Brexit: An Ugly Divorce

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Brexit, the United Kingdom’s bust-up with the European Union is still trembling the pillar of the union. Whether the union collapses or throws away the British Isles as an isolated nation depends on the rise of ultranationalism in Europe.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:11

SOUNDBITE [English] Nigel Farage, Former UKIP Leader: “We got our country back.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Jon Snow, Presenter: “Leave campaign's victory is changed Britain's destiny. It is also dolt of body blow to country's political establishment and destroyed David Cameron's premiership.”

SOUNDBITE [English] David Cameron, British Caretaker Prime Minister: “I think the country requires fresh leadership.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Ray Finch, UK MEP, and UK Independence Party: “And the wishes of the people for so long and this are the kick in the guts that they deserved.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Liam Fox, British Conservative MP, and Vote Leave campaigner: “I think we now have to work at getting ourselves back together as a unit of government.”

SOUNDBITE [English] British Citizen: “I was really shocked...”

SOUNDBITE [English] British Citizen: “Foreigners get them out, Kicks them all out”

SOUNDBITE [English] Boris Johnson, Former Mayor of London: “I have been very proud of the result.”

SOUNDBITE [English] British Citizen: “All about immigration. Its stop the Muslims coming to this country.”

SOUNDBITE [English] British Citizen: “It's shameful. I am ashamed to be British right now.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Jean Claude Juncker, European Commission president: “You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favour of the exit. Why are you here?”

SOUNDBITE [English] Nigel Farage, UKIP Leader: “You all laughed at me. Well, I have to say you are not laughing now, are you?”

Narration: Divorces are never easy nor desirable and Brexit, the United Kingdom’s bust up with the European Union is no exception.

SOUNDBITE [English] Donald Tusk, European Council President: “Europe is ready to start the divorce process, even today, without any enthusiasm, as you can imagine. This is not the scenario we were dreaming about.”

Narration: Already waves of anger, dismay, bitterness and hate are sweeping four corners of the British isle and there is still a long way before sour wounds of the emotional separation are healed.

SOUNDBITE [English] British Citizen: “The most shocking thing about this entire referendum is how deeply personal this has become and how immensely hurts I am appealed of what Tories have done to this country. They are ripping us apart. It upsets me that much”

Narration:But it is not all about emotions. When it comes to legalities moods turn even bitterer. Britain wants a gradual divorce yet 27 nations bloc are telling London to get out promptly without any further ado. EU leaders regard UK’s rejection of bloc after43 years of relations as a body blow to the very foundations of the union.

SOUNDBITE [English] British Citizen: “out, out, out”

Narration:What is rubbing salt in the wounds of the EU is that Britain the only nation to walk away from the bloc did all it could to join the then six-member European economic community back in 1973.

SOUNDBITE [English] Margaret Thatcher, Former British Prime Minister: “I think it’s absolutely vital that everyone should turn out in this referendum and vote yes, so the question is over once and for all, we are really in Europe, and ready to go ahead.”

Narration: The EU leaders are increasingly perplexed by the ripple effect Brexit could bring to the EU. The beast of far-right nationalism is waking up and the continent is awaiting a bloody chaos. The apprehensions among the incumbent governments are that anti-EU parties are ceasing the Brexit opportunity to tap into ultra-nationalist sentiments. This means nothing but the rise of far-right parties, hell bent on destroying the union all and at once.

SOUNDBITE [French] Marine Le Pen, Leader of the French National Front: “This is a signal victory for democracy; it's a slap in the face to the European system which was increasingly based on fear, on blackmail, and on lies.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Nigel Farage, UKIP Leader: “The biggest problem you got and the main reason the United Kingdom voted the way that it did is you have by stealth, by deception, without ever telling the truth to the British or to the rest of the peoples of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Geert Wilders, Dutch MP: “I can only congratulate them over this excellent result and I believe that the offspring will be that other countries like my own country, the Netherlands, where the majority of the people want the 'Nexit' or at least a referendum about a possible 'Nexit', as well, that will come as well.”

