So a sizable majority of British voted to leave the European Union. Does this mean the end of the Union? No. It means only that the U.K. is isolating itself, becoming a lonely pitiful old lady on a wheelchair in a street corner somewhere.
The British ignored passionate appeals from the U.K.'s closest ally, the U.S., and other allies like Germany and France to stay in the Union. U.S. interests and the interests of all of Europe in their relations with Russia, Asia, Africa and Latin America are best served with a stronger, united Europe, not with a few large economies and a multitude of mini-States which in their own are mere economic and diplomatic dots.
Those opposing U.K. membership in the EU have now paved the way for Scotland's independence and the very possible end of the Northern Ireland peace agreement and renewed violence there.
From afar, my best advice to European leaders is...there is no reason to panic; the EU still has Germany, France, Italy, Italy, Poland and Spain whose combined GDP dwarf that of little UK.
European leaders must display serenity and begin to reimagine a Union that is more peoples-based, reconnecting with the real people, less focused on the stifling Brussels-based bureaucrats, real culprits and cause of disdain and repudiation; instead of overspending on a wasteful Brussels bureaucracy the new EU (without the cranky old English Lady) should double investments on youth and employment for all, education and innovation.
As the U.K. exits the EU it should graciously and voluntarily surrender its privileges as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The vacant position should be occupied by Germany alternating with Italy, Poland and Spain or any other arrangement negotiated and agreed by the EU member States.
The EU should be open to negotiations with the old lady according her the same privileges it has in place with other Europeans who have never joined the Union, namely, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.