Source: The Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR
New York Times: After ‘Brexit,’ 3 Centuries of Unity in Britain Are in Danger
WASHINGTON — When people discuss the stakes of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, they often talk about implications for the “European project,” the continuing post-World War II effort to unify the Continent politically and economically. But within hours of the polls’ closing on Thursday, it appeared that something much more basic could be at risk: Britain as a multinational state.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as it is formally known, is one of only a handful of countries that consist of multiple nations, politically and legally distinct but united under a common government.
That system of government has been the subject of far less frenzied commentary than European unity, because it is smaller, and because it has seemed so stable. But the crisis-ridden, relatively young European Union may well outlast the 300-year-old United Kingdom, a prospect that speaks to both the underappreciated audacity of Britain’s multinational experiment and the strength of the forces that could now put it to an end.
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Update #1: A Less-United Kingdom: 'Brexit' Vote Revives Talk Of U.K. Breakup (NPR)
Update #2: After Brexit vote, Scotland and N. Ireland reconsider ties to Britain (CSM)
WNU Editor: Scottish nationalists want another referendum after losing the last one .... and any excuse will do. And in Northern Ireland the old Catholic - Protestant animosities are looking for an excuse to flare up again. This has more to do with the internal politics of these regions than whether or not they want to be a part of the EU .... but as an issue it is tailored made for all of these parties to exploit.