Brexit and the damage done**

Article 50 is the next step except UK *still* wants to bluff

The UK has decided. It has voted to leave the EU. The next step to leave the EU is to make an Article 50 application.[1] This is now the poisoned chalice because it will be a focal point for all political discontent no matter if someone supported or opposed the EU. The person who has to make this decision will be seen as the one who caused all subsequent pain since the UK will have to renegotiate hundreds of treaties and deal with the fallout of deals, mergers, and plans being cancelled.

The party that applies for Article 50 will be divided. If it is the Tory party, they will be doubly divided since they are already divided over the EU exit decision. As the EU vote cut across party, regional, and national boundaries, no party can claim a clear mandate. They can gain a clear position on opposing the Article 50 decision and how the process is managed. What this will mean is at the next general election (May 2020 at latest) we will have a coalition government. We will have this because the Tory party is divided on itself and it is facing the election expenses probe which will weaken its election strategies. They will be unable to target vulnerable seats as they did previously.

Sooner or later 70% will expect Article 50 or democracy is a sham

The next election will be indecisive since there will be no issue, except Article 50 and its consequences, to provide focus across parties and regions with national resonance. The Article 50 decision will be the new filter through which all issues, financial, economic, immigration, regulatory will be decided. In this undecided world, UKIP will be well placed to take advantage. They can claim credit for having influenced the result and they can campaign on it. More to the point, they can argue they need to be in government to ensure that the promise is kept. As UKIP polled the third largest total of votes in the UK in the last general election, they have a valid basis to make this argument. With Labour in general disarray and the Conservatives digesting a leadership contest as well as the EU split, the UKIP is well placed to make inroads and have success. What remains to be seen is whether the more extreme parties can take advantage of Brexit to claim an implicit mandate for their hatred of immigrants, immigration, the EU, and anyone who has sympathy for the plight of refugees, especially Muslim refugees.

Only hope can keep hate at bay, but no one can speak of hope

We will have great political, economic, and social uncertainty. The deeper the uncertainty the greater the insecurity. From this insecurity fear can grow. Fear creates the basis for hatred. Hatred justifies violence. The UK has left the EU; it has not left fear behind nor has it dispelled hatred. No politician has emerged who can reassure the public with a sense of safety that lessens the fear. No politician has emerged to offer hope to keep hate at bay. Until one does, things will get worse.

**(With apologies to Neil Young https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0t0EW6z8a0)

[1] http://blogs.ft.com/david-allen-green/2016/06/14/can-the-united-kingdom-government-legally-disregard-a-vote-for-brexit/

See also https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/brexit-won-vote-remain-eu-article-50-lisbon-treaty-referendum-david-cameron

If the Conservative government was bluffing about this referendum with no intention of honouring the outcome, it proves disastrous for them in the long term. However, as we know from Leveson 2, governments are adept at reneging on their promises no matter how sincere at the time.