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Lessons Kenyans Need To Learn From The ‘Silly’ Brexit Vote.

As the dust settles on the Brexit vote, Kenyans, who are ever drank with politics of propaganda and fearmongering, have a lot to learn from it in very many spheres.

The British withdrawal from the European Union (EU), often shortened to Brexit was a political goal that was pursued by some advocacy groups (civil Society), political parties, businessmen, trade unions, the media and prominent individuals against Prime Minister David Cameron. The referendum was also precipitated by internal fighting within the governing Conservative party and Cameron stated he would resign as his side lost the referendum.

In 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron had rejected calls for such a referendum acknowledging the need to ensure the UK's position within the European Union had 'the full-hearted support of the British people'.

While attending the May 2012 NATO summit meeting, David Cameron, William Hague and Ed Llewellyn discussed the idea of using the EU referendum as a concession to energize the Euroskeptic wing of the Conservative Party. In January 2013, he promised Britons that, should his Conservative Party win a parliamentary majority at the 2015 general election, the UK Government would negotiate more favourable arrangements for continuing British membership of the EU, before holding a referendum as to whether the UK should remain in or leave the EU.

They argued that the EU exit would allow the UK to better control immigration, thus reducing pressure on public services, housing and jobs, save billions of pounds in EU membership fees, allow the UK to make its own trade deals and free the UK from EU regulations and bureaucracy that they saw as needless and costly.

In May 2013, the Conservative Party published a draft EU Referendum Bill and outlined their plans for renegotiation and then an In-Out vote if returned to office in 2015. The draft Bill stated that the referendum must be held not later than 31 December 2017.  

Anyway, the rest is history. Cameron simply scored an ‘own goal’. He and his Conservative Party came to power for promising the UK electorate heavens hoping that they would forget and move on. The outcome of this referendum has literally destroyed the political careers of majority of the Conservative hopefuls. Cameron saw it coming and has decided to leave the ramifications and consequences of triggering the exit notice under Article 50 on the shoulders of his successor. Whoever succeeds him is finished. He/she will have to bear the repercussions of an exit or withstand the wrath of the people when convincing them that Brexit is unachievable in reality.

This year, the civil society led by “Vote Leave” fronted a spirited campaign groups against the government’s wish.

Does that script sound familiar?

Yes! It resonates so well to the Kenyan political arena where politicians paint a very beautiful picture of a very bad idea just to ascend to power. They go round the country promising heavens and signing fake M.O.U.s with different groups of citizens. By doing so, they dupe them into voting for them, knowing very well that whatever they are promising cannot work even under any circumstance.

That is exactly what Cameron did. The UK electorate voted him in knowing that they would get the chance to break away from the EU and 'reap the fruits of freedom'. Knowing too well of the dire consequences of this move, Cameron immediately retracted on his promise. He knew quite well that continuing with the same would bring down his government. In the end, Britain (United Kingdom) has lost it as a nation and as a people.

Let us now look at the consequences of the UK silly vote……

Subsequent repercussions for The UK residents.

Financial markets immediately reacted negatively to the outcome: share prices fell markedly, as did the value of the pound sterling (5–10% during the initial hours after the decision). In the week following conclusion of the UK's renegotiation, the pound fell to a seven-year low against the dollar and economists at HSBC warned that it could drop even more

When the London Stock Exchange opened on the morning of 24 June, the FTSE 100 fell from 6338.10 to 5806.13 in the first ten minutes of trading. It recovered to 6091.27 after a further 90 minutes before further recovering to 6162.97 by the end of the day's trading. Upon opening later the same day, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 450 points or about 2½% in less than half an hour. The Associated Press called the sudden worldwide stock market decline a stock market crash.

In May 2016, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that an EU exit could mean two more years of austerity cuts as the government would have to make up for an estimated loss of £20 billion to £40 billion of tax revenue.

In June 2016, the Centre for Economics and Business Research warned that 800,000 jobs could be lost if Britain adopted the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules for trade with the rest of the EU.

UK's withdrawal has the potential to fundamentally changing the EU and European integration. Being in the EU has a strong positive effect on trade and as a result the UK's trade would be worse off if it left the EU. The EU may opt to impose retaliatory tariffs on British products. The credit rating of Britain too is likely to face a downgrade.

