"Britain has done something very out of character—it has taken a leap of faith."by Jay Elwes / June 24, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: How Brexit should be done
Forty-eight hours ago in the Wembley Arena, standing before an audience of many thousands, Boris Johnson said: “They say we have no choice but to bow down to Brussels. We say they are woefully underestimating this country. If we vote “Leave,” we can take back control of our borders, of huge sums of money, of our trade policy and of our whole law-making system.”
The confidence of those remarks was typical of Johnson. The subjects that he identified, border control, money and law-making, got trenchantly to the issues at the very heart of the Brexit campaign. A forthright show of confidence of the campaign trail is all well and good. Now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, the rhetoric counts for nothing. Now the Brexit camp has to deliver.
In sharp contrast to the confident assertions at Wembley, the picture they face—that we all face—is one of alarm. When at around 4:40am the result became clear, the pound dropped like a stone, crashing to its lowest level since 1985. World markets, including the Nikkei in Japan, and the German and Irish stock exchanges also fell sharply. The Bank of England was forced to make an emergency statement, saying that it would “take all necessary steps,” to ease volatile conditions. The London stock market opened, and in the opening 30 minutes of trading fell by almost 12 per cent. Shares in Barclays, Lloyds and RBS all dropped by 30 per cent.
Britain has entered its most uncertain period of modern times. David Cameron has announced that he will step down as Prime Minister at the Conservative Party conference in October. Whether George Osborne will remain Chancellor, whether Britain will have an early General Election, whether Scotland will hold a second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, exactly who will be Britain’s Brexit negotiator with the European Union, whether a border will go up between Northern Ireland and the Republic, whether Spain will have joint sovereignty with Britain over Gibraltar—all of these questions, and many others like them, are now live.
It is also uncertain how this result will affect public opinion in other EU countries. Marine le Pen, leader of the French Front National, is deeply eurosceptic. She will be emboldened by…