Home Columns Anantha Narayan The exit sign

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    When The Economist coined the portmanteau, Brexit, in 2012, they had no idea it would someday plunge the British pound to a 30-year low, cause a wealth wipe out of over two trillion dollars, and lead to a geo-political crisis that might eventually trigger the break up of the United Kingdom.
    As Bill Maher summed it up rather novelly, the final Brexit tally was 48 per cent a�?Sense and Sensibilitya�� and 52 per cent a�?Pride and Prejudicea��. Clearly, those who wanted to walk out of the relationship with the European Union (EU) were thinking more ME than EU. Cricket legend Ian Botham couldna��t have explained it better, a�?We have lost the right to govern ourselves, to make our own laws, and to choose who comes here.a�? The loss of authority to faceless bureaucrats sitting in Brussels and being the a�?sewer for all and sundry from abroada�� obviously hurt the Brits. Hence Brexit.
    Curiously, the Queen didna��t offer a word of support for a�?Remaina�� throughout the campaign. And that should offer a clue as to why respected names like Michael Caine and John Cleese decided to openly root for a�?Leavea��. It wasna��t really about immigrants alone. It was about getting back the Britishness.
    Somehow, the rest of the world hasna��t taken the referendum result kindly. All those whoa��ve been easy targets of British humour have ganged up on the internet to have a good laugh at the Union Jacked with plenty of Brexit jokes.
    A popular WhatsApp forward went like this: After the EU break up, English will have only three vowels a�� A, I & O. Another one goes, a�?Hey, therea��s this new diet that makes you lose pounds fast. Ita��s called the Brexit dieta��. A Reddit favourite was, a�?I read a joke about the British pound. It didna��t make any cents to me.a�? Ryanair rode on the mass frenzy with a banner ad to push its low fare seats from the UK to Europe. The headline read: a�?Just like the Brits, theya��ll be gone very soon!a�?
    The Europeans were very peeved. And they joined the ridicule fest with even more barbs. a�?May be instead of using the fifty-fifty option and asking the audience, Britain should have exercised the phone-a-friend option. That way they could still have been a millionaire,a�? added a pungent Euro-fan. An acerbic bloke piped in an online forum, a�?You know why therea��s been a steady decline in the British population? Thata��s because the Brits are really good at pulling out!a�? My point is, this Brexit or Bremain debate will continue till the English say, a�?See EU later!a�?

    Anantha Narayan

    Whata��s your take on the vote? Share your thoughts with anantha@albertdali.com.


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