As UK’s referendum result to leave the European Union hits me very personally and brings a lot of uncertainty in my life I made the decision not to give any personal opinion at the moment. There are so many possible outcomes right now and onetobmany emotions in me that it wouldn’t be an objective and realistic statement from me.
Instead I share an email I received from Financial Times this afternoon. A summary of the last few days since the referendum results were announced.
FINANCIAL TIMES – FirstFT: Your essential daily briefing
Post Brexit briefing special
Keep up to date with our full Brexit coverage, and sign up for our Brussels Briefing and UK Politics newsletters.
In the news
Labour disarray Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s leader, is under growing pressure to resign after his lacklustre support for the Remain campaign. He sacked Hilary Benn for urging members of the shadow cabinet to step down and force a leadership election ahead of a possible early general election. At least six have since quit. (FT)
Conservative contest Michael Gove has backed Boris Johnson to be the new Conservative leader, while half a dozen other contenders have emerged for “anything but Boris” options, include Theresa May, who supported Remain. (FT)
Business impact Global stock markets took a $2tn hit on Friday after the largest falls since 2007, and are braced for a week of volatility ahead. Central bankers were meeting over the weekend, but commercial banks are already preparing plans to shift staff out of the UK to Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt. Brexit could also prove bad for Africa, which is sharply exposed to volatility in commodities and currencies. (FT, Quartz)
Brussels fall-out Jonathan Hill has resigned as Britain’s European Commissioner, with his role overseeing financial services regulation taken for now by Valdis Dombrovskis of Latvia. The Commission has said the search for a new British commissioner and a “possible portfolio” is under way. There is uncertainty over the fate of 1,000 Britons working in the Commission, the future role of MEPs and likelihood of the UK’s presidency of the Council of Ministers scheduled for the second half of 2017. (FT)
Scottish separation Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, pledged to open discussions with Brussels to secure a continued place in the EU, after declaring that a fresh referendum on separation from England is now “highly likely”. One poll puts Scottish support for independence at 59 per cent. (FT, Scotsman)
Irish angst The Republic of Ireland could soon be the only EU state with a physical land border with the UK. “In some form a return of little lamented border controls is inevitable,” warns the Irish Times, even as Sinn Fein renewed calls for reunification. It threatens the peace process. (The Week)
European ripples The Brexit impact will be felt across the globe, with a rise in populism, tensions across the EU and a risk to globalisation, writes Gideon Rachman. France’s President Francois Hollande has met senior party leaders including Marine Le Pen from the extreme right National Front, as he seeks to take a tough line against the UK. Ms Le Pen is among populist leaders across Europe seeking to push similar votes for an EU exit. (FT)
German entreaties Angela Merkel has discussed “associate status” and pushed back from calls for a rapid UK exit, even as Jean-Claude Junker warned there would be no “amicable divorce”. (FT, Independent)
US repercussions The Brexit vote is a strong warning for anyone complacent about a victory for Donald Trump in his presidential campaign, says the New Yorker. But the New York Times cautions that beyond the generalities, “there is no recent history of electing nationalist presidents hostile to immigration … [and] American presidential elections are largely decided by a diverse and upscale electorate, anchored in America’s cities and suburbs.”
What happens next?
There is intense discussion on what happens following Thursday’s vote, notably around Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which Britain must trigger to begin a formal EU exit. David Allen Green analyses the stalemate: “There is now a period of waiting, where the various actors involved face off and try ever so hard not to blink.”
The Civil Service is under orders to keep working and help implement the result. (FT)
Game theory suggests empathy rather than an aggressive stand-off could lead to a better outcome with Europe. (The Conversation).
Despite scepticism by constitutional experts, an online petition calling for a parliamentary vote for a second referendum to impose a higher bar for approval has crashed the website and gathered over 3m signatories.
Hear the FT’s perspective at Post-Referendum Briefings on Monday with senior editors and columnists.
Analysing the result
Dominic Lawson argues the result was a vote for the re-establishment of parliamentary democracy. But Robert Harris quotes Clement Attlee’s warning that referenda are divisive, binary votes that override minority rights and are “only too often . . . the instrument of Nazism and fascism.”
Kenneth Rogoff argues that the “real lunacy … was the absurdly low bar for exit”, with just 36 per cent of eligible voters deciding something of such enormous consequences. (Sunday Times, Project Syndicate)
Mohamed El-Erian said the vote was “a notable rejection of the political and business elites, as well as ‘expert opinion’” and a reflection of regional divides following a period of low growth, which has benefited some groups more than others. (Bloomberg)
David Cameron knew the dangers of calling a referendum from the start, but in the end was “faced with forces and dynamics in British life that he has proved powerless to control”. Sir Anthony Seldon says that despite the prime minister’s patriotism, high intelligence, work rate, calm during crises, and integrity, ultimately “he could not prevail against the juggernaut of Euroscepticism in his own party, the press and country”. (Guardian, Times)
Corbyn refused to jointly campaign with the Conservatives backing Remain, or share Labour’s registration lists with the Stronger In team. Nick Cohen says the “coffin-lid” faces of Johnson and Gove after Cameron’s resignation point to their background as “journalists who have been found out” – treating public life as a game with a contempt for practical questions. (Politico, Guardian).
Despite the murder of their popular Labour MP Jo Cox, the people of Batley voted by 55 per cent for Leave. (New Yorker).
The Spectator claims last week’s referendum was “fairer, better-contested and more realistic – in part because of voters with long memories” than the previous vote in 1975.
Charles Grant from the Centre for European Reform argues that Remain suffered from unconvincing messengers, too narrow a message, difficulties over migration, a savage media (including at the BBC uninformed journalists and a fear of being seen as pro-EU) and a ruthless Leave campaign machine.
The FT looks at the counter-factuals of how David Cameron could have avoided a leave vote had he not held the referendum, enfranchised 16-17 years olds and other scenarios.
Voting in detail
Young, educated, employed and those who travelled abroad were far more likely to vote Remain. YouGov (which called the final result incorrectly) suggested 75 per cent of18-25 year olds supported remain, although other surveys say this group came out in smaller proportions than older voters.
Most people make decisions based on what they normally do rather than careful, logical analysis. “If the politicians, historians, political scientists can’t agree, how are we supposed to figure it out? (The Conversation).
Given the failure of conventional online and telephone polls, let alone the betting and financial markets, internet and mobile phone polling may be better tools. They can reach a far largef group and combine anonymous views with far more personal data. (Quartz)
FirstFT was written by Andrew Jack
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