It’s really happening.
His face erupting with euphoria, Nigel Farage’s declaration of victory in the early morning hours led the pound Stirling to collapse to its lowest value since 1985.
Welcome to UK ‘independence day’.
Over its xenophobic, short-sighted, self-destructive, appalling body, the UKIP flag is draped, the now devalued ‘£’ sign a lurid purple.
Ahead of ‘Breaking Point’ lies isolation, economic pain, legal wrangling and political uncertainty on an unprecedented scale. If you thought the EU was bad for efficiency, jobs, economy and rights, just wait and see what comes next. Overlaying this sorry spectacle is a heavy sense that Europe appears to be in a phase of collective amnesia, unravelling the inclusive values that millions fought and died for.
But. What. Happens. Next?
Truth is, it’s not yet clear how, when and on what terms the UK intends to ‘leave’ the EU and what effect that might have on you and those around you.
Profound effects are likely. But specifics? So far the Leave response has amounted to a gigantic ‘meh… who needs specifics?’
For a detailed legal overview of what may happen and how, see this post by Steve Peers of the University of Essex.
EU nationals in the UK who are planning to stay here and to naturalise as UK citizens should read this urgent, important blog post by Colin Yeo on freemovement.org.
On the possible impact on immigration control in the UK, read this very readable short paper by Nick Armstrong of Matrix Chambers. It’s ironic that despite immigration becoming the crux of this referendum, there is perhaps the least clarity about how immigration will work post-Brexit.
There’s also a wealth of information in the recent Brexit briefings by ILPA.
So plenty of reading, lots of risks and little clarity.
[UPDATE: 10:08am. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. For an interesting discussion of the longer term damage wrought by the referendum, this piece by Jan Zielonka of the London School of Economics is helpful.]