At the time of writing, the world is waiting and holding its breath to see Donald Trump sworn in as president of the United States of America. It’s a reality that not many people expected to face, and there have been countless roadblocks along the way that many people held on to as a glimmer of hope that this reality might not come to fruition.
His campaign was riddled with controversy, not least because of his polarizing views on immigration. Although no real policy or concrete plan on how his policy will play out has ever materialized, there have been hints that those living in the USA under precarious circumstances might face deportation once the new administration takes charge. These anti-immigrant sentiments have been simmering for years and have come to light under several key political events in the past year. These sentiments also fuelled several political vehicles which are now slowly in motion.
In Britain, the success of the Brexit vote has placed Britain on a path towards leaving the European Union. As one of its founding member states, this leaves the fate of the EU on uncertain ground. And yet, untangling the UK from the EU is a complex task that is more than the sum of its parts. For the British nationals living throughout Europe, they are waiting for confirmation that their position will be secure after Britain starts the negotiating process. As it stands, it seems unlikely that such provisions will be granted unless indefinite leave to remain is offered to EU nationals settled in the UK.
The link between the success of Donald Trump’s election campaign and the unexpected success of the Brexit campaign is inextricable. While many of the supporters are lauding both as a win for progression and an important departure from the status quo, others are clearly wary about marching blindfolded into the unknown. In Britain and the UK, both countries faced a vote with two outcomes. On the one hand, there was the steady and safe option that would allow things to continue much as normal, while the other hand presented a foray into the unknown. No guarantees could be made, other than that things could change. Whether these changes will be for the better remains to be seen.
As Donald Trump takes office, he does so with very few promises to uphold, which is perhaps an advantage over his predecessors. And the same can be said for the Brexit deal. With both campaigns driven forward by rhetoric rather than actual policy, the promise of change and a departure from the old way of thinking and old methods has engaged a generation of voters. All that matters now is how the change we were promised plays out on the global stage.