They've only gone and done it. Those plucky Brits have taken their country back. Except they haven't. Quite the opposite, in fact. Despite what Farage, Gove and Johnson told us, the United Kingdom was never in the hands of the European Union. The bitter irony is, that the very people from whom 'our' country needed taken back, have only tightened their grip as a result of Brexit. In reality, the country has always been in their hands, it's never really been the people's to take back. Some say that the EU referendum result was the working class giving two fingers to the establishment. If that is true, the prongs have been delivered to the wrong establishment, the patsy has taken the rap, whilst the real criminal has gotten off scot-free.
In the cold light of day, fantasy island doesn't seem quite so appealing to many of those who voted for it. The land of milk and honey appears to be rather short of both the former and the latter. The mythical £350 million per week, promised to the NHS, has turned out to be just that-a myth. Of course, anyone with half a brain cell knew this, nevertheless, it is astonishing that Nigel Farage had the gall to admit as much, within hours of the result being declared. The would-be architects of fantasy island, have also begun to backpedal on immigration, with Tory MEP Daniel Hannan acknowledging that many people's expectations are about to be dashed.
The dust hasn't even begun to settle, yet already, the EU seem to be making it clear, that they not keen on the Little Engladers dictating the timetable of the United Kingdom's departure. In stark contrast to calls from senior Tory Brexiteers for a period of calm reflection, the message from the EU is that delay fosters further uncertainty, in other words, Britain needs to get a move on and get out. Calls from the German Foreign Minister for the EU not to "go looking for for revenge", and Chancellor Merkel insisting the EU has "has no need to be particularly nasty in any way", are unlikely to prevent the terms on which the UK leaves the EU from being as unfavourable as possible, to dissuade other disgruntled members from contemplating a similar move.
Little over a year ago, David Cameron stood outside 10 Downing Street triumphant, having secured, albeit unexpectedly, the first Tory majority government in almost 20 years. Now, as a result of taking a wreckless gamble he really didn't have to, he too, is headed for the exit. I have always been of the suspicion that Mr Cameron probably made the promise to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU, believing he'd never be in a position to carry it out. The Prime Minister, foolishly opted to play with fire, and he got burned. Badly. Worryingly, he may well have burned the rest of us in the process. It remains to be seen, whether or not the Tory Party will reward Boris Johnson for his efforts, by handing him the keys to number 10. They may well prove true to form, declining to elect the heir presumptive, instead choosing a rank outsider, or perhaps someone who remained relatively neutral during the Tory civil war.
Our outgoing Prime Minister, has not only brought the house crashing down on his own political career, he may also have inadvertently put the final nail in the UK's coffin. Although Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, has said that a second independence referendum is now "highly likely", it is unclear just how much, if any, support for Scotland remaining within the EU, will translate into sustained support for independence. In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum, there are many who voted no in 2014, now saying they are reconsidering their position. It may well be , in the short term at the very least, that this doesn't happen in sufficient numbers, to reverse the outcome of 2014. Even so, holding a second independence referendum too early, only to fail, may prove less punitive than was previously the case. The full extent of the ramifications of Brexit, will probably not be felt until some time after the UK has fully withdrawn from the EU, meaning that whilst a second referendum held in the next two years might fail, there could well be a clamour for Scottish independence in say, five years time. Another unintended consequence of Brexit is the calling into question of Northern Ireland's relationship with the UK, with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness calling for a border poll on Irish reunification. As events unfold, this option could well become more attractive to the people of the island of Ireland.
It goes without saying, that no one is possessed of a crystal ball, with which to foresee exactly how everything pans out. What is clear, is that Brexit is going to have lasting and serious consequences that go far beyond the confines of the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union. It is crucial that the politicians keep in mind that Brexit is not simply an abstract political concept, it affects real, living, breathing human beings. I sincerely hope that whatever the political fallout of the result of June 23rd 2016, it does not include undue suffering visited upon those least well placed to weather the storm.