one side has won, and the other lost. The matter is decided. Britain will leave the European Union; only the how has to be worked out and that will take some time. No doubt those negotiations will be complex. But let us be clear about one thing: we are leaving the Union, we are not “leaving Europe”. We all love the Old Continent, and will continue to do so.

The decision to leave does come as a shock, given that it flies in the face of all expert advice; but herein lies the catch. The British people have lost their respect for experts (perhaps the financial crisis had something to do with that), and for the received wisdom, and, to a large extent, for their politicians. Moreover, as should have been clear to all, the public was disenchanted with the Union. Once people become disenchanted, it is hard to re-enchant them. Once there was a fair amount of enthusiasm for the Union and its project of European integration: that is now a distant memory. The politicians I heard arguing for Remain never once made the sort of case that one used to hear back in the 1980s. Rather they said: “We know the European Union is not perfect…” That sort of approach is not best designed to win referenda.

What happens now? Never mind the negotiations, the fate of the Prime Minister, the internal party ructions – what are we going to do, we the people?

First of all, we have to realise that Britain must now make its way in the world, so that means a common determination from us all to make this work. National solidarity is called for, and national confidence. This is not a crisis, unless we want it to be one. It can be a huge opportunity. Given our history, I have reasoned hopes it will be.

Second, some people may be feeling a bit bruised this morning. So, let us do our best to soothe them, and to reassure them. It is the future that is important now, our common, shared future, and we need to put the divisions of the past behind us. Our European friends who live in Britain, and those abroad, need to know that friendships that have been important in the past are still important to us. We have evaluated the Union, and found it not fit for purpose, but we still value our friendships. Britain is still Britain, and she looks with affection to her oldest ally Portugal today as much as she did yesterday; I, along with many others, have a fervent admiration for Poland, for Hungary, for Italy, for France and for Germany, and many other places. Nothing is going to change that.

God bless the United Kingdom, and God bless the continent of Europe!

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7 comments on “The matter is decided – Britain is leaving. So what happens now?

  1. [“There’ll always be an England,” but we’re not sure about the EU]

    Ding, Dong! Brussels’ Witch Is Mortally Wounded!

    JUN 24 ’16
    Posted by Mundabor

    I have not written a single blog post about Brexit. The main reason is that I had other, more directly Catholic issues to cover; the other reason is that I never thought the Brexit camp could win. Even when, some ten days ago, the polls started to indicate a Leave lead, I immediately thought the “scare” would cause a rebound of “remain” vote intentions in the following days. This punctually happened, to the extent that the financial markets – with the big actors commissioning their own polls, more accurate than your average newspaper will be able to afford – were already putting a lot of money where their polls were.

    The surprise was, therefore, big. Nor was it only the weather (dismal in the strongerst “remain Country”, London; acceptable of beautiful in large part ps of “Leave” territory) which helped. The extent of the “Leave” victory makes abundantly clear that weather can be no excuse.

    What helped is the resilience, self-confidence and sheer balls of a Country ready to dare what, before today, no other EU Country would have dared to do.

    Hats off to the British people. Yesterday, they showed us the stuff out of which Empires are made.

    I easily predict that this is a mortal stab wound, from which the EU will never recover. Surely, this evil institution will go on another decade or two, increasingly lacerated by internal strife and the stupidity of its ruling classes, who I’ll go on exasperating the common people until even the Germans dare to revolt. But the writing is on the wall.

    This day will be remembered in one thousand years. It is the mortal wounding of the most pernicious, subtle, dangerous project of subversion of democracy ever attempted. Not only this vote changes Britain forever. It changes the EU Countries forever.

    Mind my words: in the next 10 or 15 years Brexit will prove not only a triumph of national sovereignty against the dictatorship of bureaucrats, but it will also prove such a success for the British economy (particularly if Scotland does us the favour and freaks off already) that will put to shame the undemocratic, anti-Christian, nannying EU elephant.

    Yesterday, the Brits have shown that a remainder of those qualities that made their wonderful Empire (self-reliance, tenacity, and sheer courage) still runs through the Country’s vein.

    They should be proud.

    Today it’s a new dawn. It truly is the start of a new era. A day that will be remembered in one thousand years.

    Hat offs to this nation of proud islanders. They may not fully realise it, but yesterday they have, inter alia, mortally wounded the biggest and most dangerous anti-Christian threat on the European soul.

  2. Need to pray for Great Britain. The George Soroses of the world will somehow make them pay dearly for throwing a monkey wrench into the New World Order scheme. He has a history of destabilizing a countries currency and will somehow not let this slide.

  3. God bless them on their Independence Day. Maybe they’ll keep moving towards individual responsibility and throw off National Health that’s killing them.

  4. This is difficult for me to say since my ancestors came from England and Ireland but I find it difficult to congratulate either country as long as Abortion and “homo-marriage” are legal there. Then, too, there is the matter of one Henry VIII who caused a split in the Church, the effects of which we are experiencing to this day. About all I can do is pray for them which I do everyday.

  5. See EU Later [Alligator] – Italy, Denmark And France Now Want Referendums To Leave European Union…

    Nickarama | June 24, 2016

    Via UK Express:

    Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star movement has now officially called for a referendum on whether to keep the Euro.

    Buoyed by big gains in local elections, Luigi Di Maio, a vice president of the lower house of parliament, said: “We want a consultative referendum on the Euro.

    “The Euro as it is today does not work. We either have alternative currencies or a ‘Euro 2’.

    The 5-Star movement has called for two different currencies in Europe, one for the rich northern countries another for southern nations.

    While any such referendums on the EU or the Euro would be merely test public opinion because Italian law does not allow referendums to change international treaties, a victory would send a clear signal to the government, especially in the wake of Brexit.


  6. I have, from the beginning, been worried about the EU. It is a super, left wing nanny state, with social manipulators getting increasing control from the center.
    Hopefully, this will bring the giant, oppressive bureaucracy to a screaming end.
    Now, if only Britain could find the Catholic Church again, she would be on the way to recovery.

  7. According the demographics I saw about the vote yesterday, there was a divide between the young who voted to remain and the older voters who voted to leave. The young are quite angry about this.
    The north also voted more to leave.
    London and most of the south voted to remain.
    There are some deep internal conflicts to deal with.
    Hopefully Britain and EU nations will find their ways back to God while separating themselves from the “European Union”. Many apparently are now looking into what the EU is , which strongly suggests many had no idea what this “union” is that they were part of.
    I wonder how many have thought about what unites the Uk or the USA.

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