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Published On: Sat, Jun 25th, 2016

Somaliland: Brexit Terrible For UK, Not So Bad For Somaliland

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By Ahmed Kheyre
 
 
Every cloud has a silver lining. The irrational and unexpected rejection of the European Union by the majority, albeit a slim majority, of British citizens will have terrible consequences for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But, on the flip side, the democratic withdrawal from a four decade union, could have positive outcomes for Somaliland.
 
 
First of all, Britain will survive, perhaps not as we know it, but the show will go on. Naturally, the people of Scotland will go for another independence referendum, having overwhelming voted to remain in the EU. Northern Ireland, which also voted to remain in the EU, will have to be sorted it out.
 
 
So, if the United Kingdom, as a sovereign nation, joined a union with other European nations, in a quasi-federal status, and then decided to reclaim their “independence”, why not Somaliland, which was a sovereign nation and voluntarily joined a union with the rest of Somalia in 1960? 
 
If as expected, from 2020 onward, British subjects will no longer be EU citizens, then Somalilanders are no longer Somali citizens.
 
 
The UK had their referendum yesterday,June 23rd, 2016, the longest day of the year, and by all accounts, a really, really long day. Somaliland held its referendum in 2001, and the result was more than 90% in favour of reclaiming sovereignty.
 
 
A clause in the Treaty of Lisbon will allow the UK to notify its European partners of its intention to leave, secede, whatever you want to call. A lengthy negotiations, almost a decade long, will ensue in order to remove all the applicable EU laws in the UK, and to trash out a new trade,security and social agreements, and so on. It will be a divorce, amicable or not, the EU and the UK are done with their union. Sound familiar?
 
 
The United Kingdom will no longer be compelled to follow EU directives, such as trade and political ties with any nation across the globe. So, what will stop the United Kingdom from recognising Somaliland, now that they don’t have to play second fiddle to the Italians in the Horn of Africa?
 
 
The possibilities are endless for Somaliland. 
 
For, the people of the United Kingdom, of whom almost 48%, over 15 million votes, wanted to remain in the EU, the result is awful. But consider this, you are lucky enough to live in a free and democratic society, without the threat of genocide at the hands of your previous partners.
 
 
Every cloud, has a silver lining.
 
 
Allaa Mahad Leh
 
 
 
Displaying 3 Comments
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  1. This is an incredibly naive article which reaches the wrong conclusions.

    The referendum decision – for UK to leave the EU – will actually hinder the prospects for the recognition of Somaliland as a nation state. The UK government has taken the view that the responsibility for any initiative in this direction must rest with the AU.

    The UK outside the EU will be LESS influential with the AU and with key individual African states. The UK will also be LESS influential – and have fewer negotiating options – with important sceptical EU states like Italy and Spain.

    In the short-term, the new Euro-sceptic UK government has left a clear impression with the UK electorate that it will take significant action to cut immigration. However, it will have to concede ‘free movement within UK and new EU’ to secure the free trade agreements it has promised.

    Therefore, there will be an inevitable clampdown on non-EU immigration. So, expect a clampdown on the number of spouse visas and a significant increase in the minimum income requirement.

    There’s lots more that could be added. But, I can’t think of a single reason why Brexit is good for the prospects for an independent Somaliland or for Somaliland families.

    • Mohamed Issa says:

      Thanks Howard, I totally agree, UK outside the EU will be less influential with the AU. EU states like Italy will continue to ignore Somaliland.
      The situation created by the UK decision to leave the EU is not a great one,the Uk is deeply divided, The EU is very unhappy and nervous about UK is leaving, It will be more difficult to get the sympathy of the EU for a leave case (e.g. SL case) than ever before.
      I believe that neither the EU nor the UK had a plan for this situation. New opportunities/threats may appear as the negotiations start. What I can see now is that the UK decision to leave the EU is good for no one.

  2. Maxamud Yassin says:

    The UK stopped being a great player in world politics eons ago. In my view, it is considered a second tier nation by many African countries. Look around the continent and you will see Chinese and other Asian made products everywhere!

    Staying in the Euro was a double-edged sword. It has both its advantages as well as its disadvantages. Many biz people were for staying since it made economical sense. Sadly, the Euro-sceptics tended to concentrate on immigration and other issues like welfare/health systems. Of course, all these sides have a point. But you can’t play judge and jury at the same time. The Brexits have it and the consequences will soon be felt.

    Back to Somaliland. I can see the similarities. However, as Mr Howard as rightly pointed out, the greatest obstacle for our recognition is the AU. The US/K have made it clear that they agree with this. Interestingly, this is just a one-off example of consensus between the AU and these two powers. They have always disagreed on many issues like the ICC, Trade, sending of troops et al.

    S/Land has been quick to remind them of their double standards. Eritrea and Southern Sudan are very good
    reference points. For me Brexit gives the British a good taste of their own medicine. It’ll be interesting to watch how the EU reacts. The Germans under Merkel have been quick to say that they’ll give dialogue a chance, the same way S/Land extended an olive branch to Somalia. In the end, the Brits have the right to determine their own destiny the same way the S/Landers have. Sovereignity is a costly exercise. Mistakes are bound to be made. Yet you must be prepared to face its consequences. Only time will tell!!!

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