If you’d told anyone a fortnight ago that Britain would be on its way out of the EU and that every political party would be in disarray, few would have believed you.

After an aggressive campaign over the EU referendum, backing for Brexit was a result that even a lot of its supporters did not expect.

And everything that has followed – David Cameron resigning as Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn under growing pressure to quit as Labour Party leader and Nigel Farrage quitting from the helm of Ukip after achieving his independence dream – many would never have believed.

There’s no doubting that the EU referendum decision has divided the nation and exposed people’s frustrations with politics. But has it changed politics forever?

Dr Stephen Gibbs, a senior lecturer in Global Leadership and Change at the University of Huddersfield, who lives in Carlisle, believes the answer is ‘yes’.

He says: “Because the global economy is in such a difficult state the only way that UK plc can survive amongst a transcendent Russia and a transcendent China - and of course the other countries around the world are moving at some pace - is if we do become a more politically engaged and more leaderful nation as a whole.

“You have to change, you can’t go back to what you might call left-right politics, you have to have a more vigorous political form.”

From a global perspective, he explains, there has been a “shift in the symmetry of the world” as the EU is a supranational body that embodies ‘European-ness’ and counteracts American values.

“You’ve got the potential dissolving of a major global power block which represented a set of values,” he says, “which allows more scope for a transcendent Russia and China to exert influence, so it’s quite a big shift at a global level.”

He adds that the UK has always had the desire to be closer to the United States both philosophically and in a sense of who we are, not sharing the vision of the French for a federal Europe.

“We have a different sense of who we are and that’s been borne out in this result,” Dr Gibbs continues.

“I think on reflection [the reaction] is not as much of a surprise. That body of men and women who head up the EU project, as you might call it, that class of politician has never really understood. What the EU failed to do was to appeal to the somewhat disenfranchised white working class in the UK. They missed the opportunity to communicate its values.”

He says the disengagement is rooted back to post-World War Two.

It is something he says is reflected in the vote, not as xenophobia, but of a fear of a future that many felt left out from. In comparison, he says, Donald Trump’s support in his run for the US presidency is from the disenfranchised white working Americans and that Nigel Farage’s message was understood by their counterparts in the UK.

On the plus side he says: “If this is a step forward into the grassroots engagement and there’s a reforming of politics to more genuine dialogue, that’s a very positive thing. That’s what this country has missed out on.”

He thinks this engagement demands a new generation of politicians, that Westminster needs statesman-style leadership from a Prime Minister who can set forward a clear vision of Britain’s future.

Dr Gibbs adds that the initial election of far left figure Jeremy Corbyn triggered a major debate within the party to resurface and re-equip itself to be a fitter party, while on the Tory benches he suggests what we’re seeing is a similar split.

“An important debate is taking place and critically for the country you need an opposition which is fit to lead,” he adds.

“Out of that will come a split Labour party or it will come out with a reformed third way, an alternative from the Blair right way and the far left.”