AMSTERDAM—Little doubt remains by now that Brexit, the British voters’ decision to pull their country out of the European Union, will have a detrimental impact on the United Kingdom’s economic fortunes. The country will experience an economic contraction, and it is quite likely that a loss of global influence will also ensue. In fact, the U.K. itself may ultimately come apart, as Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which opposed Brexit, ponder a separate future.
The reverberations from the vote, however, extend far beyond the British Isles. If resentment over the impact of globalization was one of the motivating forces behind the voters’ decision, the wide-ranging geographical extent of the decision’s impact offers proof of just how irretrievably interconnected the world has grown. There is hardly a country on Earth that will remain wholly untouched by the waves of the political tsunami that British voters unleashed.
The first of those waves have already traveled around the globe and back, with financial markets reeling for a couple of days before settling in for a period of uncertainty.