THE BLOG
06/24/2016 01:22 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2017

The Unintended Consequences of Brexit

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Congratulations, Brexit voters. You got what you wanted and opened the proverbial Pandora's Box. Now you get to own the consequences of your actions.

The immediate consequences include - but aren't limited to - David Cameron's resignation, the British stock exchange started the day with an eight percent drop, and the British pound is at its lowest rate in more than three decades.

Scotland, which barely opted to remain in the United Kingdom after its last ballot referendum for independence, voted decisively to remain in the EU. Now, a second Scottish independence referendum is likely within the next two years.

Northern Ireland, whose voters also opted to remain within the EU, isn't far behind. In the aftermath of Brexit, Sinn Fein is calling for a referendum in Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and reunite with the Republic of Ireland - something the IRA was unable to accomplish with bombs and bullets for decades. Politicians in other EU member nations are calling for similar referendums in their home countries.

We could potentially witness the disintegration of the United Kingdom as we know it within five years. For what? UK Independence Party's Nigel Farage sheepishly admitted on national television that one of the Leave campaign's promises of reallocating the 350 million a week from the EU to the National Health Service was a "mistake." Brexit voters fell for this bait and switch, and now that they voted for it, it doesn't look like they're going to get it.

There are some initial signs of buyer's remorse among voters, including one man who voted to Leave thinking his vote wouldn't count. British voters are Googling the European Union less than 12 hours after having voted to leave it. If the United Kingdom goes into a recession, in whole or in part due to the fallout of the Brexit vote, expect to hear from more voters regretting their decision to back the Leave campaign. As Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten famously quipped, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

So congratulations to the Brexit politicians and campaigners. As improbable as it may have been considered even a few days ago, you accomplished your goal. You are the proverbial dog that caught the car. To cite the oft-misunderstood Pottery Barn Rule: "you break it, you own it." Now we all get to live with it.