A word from...Akiko Hart, MHE Acting Director
The UK has voted to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum. Leave won by 52% to 48% with England and Wales voting strongly for Brexit. Initial analysis is that voters in the UK - although not in Scotland - were more convinced by arguments about immigration than by the economic ones. In terms of what happens next, it is important to recall that the ball will be in the UK’s court, nothing happens automatically. The UK Government will need to decide its tactics on whether and when to activate the article 50 mechanism in the Treaty for a country that wishes to leave the EU.
But what does this mean for the rest of the EU? Will it impact MHE’s work? In the longer term, with the UK no longer there to oppose the EU in the health and the social fields, it may create new opportunities for a more ambitious EU agenda. On the other hand, it may open the door to other EU leaders to rethink their role in the EU.It is time for the European Union to focus on its strengths and recall it is not only about trade and currency, but also about peace, cooperation, and advancing social rights. MHE hopes EU leaders will show firm commitment and leadership in starting a wider reflection on the future of the EU.