Brexit-Remain debate was like a T-20 thriller to the end with the weather playing its decisive part. In the last over, the group supported by factionalised conservatives edged pass. Brexit won by a tiny majority of 1.9% or 1,269,501 votes on Duckworth-Lewis Method. In a 72% turnout, 51.9 voted to leave the European Union. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted for the Remain. The resignation of Prime Minister David Cameroon will strengthen the Brexit and create dynamics within UK for those countries that voted to Remain. Though the match has ended, the tournament has just begun. The future holds the cards of an empire where the sun never set.

One of the most important and controversial achievements of the EU was the establishment of the principle of free movement among EU countries. How this will work out in an interdependent political economy through modalities of this exit will need working out in years to come. In UK, it is the verdict of the majority who in course of time will awaken to realities. At the lowest base of electoral primaries, the motivations were based on cultural and ethnic identities but a volte-face on the themes of liberalism, interdependence and globalisation. This could have a domino effect on the way people think in UK and beyond in other countries of mainland Europe. Pressures could mount for similar referendums in Holland, France, Italy, Spain and Germany. This way Brexit could have initiated a chain reaction that could endanger the integrity of the entire EU.

The fact that Northern Ireland and Scotland have a contrarian opinion also poses challenges to United Kingdom which is a Union of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was just recent that Northern Ireland was fully integrated through political acceptance of Sinn Fein. The referendum in Scotland was marginal. For Britain’s integrity as a Union, a lot will depend how Sinn Fein and Scottish National Party react to developments and debates. These factors will impact UK’s negotiating strategy in future. The far right Freedom Party will add fire to fury.

But there are other outcomes that are expected as fallout.

There could be the resurgence of the nineteenth century nationalism. This was an era when Britain was seen as an outside Europe country with distinctively different characteristics like the right hand drive and apathy for the metric system. Countries like Austria, Germany, France and Italy considered it an outsider. Policies emanating from continental and non-continental politics, acquisition of colonies, immoral neutrality over disputes within mainland, the two world wars, independence movements in former colonies, Bretton Woods and division of world in East and West are a few. Once these notions regain currency, perceptions will create new realities.

The impetus to nationalist and sub nationalist movements could be exponential within the EU, UK and other parts of the world. Not far behind could be sentiments of Scotland and Northern Ireland that favoured Remain. The rise of Britain’s Liberal and Freedom Parties would make the discourse more vigorous. With the resignation of David Cameroon the dynamics of disruption will gather pace. When UK leaves the EU over objections from Scotland, separatism will strengthen. According to analysts, one day, it could lead to an independent Scotland, which would most likely petition for admission to the EU in its own right. It is ironic that hardly two decades ago, EU was supporting the disintegration of Eastern Europe. The clock has turned full circle and reverted to haunt.

Next are the sentiments of the people; an emotive tectonic force that takes years and centuries to build but whose fury impacts overnight. According to VoxWorld, currently about 1.2 million British people work and live in other EU countries, while about 3 million non-British EU nationals live in Britain. Till now, they were able to move across the English Channel with minimum paperwork. Though Britain could negotiate a new treaty with the EU, readers must remember that resentment about EU immigrants from poorer, economically struggling countries like Poland and Lithuania was a key force driving support for Brexit. With a marginal victory, these sentiments will add to pressures on future negotiations. This in turn will lead to reactions on nationalist and ethic lines. Aftershocks will get fiercer. The people to watch in UK are the ethnic originalities of the former British colonies. If the recent immigration crises in Europe were a factor in the marginal Brexit victory, the consequences of this racist choice may become alarmingly disruptive. Geographies that the USA-UK nexus was trying to redraw may come back to hurt.

Economically, the forecasts are not good. UK will have to trade off socio-economic consequences in its choices. According to Telegraph and news pouring in, the pound has crashed to the lowest level since 1985 to below $1.35. Out of hours trading suggests that the FTSE 100 will drop by more than 10%. The fall could be the third worst in history. As news come in, stocks and oil prices have already plummeted. Non EU manufacturers operating in UK may have to face the consequences or else shift to mainland Europe.

According to Wall Street, long-term consequences would be hard to gauge. Advocates of Brexit, opine that “Britain would be revitalised by the ability to chart and regulate its course. While the 28-nation European Union is an economic powerhouse, Britain alone is no slouch, and plenty of countries thrive outside the block.” Then there is the added aspect of political economy. According to Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, “If you are a car producer with major production in the UK, today, the same safety standards and environmental standards allow you to sell everywhere in the European market, but if the UK leaves the EU, it would no longer be able to sell into other European markets because it will have to go through another set of safety certifications. This kind of thing would be repeated in every industry you can think of.” This could change the policies of the Federation of United Kingdom and EU in a more fundamental ways.

Not only in Europe but also world over, UK was viewed by critics as an extension of USA. Both have worked in tandem in Middle East, Africa, South and Central Asia and APEC Arc. This opinion will strengthen in mainland Europe that was expected to make the world multi polar once again. Donald Trump’s statement from a Golf Course calling it a “Great Thing” and saying that the people of the UK have “taken back their country” is like adding insult to injury.

Will the international geostrategic template shift? If forces mentioned above prevail, a new balancer will emerge in due course. Japan, China, Russia and Middle East as biggest stake holders outside EU will readjust their policies. Both the economic potential and populations of these countries dwarf EU. They will be in no mood to suffer losses on the whims of British and Americans. They will hedge their interests with proactive and reactive policies. The results will impact the entire spectrum of statecraft. In this context, readers must keep a watch on Kissinger-Putin discourses.

South Asia is intrinsically linked to these developments. Modi’s aggressive diplomacy to isolate Pakistan and contain China may have encountered a formidable hurdle. In environments where emotive factors combined with political economies may create new frontiers, India could have major challenges to contend with.

As for Pakistan, like ever it is a God sent opportunity to put its internal house in order. While India can wait, Afghanistan must be stabilised. Three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan for the past four decades must be considered cognitive citizens of the country. It is time for a major policy shift lest the tide sweep the winds that cannot read.