Narration: Britain’s desired gradual exit which may take up to 2 years is already fanning the flames of the rise of ultra-nationalism. The longer Brexit drags on, the more destabilizing the issue of euro-skepticism becomes. UK’s vote to leave the union has already intensified fears of deepening economic crisis across Europe heralding the people’s western style spring of revolt against the EU administration and its project of European integration. For Several European administrations, this is a serious threat to very foundations of the establishment.

TIME CODE: 05:11_10:29

SOUNDBITE [English] Matt Frei, Europe Editor: “History has been made but for the people in building behind me is the wrong kind of the history, here is the problem in Europe insurrections, revolutions tend to travel in packs 1843 -1989 and there is a real fear in Brussels, in Paris, in Berlin, that this would be a domino effect referendum fever across Europe and the rise of populist parties especially to on the right would be massively boosted by what is just happened in Britain. Now that is why everyone I have spoken here today has said there can be no period of uncertainty we cannot wait to 2 or 3 months or even 2 years Before to start the negotiations of divorce. Those negotiations to say goodbye to Britain finally have to start possibly next week.”

Narration: Austria’s freedom party, whose candidates came on step away from winning the recent presidential elections has already demanded an EU-exit referendum. Austria is not a single case. Just days after Brexit vote, anti-EU calls in Italy, France, Netherlands and Denmark are louder than ever. Anti-establishment Italian 5 star movements have called for a referendum on keeping Euro as the currency. While the far-right Danish People’s Party has urged the nation to follow Britain’s lead and hold a referendum on its membership.

SOUNDBITE [English] Kristian Thulesen Dahl, Danish People’s party leader: “The right to take all decisions when it comes to civil rights comes to all questions so I hope of course that there will be a NO vote I think that many Danes as well reject what they seem to EU taking more and more power away from the counties themselves so in that term we have quite the same discussion in Denmark.”

Narration: The Eurosceptic feeling is also surging in the Netherlands, with two-thirds of voters rejecting a Ukraine-EU treaty on closer political and economic ties. In Spain, the leader of the radical Leftist Podemos party said the EU had disappointed millions of people. Fears of Brexit contagion were bolstered on Saturday when an anti-immigrant, anti-euro party in Slovakia launched a petition for a referendum on the country’s EU membership, just like the one held in the UK. And last but not least before some new country asks to follow the UK «out the door» from the EU, the very United Kingdom itself might cease to exist. Some influential political forces in Scotland and Northern Ireland now very seriously intend to hold their own referendums on independence, and very soon.

SOUNDBITE [English] Nicola Sturgeon, SNP Leader: “The Westminster establishment has some serious soul-searching to do and I hope very much that it now does it. As first minister of Scotland, I have a duty to respond not just to the outcome across to the UK but also and in particular to the democratic decision taken by the people of Scotland. And thing stand Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against our will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable. So there is no doubt that yesterday's result represents a significant and a material change of the circumstance in which Scotland voted against independence in 2014.

I want to make it absolutely clear today I intend to take all possible steps and our continuing place in the EU and in the single market in particular.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Angus Robertson, SNP MP: “In Scotland, we are now being told from Westminster that despite the majority against 'Leave' we're going to have to do as we're told, we're going to be taken out of Europe against our will. Mr. Speaker, let me tell this house and our friends across Europe: we have no intention whatsoever of seeing Scotland taken out of Europe.”

SOUNDBITE [English] Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister:

“Any decision to take us out of Europe is a big deal, it’s a big crisis and we have to face the reality that it is a crisis and there needs to be a resolution of that."This is about the future and it us about a decision which has effectively, in my view, undermined the good work that was done in the Good Friday Agreement, so as Gerry has correctly said, we look to Dublin for support in this. We look to the Taoiseach to stand up for the democratically expressed wishes of the people of the North who have made it absolutely clear that under no circumstances do we want to leave the European Union.”

Narration: Whatever, the aftershocks of Brexit, whether it could lead to a fractured and disunited Europe or whether it ends as an isolated Britain neighboring a powerful union, one thing seems to be clear. Brexit once again confirmed that the British publics have an inherent mistrust of Westminster politicians.


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