Sequels are rarely as good as the original and those who sought to disparage the results of the June 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union have found, 42 months later, that this is exactly what the people of the UK wanted. The absurdity of those who despise what they don't like and who have spent all this time assuring that British people didn't know what they were voting for in that referendum, as well as forecasting every sort of Biblical plague if the country ended up leaving the EU, have done nothing but puff up the Boris Johnson phenomenon. The Conservative leader did not just win a victory in the election on Thursday, he won by a landslide and has thrown Labour into an unprecedented crisis after its worst result since the 1930s.
The United Kingdom will be leaving the EU on or before the 31st January. This is not good news for the EU but it is what British citizens wanted. Nor should it be difficult to understand: Europe is a ship adrift, with its elephantine institutions and an inability to make brave decisions - all it does is act as a club which thinks more about each of its member states than it does about the European people as a whole. The allocation of EU commissioner roles is proof of this: how can it be that Josep Borrell has become the head of diplomacy when he represents precisely its antithesis and has ended his watch at the Spanish foreign ministry at a level far below that of all his predecessors? I read that the EU feels relieved by Johnson's victory, thus resolving Brexit. How ridiculous! What they should do is ask themselves why it happened, even if it's too late.
Johnson wins, Europe loses and a chance opens up for a referendum in Scotland and, who knows, maybe for another one on the reunification of Ireland, as Sinn Fein has put forward. Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has already upped the pace after the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) won 48 of the 59 seats it contested, 13 more than in the last election. Sturgeon has warned Johnson that she intends to take this road, even unilaterally, if London objects. It will be an interesting issue, as in addition an independent Scotland would stay in the EU, which also arouses something more than just interest in Brussels. In any case, the battle between Johnson and Sturgeon will be followed, for obvious reasons, in Catalonia and Madrid.
In Northern Ireland, supporters of reunification have gained more seats (nine) than proponents of remaining in the United Kingdom (eight), something that has never happened since 1921, when the partition of the Irish island created two separate territories. The status quo forces insist that nothing has changed. But too many elements have taken on a different air.