Brexit

Cambel Shepherd

As many may already know, over the past few years, the talk of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union has become very popular. Brexit refers to the United Kingdom exiting the European Union. In 1973, the UK joined the EU but they just recently exited again for three main reasons. The first being that economic problems have been escalating between the UK and EU since 2008. For example, the unemployment rate in Southern Europe is now at 20%. Another reason was with the rise of nationalism and the growing distrust in defense organizations such as NATO and IMF, which take away the control from individual nations. The last reason the UK is leaving the EU is political elitism. In January of 2016, an official vote was directed for the people of the UK and results showed 17.4 million people wanted Brexit to happen and the polls ended up being 52% to 48%. After the vote, many citizens were angry with the UK because there was a lack of information provided and they believed that they were deceived. At the time, Theresa May was the prime minister for the UK but she ended up resigning after Brexit was meant to happen on March 29, 2019, but her deal for the rules after Brexit was rejected for the 3rd time by the MPs. Before she resigned, Theresa May installed a backstop designed to ensure there would be no border posts or barriers between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. On December 12, 2019, a general election was held early and resulted in the conservative majority of 80, a sizable majority in Parliament, and passed the Brexit legislation. Theresa May was replaced with the prime minister, Borris Johnson, but the majority of the withdrawal was almost already negotiated. Borris Johnson removed the backstop Theresa May installed and made a deal that a new customs border will be placed between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Goods entering Great Britain will have to pay tariffs and supporters say it allows the UK to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries. The rest of the agreement Theresa May made concerning the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the British in the EU stayed the same and it is agreed that the UK will pay the EU £39 billion. On January 31, 2020, the UK officially left the EU and is currently is the transition period that lasts from January 31st to December 31st. The transition period allows for the EU and UK to decide on the law enforcement, data sharing and security, aviation standards and safety, access to fishing waters, supplies of electricity and gas, and licensing and regulation of medicines. The most important things that will change with Brexit is the UK MEPs will lose their seats (such as Nigel Farage and Ann Widdecombe and 71 others in the European Parliament), there will be no more EU summits, the UK will be communicating with Luther countries around the world regarding trade, UK passports will change from purple back to blue, Brexit coins will be made, the UK Brexit department will be shut down, Germany won’t extradite citizens to the UK and will not be possible for suspect criminals to be brought back to the UK if they fled to Germany. This being said, there is much that will stay the same such as travel policies, driving licenses and pet passports, European health insurance cards, living and working in the EU, pensions, budget contributions, and trade. Although most of the confusion and misinformation has been cleared up and almost all of the conditions of Brexit have been laid down, many citizens of both the UK and the EU are left wondering how well Brexit will turn out and if it will be successful or not.