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A Week In British Politics

Posted in Business and Law, From The Editor's Perspective, and World Affairs

The past seven days will go down in history as one of the most significant weeks in politics and how the UK changed, as each day brought new challenges. Today also marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme—the bloodiest war of WWI, where 20,000 British Empire soldiers lost their lives, and over a million lives were lost from all the other countries involved. It seems quite poignant that the UK has also voted to be independent of the EU and to regain its sovereignty, after the soldiers sacrificed their lives for protecting the UK and its independence. Some of the younger readers and voters may not fully appreciate this at present, and it’s not about how life used to be, but about protecting the future.

Over the past week Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader saw more than 40 of the Labour Shadow Cabinet ministers resign in 48 hours, and a few more in days to come. One even resigned after being in their post for less than two days. The Conservatives are also battling for a new leader; Boris Johnson, the favourite is not standing, but Michael Gove is, and Theresa May. I see whoever is chosen will be purely to sort out Brexit and the next general election will see a new leader. Right now the UK needs some unity, and sadly Nicola Sturgeon is trying to get Scotland free again. That would be fine if economically Scotland could afford it, but while it’s still part of the UK, it can’t be a member of the EU once Brexit has been achieved. The UK needs the politicians to put aside personal agendas and create stability, but how many can see that?

Families have been split; younger voters blame the older voters for ruining their future. Simply speaking they haven’t grasped the concept of democracy; each person regardless of age has a choice. Perhaps it’s the millennial arrogance and sense of entitlement many seem to exhibit? As Jon Snow empathized via a tweet (wrongly IMHO) the vote ‘deprived …the right to live/work in 27 other countries’, which is incorrect. People can still work or live in the EU, but they will fill out forms instead, and apply for permits. It’s not hard to do! I wonder how many people really want to go and start a new career in Latvia, go and study in Estonia, or choose to live in Lithuania? Not many, but many of those natives would love to work and move to the UK, who would not qualify to work under immigration laws. Many companies that do employ workers from other countries sponsor visas and also pay relocation fees, so it hasn’t stopped things, but will control how people move. The free movement seemed idealistic, but with it bought crime, terrorism, and also adverse cultural changes in society. The UK seemed to bear the brunt, with more EU citizens choosing the UK to move to. Many EU countries never understood this impact.

On the other hand the EU are handling the divorce badly and making the UK pay by being difficult, and pushing the government to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. That was no surprise, but reinforces one of the reasons why the UK needed to leave because the pushy attitude of those in the EU did not sit well with the majority of the UK public. One must remember, this is not only about the value of sterling, the cost of imports or exports, but is about being able to control the laws of the land and protect the country through self-governance. Sadly some of the younger voters cannot see past their freedom to get a summer bar job in Europe while traveling. One day they will realize that leaving was the sensible choice, and be thankful that the older voters were more forward thinking.

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