Brexit referendum vote counting remains close late into the night. If the Leave vote carries the day, overnight Britain begins a self-chosen unwinding of nearly every aspect of its governance, commerce and daily life. From Game of Thrones production funding to retiree medical benefits in the Algarve, the repercussions will touch every industry.
Preparations will have ranged from thorough to nonexistent. Citi’s forex staff have worked round the clock though their executives did not let it interrupt their annual ‘Ferrari Safari.’ Other entities will have gambled on Remain. Even those who think they are prepared will encounter the unexpected.
To have the opportunity to experience a highly developed society deconstruct itself in peacetime and of its own initiative (or destruct, depending on your view) is the learning and career opportunity of a generation. If I were 20 and unattached, I would book the first ticket across the Atlantic if Brexit is a go. New graduates in any field will have momentous work even in the most tedious pursuits.
Last year I was in Lille, France on business. It is traditionally home of French companies such as much-admired sports retailer Decathlon. In recent years, its strategic Eurostar stop has become a commerce hub and commuter suburb for London, Paris and Brussels. Lille will be a microcosm for the wrenching changes to come. I might just set up shop there and watch it unfold.