Brexit: What Does the Future Hold?

Published on 4th February 2020

At last, Britain has ended almost half a century of European Union membership, making a historic exit after years of bitter arguments to chart its own uncertain path in the world. Brexit has exposed deep divisions in British society, with many fearing the consequences of the country ending 47 years of ties with its neighbours. The exit is a historic warning sign to the EU with its remaining nations of more than 440 million people to stop and reflect on the undercurrents that are eating up the union. The world waits to see how Britain will navigate her position in global affairs as well as tackle similar moves on her own territory from Scotland and Northern Ireland where there are agitations for independence from the United Kingdom.

There is a glimmer of hope for the United Kingdom. When England could not afford to return a third of all its colonies' reserves held by the Exchequer and resorted to ingeniously use Currency Devaluation to shelter herself from near collapse, Singaporean Prime Minister Lew Kuan Yew took a bold step and severed relationship with the Commonwealth. Without England’s support and approval, Singapore’s Per capita is highest of all former colonies and almost twice that of her former colonial master England.

During his tenure, the 6th UN Secretary-General and the first UN Chief from the African continent, the late Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, warned that the breakup of Yugoslavia lead to a domino effect in Africa with devastating consequences. In 1993, Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia after a ruinous civil war through a United Nations organized referendum. In 2011, South Sudan obtained independence from Sudan after a prolonged horrendous bloodbath. In Nigeria, agitation for restoration of the short-lived Republic of Biafra is on the rise. In Zambia, there are simmering calls for the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which would see the secession of the Western part of Zambia from the state of Zambia.  In Senegal, the southern region of Casamance that has been the hotbed of separatism since Senegal’s independence in 1960 may be inflamed.

The African Union and existing Regional Economic Zones which are loosely modelled on the presumed success of the European Union must re-examine their templates with a view of offering value and consolidating intra-Africa partnerships. The glaring lesson is that there is need for inclusive and tolerant socio-political and economic dynamics

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