10 Things You Need to Know About Brexit
What is it and why should we care?
Most of us have heard of Brexit, whether it was in our classes, the news, or at Thanksgiving dinner this past year, but do we actually know what it is? Here is a quick list of 10 things you should know to be more informed about what is going on currently overseas and understand the importance of Brexit.
1. What does Brexit stand for?
Brexit stands for the UK leaving the European Union (EU). Britain + Exit = Brexit. BOOM.
2. What is the EU?
The European Union is a coalition of 28 countries (soon to be 27 because of Brexit. Obviously.) that was established in 1993. According to the EU’s website, their goals are to promote peace, the well-being of its citizens, justice and freedom without internal borders, economic success, as well as social progress and to create solidarity among these nations.
3. So why does Britain want to leave?
There are two arguments as to why Britain wants to leave the EU. The first is that economic regulations are inconvenient or burdensome due to bailing out other nations in the union. A second concern involves what to do with refugees and the liberal rules of internal migration between different nations of the EU. Most supporters of Brexit are less educated voters and older voters in the baby boomers’ generation. Sounds familiar right?
4. Just over half of the population voted for Brexit.
On June 23, 2016, the UK voted on if they wanted to leave the European Union or not. 51.9% voted to leave the EU out of over 30 million people who went out to vote on the referendum, which had a 71.8% turnout rate.
5. Wait, is Britain or the UK leaving?
Both! It can be confusing so here’s a quick geography lesson: the UK (United Kingdom) is made up of four nations which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. So, where does Britain come into the equation? Britain is the huge island that England, Wales, and Scotland are all located on.
6. Fake news is somewhere else besides the United States?!
Who would’ve thought. During the Brexit referendum, targeted Facebook ads were released to sway voters in the direction of voting for Brexit. These fake news ads were created by a Canadian company called, AggregateIQ, which has links to Cambridge Analytica. This company also launched campaigns to help the nationalist movement within Britain to leave the EU and helped play a big role in the vote. (Similar to what the same company did with our 2016 presidential election. Sketchy.)
7. How does Brexit affect the EU?
Brexit affects the European Union in a huge way. A little less than 50% of the UK’s exports go to the EU, while more than half of its imports come from the nations within the EU. Plus, the UK is a huge military power that will be lost to the nations of the EU after Brexit.
8. It has been over two years and Brexit still has not happened?
Brexit is set to happen finally on March 29, 2019. The UK will have to leave or exit whether it has a trade deal or not with the European Union. Very sad.
9. Could or will there be a re-vote on Brexit?
Although many within the UK may now wish they did not vote for Brexit at all and want a re-vote, it is extremely unlikely that it would ever happen.
10. What is happening with Brexit now?
The UK Parliament voted on two different agreements drafted by Prime Minister Theresa May for Brexit that would have allowed them to continue to be a part of the EU trading. These would have allowed them to follow the same laws until 2020 which would give them time to adjust and come up with another agreement. However, Parliament rejected both of these plans and Britain is set to part ways with the European Union this month. Yikes.
So you may be asking: Why should we care about Brexit? It doesn't even affect us! False. The UK is one of the United States’ biggest allies. As America’s seventh biggest trading partner, the UK leaving the European Union potentially creates an instability that will affect our economy and financial markets. With no agreements made between the UK and EU, there are many different possibilities for the future. Stay updated because the outcome will affect you.