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The political and economic implications Britain now faces

What are the constitutional, political and economic implications the UK now faces?

NOW THAT the UK has voted to leave the EU, experts are available to unpick the results and explain what it means and what the constitutional, political and economic implications will be for Britain.

The Voice brings you the reaction from leading academics at Manchester University on the decision to quit Europe:

Economic implications

Diane Coyle, professor of economics, said: "The UK is in for a long period of great uncertainty, which in itself damages the economy because people hold off on their planned spending.

“The fall in the pound will have immediate effects, making Britons' overseas holidays more expensive and tending to push up prices of imports like food. We will probably quite soon see reduced investment by foreign businesses.

“People should be under no illusion that the vote is a bad outcome in terms of the economy for the foreseeable future.

"For exporters the next several years will be highly uncertain as we will not know the rules under which the UK is going to trade with our main export market, the EU. This is particularly true in the service sector, which is largely not going to be covered by the kinds of trade rules available to us outside the European single market."

Constitutional implications

Colin Talbot, Professor of Government and Public policy, said:"Britain is now entering a period of severe economic and political turmoil.

"The financial and money markets have already reacted badly. A recession is more than likely.

"Constitutionally the likely result is that Scotland will have a new referendum, and vote to leave the UK, before we have even finished withdrawing from the EU. Indeed they have every incentive to do so to try and stay in the EU.

"Politically we are likely to see a major realignment in British politics. Tim Farron of the Lib-Dems has already made a pitch for a centre-left realignment around a pro-EU social democratic coalition. It is hard to see how the pro-EU Tories will survive.

"David Cameron will be gone within months, not years, and in likelihood Boris Johnson become Tory leader and PM. Given the majority of MPs – both Tory and Labour – are in favour of ‘Remain’ a fresh General Election becomes almost inevitable.

"The process of ‘leaving’ is going to be messy and prolonged and there is no consensus amongst the ‘leavers’ about what they want next."

Political implications

Dr Maria Sobolewska, senior lecturer in politics and member of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, said: “The result of the referendum is not about the European Union as much as it is a damning of British internal politics, which have been broken for a while.
“We have to tackle the issues left behind, such as unrepresentative democracy and socio-economic inequality, because leaving the EU will not automatically solve any of them.

“In fact, the crisis that may follow is likely to make many of these issues worse as it is more likely to further hit government spending and jobs creation. I think the important thing now is to engage seriously with the underlying causes for Brexit and not dismiss them out of hand as a vote of racists and idiots as some are being portrayed on social media.

“To emerge from this crisis better rather than worse off we need respect, unity and democracy to prevail.”

Dimitris Papadimitriou, professor of politics, said: “'People vs the House of Commons'. The need for consensus over two Parliaments, will make Brexit a very messy political crisis.

Dr Kathryn Simpson, Lecturer/Research Associate in Politics, said: “What is important to note with regards to the vote to Leave in the EU referendum is that it isn't a resolution, it's the beginning of many big questions for the government both domestically and internationally.

“If citizens merely use EU referendums as a chance to punish the government or to express established political party allegiances then EU referendums hardly approximate high quality deliberative processes.”

Andrew Russell, Professor of Politics, said: "Britain (especially England and Wales) has revealed itself to be deeply divided in political terms. This result has deep implications for the issue of the nation's place in the world but also reveals much about a nation ill at ease with itself. Future elections are likely to follow a similar polarised path.
"There is bound to be pressure to re-examine the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. and possibly Northern Ireland too. David Cameron has gambled and lost for the first time in his political career. His party rejected his vision of Britain in Europe.

"The next Conservative Prime Minister will have to bring together the party and the country. Too many on both sides in the referendum campaign will find it impossible to work with the other side of their own party. Cameron's likely successor may well have played a fairly low key role in the EURef - could Theresa May be the reminder that the Brexit camp could work with?

"Labour too has to face up to some uncomfortable truths. An understandable reaction to the civil war in the Conservative party was ultimately disastrous for the remain campaign as the labour heartlands outside of London and the big metropolitan cities never got going.

"The failure of the opposition to see that huge swathes of its core support rejected the party's official position, or perhaps even worse failed to notice it, is at the heart of understanding this result and the stunning victory for the leave campaign."

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