Brexit: Has Britain Finally Divorced the European Union?

  • AUTHOR: anam
  • POSTED ON: February 3, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About Brexit

In 2016, Britain decided through a national referendum that they were parting ways with the European Union which made headlines with #Brexit. Social media was divided just like the results as the vote suggested that 52% of the region wants to leave the organization while the other 48% voted in favor.

Source: gCaptain

But if you are confused with the whole scenario due to the celebrations that occurred in Britain last night, we are here to recall everything that happened during the previous three years that led to the decision.
What’s the deal with EU?
In 1972, the United Kingdom became part of the European Union that allowed them multiple advantages like the removal of visa obligation, settlements into other European countries, trade opportunities etc.

However, in less than three years, they were contemplating their exit and held the first referendum in 1975 by calling it the “European Economic Community”. 67% of the country voted in favor of remaining in the Union, but the government of the time was not satisfied.
When David Cameron was sworn in as Britain’s Prime Minister, he promised the nation a clean referendum to end the debate about Brexit. The options were “Remain or Leave”, and while they may seem direct, the truth could not be farther from reality.

Source: NBC News

An immigration crisis broke out in 2016 when the vote was due because the country was faced with a refugee problem and unlike the expectation of the then PM Cameron who expected a vast majority, only 52% of people supported the decision of leaving the union. The concept of Leave faced serious allegations because it had broken election and with the national referendum, the matters worsened.
But even though the matter was hardly settled, the government decided to stick with the vote of detaching themselves from the Union.

However, the action was delayed further even during Theresa May’s tenure until the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson came to power and rallied to hasten the events.
But where does Britain stand now and what does Brexit mean for them?
If you think that with the withdrawal, the debate has been put to bed, then you couldn’t be more wrong. The relationship between Britain and the EU has still not been stated clearly, and the perks that the region was receiving due to its membership have been restored under the name of the transition period.

Source: The New York Times

London, Northern Ireland and Scotland still stand in the opposition of Brexit and held mass protests across the country to showcase their disapproval. If you look at the demographics of voters, you’ll find that young people generally opposed Brexit while the older generation, in comparison, spoke in favor.
Why such opposing opinions?
As one of the most important countries of Europe, Britain holds a high position in the global economic market. London is considered a central business city in the entire continent which means that the job opportunities are much greater in the metropolitan hub of England.

However, since the decision of Brexit, many multinational companies that are operating in Britain and generating employment and career opportunities for young people have threatened to pull their businesses out. A notable company that might leave Britain due to their withdrawal from the European Union is Airbus that means the 14 000 direct and 100000 indirect employees would be left without jobs and this does not look good for the country.

A prediction of 4-9% decline in the economy has been made by the government, so if young people are not happy with the decision, it does not come off as a significant surprise.
Theresa May, the former Prime Minister of Britain who resigned because she failed to carry out Brexit in her tenure promised that “free movement” between countries would come to an end with the exit from the European Union.

Source: Business Insider

However, the 2016 refugee crisis made Brexit extremely unpopular among the masses, and this prospect faced resistance. Many working-class people feel that the growing number of immigrants are “stealing” their jobs, and therefore, they are happy with the decision of closing borders.
The young generation is emphasizing on how this will also limit career opportunities for the individuals in Britain because they would not be able to travel, work or study in any European country as well without a visa and this factor is quite disappointing.

The original date, after serving the notice period of two years since 2017, was settled on 29th March 2019. Still, the Conservative Party refused to accept the conditions that Theresa May put for the withdrawal. They believed that the terms were vague and would make the country hang in the middle of the European trade market. ‘
The date was moved to April but again, to no advantage since the other side was not ready to negotiate Brexit yet. The authorities of the European Union decided that it was time to resolve the conflict in London and set a date in October that would give them enough time to come up with a proper decision.

The disagreement caused Theresa May to resign, and the Conservative Party that was pro-Brexit from the beginning began to campaign for the withdrawal, causing Boris Johnson to promise the act in October with or without a deal.
However, confusion prevailed as his own party was divided on the decision and the lawmakers refused to allow Brexit in October because the conditions were still not settled which meant that Britain would have to take a lot of financial hits.

Source: Pindula News

As a result, Mr. Johnson, who said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for an extension, was forced to do so and the deadline was extended till January 31st 2020. With the massive hit on Britain’s and PM’s self-esteem, both the aspects which were heavily criticized, the government put Brexit on priority and finally decided that it was time to say goodbye to the 47 years of membership.

From manufactured goods and services to universities, everything was to be considered and even though Britain has finally freed themselves from the Union with the flags removed from Brussels, the matter is far from being resolved.

Source: Financial Times

What kind of exit will it be? How will that impact the rest of Europe? When will the terms be put into action? All these questions have yet to be answered, but one thing that has been made clear by the European Council President Charles Michel is that “The more the UK will diverge from the EU standards, the less access to the single market it will have.”

The transition period will last till the end of the year, where laws like free movement will be exercised to allow Britain some time to cushion the heavy fall they have just taken. Let’s see if the Conservative Party led by Mr. Johnson, whose policies have been under criticism since July, is able to lead Britain away from the 4-decade long issue.

Updated February 3, 2020
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