On the 24th June 2016 the people of Britain woke up to the historical news that 51.9% of the population of the UK had voted to leave the EU, a vote which must be respected. However, according to official statistics, 75% of 18-24 year olds voted to remain in the EU. This consequently suggests that the older generations have left the future of the younger generation of the UK in uncertain waters. This uncertainty has already hit hard with the pound (£) falling by 8% just hours after the results of the vote were released, such a fall has not been seen since 1985.
To add to the sorrows of both Remain and Leave voters, the Ukip leader and spokesman of the Brexit campaign, Nigel Farage, retracted the leave campaign’s promise that £350m of EU contributions could now be spent on the National Health Service (NHS) with his fellow leave campaigner Daniel Hannan suggesting that immigration is unlikely to change dramatically following the UK leaving the EU.
Hannan said: “Frankly, if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.”
Despite the evident lies that were given to supporters of the Brexit campaign by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, among others, a majority of Leave voters are still ecstatic to “have their Britain back”. But what does this mean you might ask? As much as some would like to believe in a “pure” British identity, the times of Winston Churchill and the British Empire are long gone. “Pure race” does not exist, it is a myth. The fact that the British Royal Family (a major symbol of “British identity”) has blood from Aragon, Holland, Hanover and Greece is evidence of this.
The myths surrounding immigration are holding back a beautiful phenomenon, multiculturalism. The existence and more importantly the acceptance of multiple cultures within a country is not only a symbol of modern “British identity” but also a symbol of what it means to be a citizen of the modern world in which we live. Over on the other side of Europe, what does this drastic change mean for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
On the 15th of February 2016 Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership, this move was highly supported by the UK Government.
The UK Government states online that they are: “committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s success as a single, sovereign country, which we hope to see join both the EU and NATO. We are working to safeguard the country’s internal stability, and to promote political and economic reform. The UK has a particular role as an active member of the Peace Implementation Council and a leading voice within the EU.” Another prime example of the UK’s relationship with Bosnia can be seen with British Labour Party MP Jo Cox, who was shot dead on the 16th June 2016 as a result of her on-going support for immigration, multiculturalism and in particular aid for the Balkans. She also named her daughter Lejla in memory of a victim of the Srebrenica genocide. Following Brexit and David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister, right-wing politics is likely to play a more dominant role in the management of the UK, which could potentially make it more difficult for Bosnia and Herzegovina to ascend to the European Union. Furthermore, for the thousands of Bosnians living in the UK, this situation may create a rise in prejudice against Bosnian migrants.
However, some impacts may also increase Bosnia’s role within Europe. Now that the European Union has lost a key player and is threatened by other countries following suit, it is possible that the organisation will be more open to accepting other European countries due to Brexit.
The state of the European Union and Europe as a whole is still uncertain and the effects of Brexit on the UK and Bosnia are still in early days, only time will tell.
Written by George Rogers