Senior columnist Dixon Igwe

Brexit was never sustainable. Why? Because Brexit was an act of political expediency by David Cameron to appease the right Wing of Britain’s Conservative Party who are anti European Integration: Europhobe. The Brexit referendum of 2016 backfired, leaving the UK mired in crisis.

Now there is a reason most referendums are decided by a 2/3rds majority. Referendums are held when there is a matter of huge constitutional and national import that cannot be settled by normal state processes. Consequently, in a representative democracy, most political matters are settled by parliamentarians: the representatives of the people in government, and in the house.

When a matter is huge and wieldy, and deeply impacts the national interest, sometimes politicians will take the matter directly to the people in a referendum.

For example, if the British Virgin Islands- unlikely presently- began to agitate for independence, a simple majority vote in the house would be untenable to obtain independence. More likely, a referendum on whether or not to go independent will be held. And the referendum will have to show 2/3rd support for independence, to allow for full independence.

Some sage decided a long time ago that 2/3rd majority was the way to go. And that has how it has been ever since. Why Brexit was decided on a simple majority of 50%, one will never know.

And the justification for keeping referendum majorities at 2/3rd can be clearly understood looking at the massive confusion that Brexit has become since 52% voted to leave Europe.

In April 2019 Brexit was delayed until October 31 2019, in order that the UK does not crash out of Europe without a deal. The UK was supposed to leave Europe on March 29, 2019. There is no math in the UK Parliament that makes a No Deal Brexit possible. 

Most experts believe that crashing out is not an option. Why: because it will be a huge disaster for Britain. It would send the country over the proverbial abyss, literally. At the very least there will be a major recession.

The price of a no deal Brexit will see 3 trillion US dollars wiped off of UK economic growth in the next three years, according to economists. This will most likely lead to an economic depression; at the very least, over a million people will lose their jobs. The social impact of Brexit may be equally ominous.

UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond . Photo courtesy

There is a simple reason Brexit will not work: math. Two thirds of UK parliamentarians are against leaving the Customs Union and would love to cancel Brexit altogether: the revocation of Article 50.

The UK Parliament is made up of Members of Parliament that are predominantly Remain in Europe. Then there are polling results that point to a shift in public opinion, towards remaining in Europe, since 2016.

Brexit is a demographic matter. Older Britons, especially English people, are Brexiters. However the under 50s are overwhelmingly European. As the old die out, the demographic shift will clearly favor remaining in Europe.

Brexit is much less popular in Scotland and Northern Ireland: two countries that make up the United Kingdom. In fact there is an ominous threat that Brexit may break up the United Kingdom.

On April 12, 2019 UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond stated that a Second Referendum was likely. Even UK Prime Minister Theresa May has hinted that she may not be against a Second Referendum.

Returning to the British Overseas Territories, there is much to learn from Brexit. First, these overseas geographies of the UK are much more stable than the mainland as a result of the Brexit melodrama. One wonders what Overseas Territories decisions would have been, had they been given the privilege to vote on Brexit, as they should have been given.

Brexit affects these Overseas Territories in ways not understood as yet. How shall the Overseas Territories relate to Europe when and if the UK leaves Europe? If the UK breaks up, how would that impact the UK’s relations with the Overseas Territories?   Will Brexit impact tourism from Europe? How will Brexit impact travel to Europe from UK Overseas Territories? How does Brexit impact the Financial and Offshore Services Industry?

The preceding questions cannot be answered until a final solution is achieved. The way the Brexit matter is being managed, the UK and Europe are not there yet, and may never get there.

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