Rest in Pieces: Brexit’s Aftermath

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‘Let’s Get Brexit Done!’ Boris Johnson’s slogan for his latest campaigning became reality with the end of January. Indeed, it is done, at least when one understands Brexit as nothing else but the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Because this is essentially what happened. Most urging questions, including the border issue between EU member state Ireland and UK member Northern Ireland, trade relations, the status of EU citizens living in Great Britain, and the like, remain unresolved regarding the long term. Hence, there is still plenty of political work to be done, both in Brussels and London.

It is therefore fallacious to jump to overly optimistic conclusions which appear to be widespread in both media and politics. While some celebrate the reincarnation of self-determination, others welcome getting rid of an awkward negotiating partner. Still others are just happy not to be bothered any more by the never-ending story of extending withdrawal talks again and again.

Yet, sorry to say, all these perceptions fall short. This is best shown by the perhaps most prevalent myth surrounding Brexit: That the EU now finally is a real union again. Proponents of this thesis have a fair point when arguing that the entire storyline of Brexit so far comes closer to a horror movie than a love flick. The back and forth of the negotiations between London and Brussels just as lockdowns and dead ends in British politics indeed sent a strong signal to the 27 remaining EU members. Leaving the often-disliked union in those days is as unattempting as never before. As David ‘Oops-a-Daisy-I-accidently-made-my-country-leave-the-EU’ Cameron and Theresa ‘Dancing-Queen-aka-Brexit-means-Brexit’ May showed strikingly: Such an agenda easily turns into a political suicide mission.

What tends to be forgotten, however, is the fact that the voter generally is oblivious. In other words: Having a strong community spirit now does not equal a guarantee for standing strong forever and ever. Besides, whether the sense of community actually is as alive and kicking as assumed should be questioned. The so-called ‘Friends of Cohesion’ recently convened in Portugal to agree on their post-Brexit strategy. Needless to say, this circle of ‘friends’ does not incorporate all 27 EU states. With numerous more or less formal sub groupings within the EU, from the Eurogroup to PESCO to Visegrád, when the chips are down, every member state will look for the alliance that is most promising to its very national advantage.

With the pressing schedule to get Brexit really done until the end of the year – let us leave aside the quite likely event of a prolongation for a second – the EU would be wise to avoid falling into pieces even more (ironically, the decision makers at the River Thames faces the same risk: think Scotland). Instead, Brussels would be better off staying strong together, overcoming dissents quickly, and, ultimately, speaking with one voice internationally.

Else, the EU may rest in pieces.

HAS ANYONE TOLD YOU THAT BREXIT IS ABOUT DISCRIMINATION?

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Brexit is definitely one of the most popular topics at the moment, at the international level. Deal or no-deal, what that means for the EU and for the UK, what can immigrants expect, economy, will the boundaries be closed… It seems obvious, but it is surprisingly not enough and communicated straightforwardly, however Brexit is about discrimination.

Source: UKIP

Brexit campaign has been based on politics of prejudice and discrimination. Eastern-Europhobia has spread across the country before the referendum. Campaign posters trying to raise the feelings of threat among the UK citizens, ‘threat’, that is, threat by Eastern Europeans coming and stealing their NHS money by playing social security victims, threats by the Turks that will rush to the UK when they join the EU and whelm the Holy Kingdom, these posters have achieved their goal. Thirty seven percent of the UK voting population managed to decide about destiny of 66 million people. But that’s democracy.

Thirty seven percent of the voting body is xenophobic? The manipulation with their national identity was successful. They voted against immigration from countries that are even not in the EU. It is not even certain that they will become a part of the EU any time soon. Even if they do, the people that voted for leaving the EU are people who discriminate against other national groups. I can’t even emphasize this process enough.

Source: BBC

Since the beginning of the referendum campaign, the anxiety among migrants and discrimination against them has risen. Many people have been denied visas, but the outburst was the most visible among academics. Researchers from other countries were even denied visas for visiting conferences. Scholars had to leave their already existing positions because they were ordered to. Scholars’ babies were denied visas, hence forcing themselves to leave. Academics have been threatened with deportation to countries they have never visited. Who knows how many more have been denied or deported, but are not so loud to yell about their situation. No-deal Brexit has already started.

The independence of the UK is based on discrimination. It is not a pity then to be denied their visa or residency. Who would want to live in such a society anyway?

Youth participation in democracies: An argument for e-voting

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Ramiro MurguiaPassionate youth activist and entrepreneur, Ramiro is the founder of the World Youth Academy and he is serving as its Director. Ramiro devotes its times to empower the world youth by a modern, actual and meaningful education.