Brexit Morning After Intelligence from Inside the Un-United UK

Ian McDonald, member of Centre for Human Emergence Global, makes some on-the-scene integrally informed observations of the morning after the Brexit Vote.

UnUnited UK

Ian writes.

As you might imagine, it has been an interesting 18 hours in the UK since we

[CHE Global} spoke.  As I suspected the voter engagement was very high with 72% of those eligible to vote doing so.  In recent General Elections the turn-out has typically been closer to 35%.  

The easy shot for the campaigners on both sides was around fear; fear of economic meltdown if we left the EU or fear of immigration and losing jobs if we stay.  So a very large percentage of the voters used the opportunity to vent both anger and fear at the established status-quo after many years of an austerity economy following the banking crash.  It was a strike back at both the policy and the politicians who were seen as self-serving rather than actually about the headline issue. 

The result of a 2% majority in favour of leaving has now created a power vacuum as David Cameron has resigned and the leader of the opposition Labour party who was pro-Remain is facing a vote of no-confidence through weak leadership.  In theory the right-wing Conservative party has largely torn itself apart leaving an open goal for a Labour government to be formed as I am sure a general election will occur within 12 months. Labour however have a leader who has no leadership ability. 

It is like a boxing match with both opponents being knocked out.

At grass-roots level business and community owners are showing early signs of trying to build bridges with the recognition that only a route that heals the rift between the two camps will endure.  I believe Boris Johnson, figurehead for the Leave campaign will be seen as too divisive both within his own party and in a wider context to succeed Cameron and he will face strong opposition. 

For either party to take steps in leading the exit process and re-negotiation we need a strong leader capable of uniting a very divided UK which itself may further fragment as both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted strongly to stay as parts of Europe.

So we have the risk of a Un-United Kingdom with an independent Scotland and a united Ireland both remaining in Europe and an isolated England and Wales trying to re-invent a place in the world.  The hour has come; let us see who arrives to face an extraordinary challenge.

From a  bewildered , bruised  and tired UK.


About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here


  1. Ian McDonald June 26, 2016 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Ian writes further the next day – June 25, 2016

    “Another 24 hours have passed. Some processing and some sleep help with the perceptions as more information surfaces.
    Firstly; those on the call may remember that I had felt that the Millennials would vote strongly to remain. YouGov published a poll today showing 75% of 18-24 year olds voted to Remain. They have been vocal today re-affirming their desire for connectedness and sense of being Global citizens which always gives me a boost. So I am sure new connections will be created which are more relevant for the prevailing life conditions.
    I understand Jon’s perspective and after some sleep, feel more able to share the view that the uprooting and initial movements of the rusted axle are noisy and painful. Yes there are deep concerns around inequality which have manifested as a howl of protest. I live in Wales where some parts are amongst the poorest areas in Europe and are net recipients of European aid. They have also been amongst the strongest expressions of Leave because of the perception that aid intended for core renewal and infrastructure projects is at best being reduced and spent on superficial projects and more generally is simply diverted to reduce central government regional expenditure. So we understand that a Referendum is a blunt instrument and if the existing government aligns itself with one view then the opposite view becomes a vote of protest.
    Even European Commission boss – Jean-Claude Juncker’s inelegant comment “Deserters won’t be welcomed back with open arms” now seems irrelevant and a reminder that others can often perceive things that we have missed. So yes, today I am optimistic that we will create new and more relevant ties to parts of Europe and that the less appealing aspects of a flawed structure has started to crack. I am still concerned for my colleagues and clients who are in the middle of EEC backed projects and joint ventures to create new products and build new factories. Delay and uncertainty and more expensive money will rapidly become a new reality as we work through. Whatever emerges will be better aligned with life conditions and hopefully serve a wider cross-section than a Euro-Elite who have failed to do what needs to be done for too long.
    Amazing what sleep and a good walk can do,”

  2. Marilyn Hamilton June 26, 2016 at 2:51 am - Reply

    I am interested in your observations re the turnout and the choice of the Millennials – looks like they won’t go quietly into the night??

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