The decision is taken. It will soon be time to grasp the nettle.

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union by a margin of 52% to 48%. The “Leave” vote was provided by England outside of London and, to a lesser extent, Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland chose “Remain.”

Currency and stock markets have reacted badly with near panic selling of currency and index futures in the early hours of the US east coast morning.

Champagne was opened or not depending upon opposing perspectives.

Prime Minister David Cameron has chosen to stand down in advance of his party’s conference in October.

Tempers run hot.

Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London, leader of the “Leave” forces and a candidate to succeed Cameron as Tory Party leader and thus Prime Minister was called a tw.t as he left his house and got into his car. (In England it rhymes with hat but is more used there and thus less rude than here.)

Now what?

There will be a period of blaming as the disappointed try to make themselves feel better by demeaning the motives of the majority. Some of the blaming will be deserved, as there were undoubtedly many frightened voters who chose “leave” for less than noble reasons.

Some of the blaming will not be deserved, however, as the vote can also be viewed as a report card on the performance of Whitehall and Brussels.

The ubiquitous World War II slogan (that was never actually used) will serve you well during this period.

 

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But then it won’t.

When the breathless blamers have spent themselves and moved on to other concerns it will be time to:

 

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Scotland and Northern Ireland might choose to stay in the E.U. as their votes indicate. Recent experience suggests that forcing people to live under regimes they dislike might be less than a clever plan. London is far more difficult as it chose Remain. It was not offered the chance to become a part of Switzerland, which might have won handily.

A rare opportunity exists to design a future that can be more successful than the recent past if leaders throughout Europe recognize the results of this report card and choose to grasp the nettle.

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