The months following Brexit look bleak for the British. But as the UK closes the door to the EU, it has unintentionally opened another to Canadian travellers. The pound sterling is sitting just above $1.70 CAD and, while this might not seem like a steep drop, it could be enough to persuade more Canadians to visit the UK.
Canada is a wonderful, unique country. I came here as a musician and a stereotypical tea drinking, Marmite enjoying Brit to live, work and study for a masters degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I was immediately struck with the country's immeasurable beauty, vastness and diversity, but I was even more struck with how culturally different it was to my country.
The Harper government has been booted from power, and the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union. Both its national parties are in meltdown, and its new prime minister says she will negotiate her country's exit from the EU -- something that must happen within two years, once formal notice is given.
Many observers did not expect it. Former British prime ministers, academics and other experts warned about the negative consequences of a vote for Brexit, but nonetheless a majority of the voting public ignored this advice. While it is too soon to fully judge the implications of this vote, it does not bode well for Britain.
For North Americans, particularly Canadians planning to live or stay a substantial amount of time in Britain, there are a few things you'll need to accept as part of daily life. Aside from the obvious ones like driving on the opposite side of the road and always carrying an umbrella, I have compiled what I believe to be a helpful list of some simpler things that may aid you in your new life abroad.
The G20 summit this week, and the growing Syrian catastrophe, underscores the reality that we are living in a G-zero world. The bonds that once held nations together have severed, and there is nothing close to an international consensus on any hot-button matter being discussed today. Welcome to the G-Zero world, where we exist in a geopolitical power vacuum as the west declines and emerging nations (China, India) concentrate on their own domestic problems. It may be this way for a long while.
Canada's recent move week to share embassies with Britain as a cost-cutting measure would only confirm the country's international reputation is in trouble. While the Harper Government might be promoting this as a savings measure, globally it is being perceived that our best diplomatic days are now part of our history books as a nation.
NBC has continued to delay all of their Olympic coverage so far -- the opening ceremonies, Michael Phelps' race. Do they not know about the Internet? In only three days, NBC has single-handedly shown all of us why folks are turning off their TVs and turning on their computers. They wonder why their ratings are dropping and why the money is fleeing. Maybe they should watch their own shows.