By Isaac Cohen*
The volatility caused in world markets by the results of last week’s referendum in the United Kingdom still prevails. However, beyond the fall of the pound and of world stock markets, the rise of the dollar and the consequent fall in commodity prices, the immediate repercussions are political.
A period of uncertainty can be expected in Europe, of at least two years, while agreement is reached on the terms of separation, which may lead to an agreement similar to those in force between the European Union and Norway or Switzerland. In the meantime, both major British political parties are already experiencing battles over the succession of their leaders, within the Conservative Party because of Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation and within the Labor Party due to an internal revolt.
The other major political consequence has to do with the potential disintegration of the United Kingdom itself. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in favor of REMAIN, Scotland by 2 to 1 and Northern Ireland by 56 to 44 percent.
The Prime Minister of Scotland said another referendum may be held to approve independence from the United Kingdom and to negotiate the terms for remaining within the European Union. In Northern Ireland, there could be a vote on joining the Republic of Ireland, which is a member of the European Union.
Therefore, we may be witnessing the end of the last remnants of the British Empire.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.