What is Brexit?

Everyone’s been freaking out about “Brexit" lately and while some people are sudden experts on UK politics, the rest of us still aren’t a hundred percent sure about what exactly happened.  Here’s a quick rundown:

 

 

So, what is “Brexit"?

“Brexit”, a combination of the words “Britain” and “exit”, and is just another way of describing the possibility (now reality) of Britain leaving the European Union.  The decision was made by a vote, the EU referendum, on Thursday, June 23rd.  Overall, the people voted to leave with 51.89% voting Leave and 48.11% voting Remain out of 33,551,983 votes.

 

What does the EU do exactly?

Good question.  The EU is basically a group of countries which work together to help each other out.  For example, there are no border controls between member countries, which allows people and goods to travel easily.  With other economic and trade agreements, all countries are able to benefit.  They also work together towards common policy goals related to climate, environment, migration, and human rights.  In return, member countries have to follow certain rules and pay fees such as import duties and a small percentage of gross national income.

 

Sounds like a good deal- why would people want to leave?

As a member country of the EU, trading within the union is often times favorable, which leads some people to feel that membership is damaging the UK’s trade relations with non-member countries.  The lack of border controls allows for freedom of movement for labor, which allows for foreigners to flood the UK labor market for better or worse.

 

Which kinds of people wanted to leave, then?

According to a recent Telegraph article, older voters were more likely to vote Leave.  Those who supported the Remain movement were younger voters, university educated citizens, and Northern Irish and Scottish voters.

 

So what now?

Some people are unhappy with the results and are calling for a new referendum.  Young voters especially are angry, as they were more likely to vote Remain, while older voters were more likely to vote Leave.  Some young adults feel that the older voters are ruining their future, and they’ll be the ones who have to deal with the trouble they’ve caused.

 

Will there be another referendum then?

Not likely.  After the “Leave” vote, vocal “Remain” supporter and former Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigned from his position.  The newly appointed PM, Theresa May, tepidly supported the “Remain” movement as well, but has claimed that “Brexit means Brexit” and has filled her new cabinet with both “Leave” and “Remain” supporters.

 

 

Further Reading:

http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/about/index_en.htm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/22/eu-referendum-which-type-of-person-wants-to-leave-and-who-will-b/