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Monday, June 27, 2016

BREXIT EXPECTED TO WIN; UK CERTAINLY OUT OF EU; CLOUDY AFTERMATH


The historic UK referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union or to leave after years – the infamous “Brexit” choice – has come, the polling was done, and all the remains is to tally the votes for and against. Only a third of those votes have been counted at the latest, and the outcome is currently on a teeter-totter, earlier looking to remain, but now leaning obviously towards leaving at 52% against 48%.

Uncertainty over the outcome has major British print publications doubling down on front page options to cater to whatever the result may be. BBC which has predicted a final, if narrow, Brexit victory, has taken note of newspaper editors throughout the nation being crazy prepared to either sigh with relief at staying or jubilating at exiting. The Metro and The Sun had covers in the evening depicting either Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) with a defeated look, while those of the following morning were of Brexit supporters with hands raised in victory. The Daily Mirror on the other hand went the artistic route, with the “remain” cover depicting a couple with face paint kissing – he the UK and she the EU, and the later “Brexit” cover being a solo UK-face guy.

Not to be ignored are the fates of certain entities in the wake of a now seemingly inevitable vote to quit the EU. Most telling are predictions of pro-remain Prime Minister David Cameron losing his position in the following months, as the UKIP moves to secure their position. And while England (with the surprise exception of London itself) and Wales were united in their choice of Brexit, strong calls to Remain were in force in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. With Scots Remain campaigners and voters calling out the unfairness of the Brexit vote taking the entire UK out of the Union, and with recent memory of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, unconfirmed talks that another push to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom (and rejoining the EU) have surfaced. Similar rumors have sprung up in Northern Ireland as well.

Already this uncertainty of what the future holds for the UK has resulted in the Pound Sterling suffering a near-vertical drop in value in the financial market, the lowest it’s ever been since 1985. In fact, the repercussions of Brexit have been so far-reaching that according to CNBC even Asian stocks have plummeted at the news.

The effects of Britain’s departure from the EU have affected a wide spectrum of things, even the production of HBO’s hit TV series “Game of Thrones”, which is primarily located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Where before, the production team benefitted from the European Regional Development Fund and its subsidies, with the UK independent of the Union the show may have just lost a significant amount of funding. That’s bad news when HBO is projecting that they need two more seasons after the soon-to- show-finale sixth in order to complete the story.

Outside Britain, voices are varied in their opinion over the referendum and its outcome. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called it right on Brexit pulling through though he never endorsed nor opposed it, while American actress, London resident and pro-Remain pundit Lindsay Lohan must be very disappointed. Whether or not she would still carry out her intention to be re-naturalized as a British subject after all this has yet to be revealed.

Photo Credit to Nytimes.com

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