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 negotiation, 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, indeed.
By Ahmed Kheyrre