On June 23, 2016, history was revolutionized with over 17.4
million citizens of the United Kingdom voting out of the European Union.
Today at Magnus Prep Explains, we will be looking deeper
into the questions that surround “Brexit” (*Title*) Being one of the most globally impactful
decisions to be made in the recent years, we would certainly recommend taking
notes. The “General Knowledge” section in the entrance examinations
is commonly denoted the highest weightage, and this requires dedicated efforts
to stay updated.
Brexit, an abbreviation for British Exit comes with a long
history of over 60 years. Let us first understand the birth of the European
Union. The World War I and II had caused massive destruction and damage to the
continent, leaving several families broken and the economy shattered. A theory
that came into being at that point in time was that – If countries came
together and formed economic ties, the likelihood of them fighting each other
will be brought down drastically. Therefore to promote greater political,
social and economic harmony between the Western European countries, a treaty
was signed in the 1957, forming the European Union. Belgium, France, Leximburg, Netherlands, Italy and West Germany
signed this treaty of Rome and formed the European Economic Community. UK tried
twice in 1963 and 67 to join this community, however was not granted permission
by French President – Charles de Gaulle. There have been many reasons stated
for this, with him reasoning that the UK’s economy was not synergic with that
of Europe’s. But, most commonly accepted reasoning that was attributed to this
was that De Gaulle did not trust the British and their close allies with the
United States. In 1973, with De Gaulle out of power, UK became a member. This
was not a mutually accepted decision and the insecurities of Britian in the
community was questioned so much so that they conducted a National Referendum
to decide whether to stay or leave. A national Referendum is when a particular
proposal is either voted in or out by the electorate. With over 67% choosing to stay, the people
certainly did see the benefits of a continued relationship.
The Community is now called the European Union, expanded to
28 countries and created an impact to an economic zone with over 500 million
citizens through political and civic reforms. The year by year per person GDP
rate has reached the peak in the Euro Zone. Germany, UK and France – EU’s
biggest economies have seen a constant upward movement in their GDP since their
The EU became more and more integrated with countries giving
up more of their soverignity, the UK saw itself negotiating from key aspects of
the Union in order to stay independent. They did not adopt to the Euro and kept
the Pound as their currency; they did not open their borders in 1995 like the
other countries in the EU for complete movement. Though these were certainly
drivers of the exit, the most strong development was the adoption of the Lisbon
Treaty in 2009. The Lisbon Treaty made the
EU’s central institutions more powerful and for the first time had a
documented rules set on how a country can go about exiting the Union called the
Article 50. Around the same time, the world faced a severe recession, Greece had
an extremely high debt , and by the force of the other EU members, they were required
to cut back on spending in exchange for money.
Next came the millions of migrants fleeing from war-torn countries across
Middle East and North Africa into their way to the Europe and the economically preferred
locations – Germany, UK or France. With this influx, there were also
nationalists and anti immigrant feelings which increased, adding pressure to
the European leaders to build fences. The walls were raised in the East,
patrols were strengthened in the Meditarnian Coast, deportation rates increase
and camps were set up at the borders for these immigrants.
There were a few leaders, like Angela Merkel of Germany who
intended to welcome many immigrants whereas the UK being an island could easily
cut the entry short. All of this culminated to a tough election where David
Cameron promised to conduct a Referendum on British’s participation in the EU
if he were to be elected. Having won the position, he used this to leverage
certain tweaks in the UK membership with the EU. This did work in their favour,
as for the first time a country was permitted have its own special deals.
However, these deals were dependent on the results of the Referendum.
David Cameron pushed for the remain of Britain in the EU,
and he used his political power to also motivate the opposition to stand for
the BREXIT. One of the primary
arguments by those supporting the BREXIT
was that the UK being one of the wealthiest countries was channeling a large
sum of money to the EU. Another key
motivator was the rise in terrorism, which devastated their society – including
the attack in Paris in November 2015. Immigration also played a key role in the
decision, with the rates increasing its highest peak 2 years before the BREXIT.
All of this lead to the shocking vote of 51.9% for BREXIT
and 48.1% against it.
What happened after the BREXIT?
As predicted, David Cameron resigned from his position; the
pound value slumped down to the lowest in 31 years and had a value around 15%
lower against the dollar. Theresa May, member of Cameron’s cabinet, succeded
him as the Prime Minister. She then sent a letter to the EU President, Donald
Tusk invoking Article 50, thus starting a 2 year countdown for UK to re-negotiate
its future with the Eurpoe.
What happens in these 2 years?
Integral points which have jurisdiction over UK were to be
thought over and reformed:
1) Will the UK reject
the EU’s Human Rights Act to form their own British Bill
2) How crime fighting and security relationships will work?
3) What will be the follow up on the earlier commitments it made
to the EU? and so on.
The EU is also
working for the best of the 27 countries, with Angela Merkel promising to drive a tough bargain for the
benefit of all. The moment UK leaves the EU, all the rules previously followed
cease to exist. To cope with this potential upheaval, the UK plans to pass a
Great Repeal Bill, which will be majorly influenced by the existing EU laws.
However, recent studies have shown that if the referendum were to be conducted
again, the results would be against the Brexit and that this revocability is possible.
That is BREXIT in a nut shell. Now that we have shared what
we had to, we would like to hear from you. Your thoughts, what you think might
be better for the Britian to do, and what you think are going to be the real
struggles that follow.
If you have any queries or want to share any feedback,
please do share your comments below.
Till then, adios! Like. Share. Subscribe.