"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling tweeted Friday that she's hoping for some real-world magic to erase Britain's decision to leave the European Union. But other Brits in the "remain" camp might be searching for a more realistic solution.
Brits voted in the so-called Brexit referendum Thursday to leave the European Union, with nearly 52 percent of voters opting out of the 28-member group, compared to only 48 percent electing to stay. In the wake of the monumental decision, British Prime Minister David Cameron signaled that he would accept the decision and announced plans to resign by October.
But the battle may not be fully over. The process of divorcing from the EU is a complicated one, expected to take up to two years. In that time, the British government will have opportunities to mitigate certain aspects of the Brexit decision. In other words, there are still some desperate measures "remain" supporters can take to fight the outcome of the referendum.
Before the vote, government officials in the U.K. who favored Britain staying in the EU were reluctant to discuss, or even admit to considering, options they could take in the case of a "leave" victory, for fear of validating that campaign and relinquishing any momentum. But now that the referendum is over, those officials may change their tune and alternatives will likely surface.
One possible option could be holding a new vote on the decision to leave. Some had argued prior to Thursday's referendum that if the initial Brexit vote was close enough and the turnout low enough, a legitimate argument could be made for another referendum.
That seems unlikely now. While the vote Thursday was close, the turnout was high — close to 70 percent — and Cameron's decision to resign sends a message that the "remain" campaign has been soundly defeated.
Opponents of the referendum will likely have to focus their energies instead toward fighting the consequences of the Brexit line by line, as opposed to a clean reversal of the decision.
According to a report from the Guardian earlier this month, ministers in Parliament have been secretly discussing possible plans to join the European Economic Area, an agreement that includes other non-EU countries like Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. EEA membership would preserve the free movement of people, goods and services currently provided by the EU.
The EEA vote would be one of many individual measures Parliament will face in figuring out how to establish its independence from the EU. Those votes could also include additional referendums over various aspects of the split.