On the one hand, a withdrawal could tip the EU towards protectionism, exacerbate existing divisions, or unleash centrifugal forces leading to the EU's unravelling. Alternatively, the EU could free itself of its most awkward member, making the EU easier to lead and more effective. UK’s subsequent relationship with the remaining EU members could then take several forms.

If the UK opt to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) as a European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member, or seek to negotiate bilateral terms along the Swiss model with a series of interdependent sectoral agreements, it would have to sign up to EU internal market legislation without being able to participate in its development or vote on its content. They will therefore be excluded from common policies in Agriculture and Fisheries Policies, Customs Union, Trade Policy, Foreign and Security Policy, direct and indirect taxation, and Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters. However, such EFTA countries are required to contribute to the EU Budget in exchange for access to the internal market.

Long Term Economic Impact

The long term economic prospects of Britain remain high, notably in terms of country attractiveness and foreign direct investment.

Scotland, who voted to remain in the EU, may precipitate a second Scottish independence referendum and start "discussions with the EU institutions and other member states to explore all the possible options to protect Scotland’s place in the EU. Many of the powers and competencies of the EU institutions would be repatriated to Holyrood and not Westminster.

It is argued that a UK exit of the European Union could damage the Northern Ireland peace process. Spain is said to be eagerly waiting to take advantage of the British exit from the EU to seek talks with Ireland.

Regional President of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie Xavier Bertrand stated in February 2016 that if Britain left Europe, the border would leave Calais and go to Dover. He said that they would continue to guard the border for Britain if it was no longer in the European Union indicating that the juxtaposed controls would end with a leave vote. French Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron also suggested the agreement would be "threatened" by a leave vote.

Various UK multinationals such as Shell BT and Vodafone have stated that they would not like the UK to leave the EU because of the uncertainty it would cause. The British Bankers' Association said: "Businesses don't like that kind of uncertainty". RBS has warned of potential damage to the economy with HSBC and foreign-based banks JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank claiming that a Brexit might result in the banks' changing domicile.  According to Goldman Sachs and the City of London's policy chief, all such factors could impact on the City of London's present status as a European and global market leader in financial services.

UK universities rely on the EU for around 16% of their total research funding, and are disproportionately successful at winning EU-awarded research grants. This has raised questions about how such funding would be impacted by a British exit.

Repercussions outside Europe

In October 2015, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman declared that the United States was not keen on pursuing a separate Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Britain if it were to leave the EU, thus undermining a key economic argument of proponents of those who say Britain would prosper on its own and be able to secure bilateral FTAs with trading partners.

In October 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping hoped to see a united EU and hoped Britain could play an even more positive and constructive role in promoting the deepening development of China-EU ties. Off the record, the Chinese sees the EU as a counterbalance to American economic power, and that an EU without Britain would mean a stronger United States.

In February 2016, the finance ministers from the G20 major economies warned that leaving the EU would lead to "a shock" in the global economy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said: "I want to say it is none of our business, it is the business of the people of the UK.

Trying to re-collect what has been lost

The outcome of Britain's referendum instantly pitched an already weakened Europe into a new crisis and could cause Britain's influence to wane. The economic hit the UK will take as it extricates itself from a market that accounts for 44% of its exports could leave it with fewer resources to do its share. Altogether, that could mean a smaller Britain, less able to meet its defense commitments, and it would pose problems for the future of the U.K.'s independent nuclear deterrent, which is based in Scotland and is opposed by the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party.

In the short term, a distracted UK, led by a lame duck leader following Cameron's decision to step down, might not have the same capacity or inclination to take on global challenges.

The UK government has now stated that they expect a leave vote to be followed by withdrawal. However, a petition has been lodged to the UK Parliament for a second referendum. It has already reached nearly 3 million signatures within two days in the argument that the leave vote was less than 60% based on a turnout of less than 75%.

Having received more than 100,000 signatures, the petition must receive a government response and be considered for a parliamentary debate. Otherwise, the Status Quo would remain.

As for Kenyans, it is not curiosity that killed the goose that laid the golden egg, but an insatiable greed that devoured common sense and a blind person who sees is better than a seeing person who is blind.

Think twice before your leaders’ rhetoric drive you to the grave.

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