After Brexit and then the death of the Queen, national unity and global respect are in doubt
After the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, what’s in store for post-Elizabethan Britain? Whatever you think of the institution of monarchy in a democracy, there must be huge respect for her 70 years of dedicated service as an impartial head of state and a unifying figure in Britain and beyond. Yet so much of what she represented is now in doubt.
She stood for the almost paradoxical unity of four nations in a single nation, the United Kingdom. But now the Scots are quite likely to leave the British union in order to rejoin the European one. Northern Ireland increasingly sees its future with the Republic of Ireland, as a kind of informal member of the European Union. Even if Britain doesn’t go all the way back to being just England and Wales, it will need a constitutional reordering.
She represented continuity, security, certainty. But Britain today faces a cost of living crisis, a soaring national debt, a probable recession and a chronic productivity problem, and it faces them under an inexperienced prime minister, Liz Truss, with a largely untried cabinet. Not much certainty there. Despite Truss’s trademark optimism, 69% of those asked in a recent opinion poll said Britain is “in decline”.