Thursday 8 December 2016

Decision brings big risks and opportunity

The 'Leave' vote should sound a warning to the EU on the dangers of inequality and disempowerment, writes Stephen Donnelly

Stephen Donnelly

Published 26/06/2016 | 02:30

Shockwaves: A man browses through newspapers at a kiosk in Athens yesterday — Britain and the EU haven’t even begun divorce talks but they are already bickering, as political and economic repercussions spread around the world. Photo: AP
Shockwaves: A man browses through newspapers at a kiosk in Athens yesterday — Britain and the EU haven’t even begun divorce talks but they are already bickering, as political and economic repercussions spread around the world. Photo: AP

The bookies were convinced the United Kingdom would vote to remain in the European Union. And as the results came in on Thursday night, it looked like they were right. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland were voting 'Remain' and Nigel Farage was on television conceding defeat. But then it all changed - borough after borough across England and Wales was voting to 'Leave'.

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By early Friday morning, it was clear the bookies had, in fact, called it wrong, and the UK's 41-year membership of the EU was coming to an end.

Thursday's UK vote to leave the EU is a damning indictment of the disconnect between the European project and its citizens. A disconnect seen in the EU's vindictive response to Ireland's banking woes, and in the snippy responses of some senior European figures to Brexit.

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