Brexit is finally over … or is it?!

  • Brexit is finally over after four years of uncertainty

  • MP’s try to calm the division that still remains for the public

  • RejoinEU campaign is launched on January 1

  • Nigel Farage stokes the fires of anti-establishment rhetoric

Brexit is finally over as at 11pm on Thursday, December 30, 2020, the UK officially left the Brexit transition period between itself and the European Union (EU). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last-minute deal was carried out, signed and executed without fanfare or celebration.

A few TV media outlets marked the occasion with a sombre display of Big Ben striking 11 o’clock and, with not much more, four years of Brexit calamity, chaos, confusion and confrontation was ended. The divisive decision that has plagued the public consciousness for years was over.

However, as with all events of this magnitude, it is unlikely that we will have heard the last of Brexit and, if this were a TV series, many a critic would be highlighting the vast number of unanswered questions that still hang over the series as if it were untimely cancelled.

Will Remain and Leave voters finally be able to put the societal divisions created by Brexit to bed? Will the new trade agreement live up to Boris Johnson’s hype? Will the predicted chaos ensue with the economy plunging even further as the result of the UK leaving the bloc? And, after a lifetime of campaigning for Britain’s exit from the EU, is this now the last we have heard of Nigel Farage?

Possibly the biggest question of all, is the UK out of the EU for good or will it rejoin at a later date?

Well, just when you thought it was safe to go back onto social media after the continual For and Against arguments that have clogged up UK timelines over the past four years, a pro-EU, previously Remain, coalition have now officially commenced a campaign to rejoin the EU.

The group launched its #RejoinEU campaign on Friday, January 1, 2021, with its hashtag #RejoinEU trending on Twitter. Which, as expected, has cause tensions between Leavers and Remainers to erupt again on social media, highlighting that, although Brexit may be done and dusted, the wounds of division in British society are as raw as ever.

Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, took to Twitter to share her article from the Independent in which, in its opening heading stated, “The first way we need to move on from 2016, now that the deal is done, is to stop the endless and wrongful categorisation of people based on their views of the referendum”, however she may have underestimated the political and divided climate that still rages in the public consciousness for Brexit.

She accompanied the tweet with the title of the article, “Enough of ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers’ – we are all in this together now”, to try to use her social media presence to encourage unity across the country so that the UK could move into this new post-Brexit era.

However, the remaining tension in the UK was highlighted particularly succinctly by one user, @nosheepzone, who replied, “Do not go there. Brexit has wrecked my life, is wrecking my country. Labour’s failure to fight back a disgrace. Brexiteers are the enemy. They caused this. I will not unite with them. They must be made to own the mess. The only way ahead is #RejoinEU only way UK prospers.”

In one reply to their reply, user @MVain1970 said, “You lost, get over it or why not consider a move to the EU?” which clearly represents that the wounds are still open on both sides.

While the societal divides will take a long time to heal, at least it can be said the Phillips is making an attempt to bring the public back into the general region of a conversation over the subject of putting aside their differences. However, not all public figures in the UK are making the same level of effort.

In a tweet posted on January 1, 2021, arch-brexiteer Nigel Farage, despite having been successful in his life goal, continued to stoke the flames of anti-establishment rhetoric stating, “25 years ago they all laughed at me. Well, they’re not laughing now.”

The tweet followed his New Year wishes video to his followers in which he opens by stating, “It’s a big moment in our national story and the end of a very long road for tens of thousands of us who fought against the establishment.”

Whilst his celebratory disposition is understandable, it may be said that it is not the most helpful for a public figure to continue this rhetoric now that the issue has been finally put to bed.

So, could Britain’s pro-Europeans do to the 2016 vote what the anti-Europeans did to the 1975 one?

Whilst it seems likely that Brexit is the inevitable long-term future for the UK, an island set adrift and alone on the global stage, it currently feels highly unlikely that all this continued battle rhetoric will result in overturning this momentous occasion.

However, if we have learnt anything from the past four years, it is that anything is possible and the most unimaginable outcomes, such as Brexit itself, are actually possible.

Whatever the future holds, and whatever new normals may present themselves in the years and decades to come, it is clear that the divides that have ravage post-referendum Britain will be here for a long time to come.


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“Brexit is finally over … or is it?!”

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