In the News: Augustana Professor Discusses Significance of Brexit

Augustana professor discusses Brexit

While he calls the U.S. home, Associate Professor Dr. Patrick Hicks, Augustana's writer-in-residence, is also an Irish citizen who has traveled and studied extensively throughout Europe.

Following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Hicks visited with regional reporters to share his thoughts about the possible ramifications of Brexit upon both the United Kingdom and other European nations.

Augustana Professor Talks About Future Of UK

By Leland Steva, KELO-TV

The world is taking in the historic decision of voters in Britain to leave the European Union.

The move, also known as Brexit, is getting reaction on both ends of the spectrum.  Some fear it will spark economic turmoil, while others see it as a new beginning for the country.

This vote is just the start of the work.

The EU is calling for Britain to begin exit talks as soon as possible in an attempt to avoid a long period of uncertainty.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll be resigning in the fall, and will let his successor decide when to start the process of leaving the European Union, which could ultimately take two years.

After the vote, many people are trying to figure out what's next for the United Kingdom, which is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. That same question is being asked by people right here in KELO-LAND.

Look around his office and you'll quickly see that Augustana Professor Patrick Hicks has a connection to the UK.  His mom was born in Northern Ireland.  He also has a British wife, and he's been a citizen of Ireland for 22 years. So, it's pretty clear that he has a vested interest in the decision.

"We didn't think the vote would go this way and I think that is the case among many people in the United Kingdom today, and I think people have woken up and they have no idea what's going to happen next," Hicks said.

While Britain voted to leave the European Union, London, along with Northern Ireland and Scotland, wants to stay and some are suggesting the capital city should go its own way. Hicks believes the future is murky for not just the UK, but also the rest of Europe.

"I think this could potentially have a ripple effect in the EU and I may suspect that people might be a little nervous. They're certainly going to be very cautious. Some of the larger countries like Germany and France, they want to keep the EU together."

Dr. Patrick Hicks
Augustana Writer-in-Residence

Hicks says other countries are displeased with the EU, and it's very hard to keep that many people together all the time. The Augustana Professor still says he believes in the union.

Hicks enjoyed the time he spent in the UK, and his family has even considered moving back there at some point.  He had hoped to teach in a place like Italy, but now, he's not so sure about that kind of career move.

"We have to press a pause on those retirement plans because ironically, I as the Irish-American could do this but my wife, who is born and raised in Britain, might not be able to," Hicks said.

Just one of the many questions swirling after the vote.