Eyes and ears around the world have been glued to the United Kingdom‘s every movement since the shocking decision for Britain to leave the European Union last Friday, June 25.

The referendum results swayed in favor of Brexit, which came as a great surprise to Prime Minister David Cameron who once seemed to have so much faith in his people, has since appeared to have lost that hope and stepped down from Office. Many voters were so tantalized by the thought of not having to deal with immigration-related issues, that that was all they needed to cast a pro-Brexit vote, without actually knowing what the European Union is or understanding the benefits associated with such an alliance.

UK referendum
Boris Johnson recently stated that he will not succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister of the UK.
Credit: Scoopnest.com

What do you mean referendum?

According to the Washington Post, eight hours after polls had closed, Google Trends recorded an alarming amount of questions that one would assume voters should have already known or at the very least researched 15 minutes before casting their vote. Sadly, this was not the case and the top ten questions burning Brits minds when it was too late to revise their vote were:

  1. How do I vote in the EU referendum?
  2. What is ‘Brexit’?
  3. Who can vote in the EU referendum?
  4. When is the EU referendum?
  5. Where can I vote?
  6. Why should we stay in the EU?
  7. Why should we leave the EU?
  8. What will happen if we leave?
  9. Who won the EU debate?
  10. Which countries are in the EU?

Such questions do not portray a good image of many Brits, who, according to the nature of such queries, do not appear to have taken the initiative to understand the intercontinental and international relations as well as implications of the European alliances, such as European Economic Community, one of the origins of the EU, that have been developing for over half a century as a response to the Second World War.

The final results had settled at 17,410,742 votes for Leave (51.9%) compared to 16,141,241 for Remain (48.1%), on a turnout of 72% has indeed left investors and nations dependent on grants and other support from the EU wondering where to from here. Many voters were so sure that their fellow citizens would be conscious of the implications of leaving the European Union that they decided not to participate in the polls. Had every individual who had the ability and capacity to vote actually turned out last FridayJune 25, perhaps the anxiety-inducing results would have produced a different narrative in this historical moment. What an unfortunate turn of events.

According to The Atlantic, popular US candidate Donald Trump has been reported to have expressed his support for Britain’s Exit on numerous occasions. One of the reasons Trump claims to be pro-Brexit was that he believed it would boost his business Trump Turnberry, a golf course he recently opened in Scotland. Another may be Trump’s ideological and perhaps flawed notion of independence.

“People want to take their country back and have independence. You’re going to have many other cases where they want to take their borders back,” this statement is disconcerting not only due to its inarticulate nature but especially because the Republican candidate who could potentially run the Oval Office referred to the United Kingdom as a country.

Who are Britain’s candidates now?

The former Mayor Boris Johnson was in front of the line to succeed David Cameron in October. However, on Thursday at the very last minute, he decided to step down from the running saying that he feels he cannot be the person to unite the Party and the nation. It would appear Britain is still on its wildcard streak.

With Johnson out of the picture, two of the candidates receiving a whirl of media attention so far are: Justice Secretary Michael Gove, 48, and Interior Minister, Theresa May, 59, who campaigned to remain in the EU. Whoever wins the title as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will have to be able to suggest ways of  how to reduce immigration while trying to secure the economy by maintaining access to European markets.

Gove initially had no intention of running and was pro-Johnson’s candidacy, but has now suddenly withdrawn that support as he slides closer to the front of the line. Whereas, May is perceived as leaning more toward the right and if she wins will hold the title as second female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after Margaret Thatcher.

Britain has been keeping the world on the edge of its seat with every day that has passed since the Brexit referendum yielded unprecedented results. We are very interested to see what the United Kingdom will do next.

Stay tuned.

Source: NY Times