Europe (MNN) — Now that Brexit has a mandate, the phrase should be ‘keep calm and carry on.’
It’s anything but calm in Europe, though.
TeachBeyond’s President George Durance explains, “There’s been an increasingly concerned group of people in the United Kingdom who feel that a lot of power, authority, [and] control has devolved to Brussels, to this government that has been set up to oversee the European Union affairs.”
‘Brexit’ is the term used to describe a referendum in which British voters decided to leave the European Union. It signals the end of a 43-year old partnership between Britain and more than two dozen nations in Europe, but also triggered two countries that chose to ‘Remain’ in the EU. Scotland and Ireland are now talking about an independence referendum from the UK.
In response to the results, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron resigned. He’ll step down in the fall. The fallout is just beginning.
Says Durance, “There are hundreds of thousands of people who are there on visas that are not immigrant visas. They’re work visas, religious work visas, volunteer visas—all kinds of visas that are used to bring people in. The economy relies on it and that’s now all up for grabs.”
The stock market also reacted violently, he adds. “This is going to be a serious problem for us because we’re deploying people to another country and all of a sudden, they’re going to need 15-percent more money because the world has said ‘we don’t like this’ and the pound, the British currency, has plummeted.”
Analysts think it could take up to two years to exit the EU, although it may take considerably longer. That could stymie any plans for growth.
Durance had been considering the need for a Christian university in the UK (there currently are none) founded on the same principles as Wheaton to serve as a beacon of light in that nation.
“We felt we could go ahead and plan on relocating people to the United Kingdom and setting up centers there, and doing a variety of people-rich activities”, he says. Post-Brexit, “We don’t really know what England and Great Britain are going to do with regard to immigration: can our people get visas to live there even for six months or a year? The Brexit voters are anticipating there are going to be new rules, new laws brought in that limit migration and this just leaves us stunned.”
TeachBeyond connects teachers, administrators, resident assistants, dorm parents, and support staff with global educational opportunities. They also equip teachers to reach their full potential as Christian educators. All of this is with an eye cast toward changing whole communities through the Gospel, one person at a time.
In what are sure to be confusing days ahead, Durance asks for prayers for wisdom. “We just need Him to overrule in the plans human beings have so the deep, eternal things God has in mind for us will, in fact, happen.”