BREXIT – The Big exit of Britain from European Union and impact on UK and EU
It won’t be surprising if the term finds a place in Oxford dictionary soon. A stressful political move has been the talk of the world for last few years. The big decision of UK moving out of EU would mean a lot of change in the way the trade happens in the European continent. However, the common man is only aware of two terms – ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’. This post aims at simplify what is EU, BREXIT and how it impacts the common man of the continent.
What is European Union?
European Union is a political and economic union of 28 countries that allow easy movement of citizens across the countries and trade with each other.
The 28 countries which make the European Union include – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and UK
The European Union was formed with much deliberation to strengthen the brotherhood in European continent politically and economically. The integration saw a gradual progress through centuries. 20th century saw a concrete move post Second World War when many part of the Europe was devastated by the war. The first version of the committee was formed by 6 countries soon looked inefficient and incompetent to address the issues it aimed to resolve. However, this didn’t deter its members, they went on adding countries and strengthening the union.
The journey was nevertheless smooth, it had its peak and turfs –
- Council of Europe was formed in the year of 1949
- Formation of European Coal and Steel Community in 1952
- In 1957, European Economic Community was created as Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome, and established a customs union.
- The first sign of stress with France seeking to limit supranational power in 1960s
- In 1973, the Communities included Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
- In 1979, the first direct elections to the European Parliament held
- In 1981, Greece joined the Union
- In 1986, Portugal and Spain joined EU
- States of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta, the Copenhagen joined in June 1993
- In 1995, Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the European Union.
- In 2002, Euro banknotes were launched to replace national currencies in 12 of the member states.
- Since then, the Eurozone has increased to encompass 19 countries. The euro currency became the second largest reserve currency in the world.
- In 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement to date when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the Union.
- The Lisbon Treaty entered into force in 2009. On 1 December, and reformed many aspects of the EU.
- In 2007, Bulgaria and Romania became EU members.
- In 2007, Slovenia adopted the euro, followed in 2008 by Cyprus and Malta, by Slovakia in 2009, by Estonia in 2011, by Latvia in 2014, and by Lithuania in 2015.
The issues – The expansion of European Union increased the complexity and discord amongst its members. The beginning of the 2010s marked beginning of series of issues questioning the cohesion of the European Union, including a debt crisis in some of the Eurozone countries, increasing migration from the Middle East, and the latest and most stressful United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
BREXIT – British exit from European Union began with a simple public vote – referendum which asked Britons if Britain should remain in European Union or leave, held on June 23, 2016. Initially the poll sentiments looked it would vote against Brexit, however, the results surprised bigger part of the world, Brexit was declared with 52:48 majority. But the exit process isn’t that straight, the EU and UK is going through a stressful process to lay down the transition deal. It was due in March 2019, however, the exit has been delayed till the next date of 31st October 2019.
What does BREXIT mean to Britain and Britons?
The Brexit discussion often termed as Divorce talks, which decides how exactly United Kingdom leaves and with what arrangement with European Union.
The key points of the BREXIT deal –
– UK will have to pay a hefty sum of £39bn to the EU in order to break the partnership
– What will happen to 1.3 million UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and, similarly, what will happen to 3.2 million EU citizens living in the United Kingdom?
– How to avoid the return of a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when it becomes the frontier between the UK and the EU
– Brexit deal includes a transition period, which has been agreed to allow the UK and EU to agree a trade deal and to give businesses the time to adjust
Though BREXIT Has been decided, British MPs haven’t been able to agree to the term. Ex-Prime Minister Theresa May’s bill was rejected, and she was forced to ask the EU leaders to delay BREXIT, which was agreed upon.
The point of contention
There was a range of complaints raised against the bill.
– The bill failed to give UK the control on its own affair from EU
– Both the EU and UK want to avoid the return of guard posts and checks, so something called the backstop – a sort of safety net – was included in the deal. It would mean that Northern Ireland, but not the rest of the UK, would still follow some EU rules on things such as food products. The backstop is the insurance policy negotiated by Theresa May and the EU. It is designed to avoid any physical border infrastructure, which it is feared would bring back memories of the Troubles, after Brexit.
There is growing concern of no-brexit deal. What would that mean to Britain?
“No deal” means the UK will have failed to agree a withdrawal agreement.
It means no transition period after the UK leaves and EU laws would stop applying to the UK immediately
- Some food prices could rise and customs checks at borders could cost businesses billions of pounds. Affecting fresh food supplies, Key ingredients for food made in the UK
- Electricity and gas prices may go up
- UK citizens have to shell out much more money to travel to EU – issues on VISA, insurance may crop up
- Medicines in UK may become more expensive
- UK nationals living in EU may have to take extra measures, like swapping driving license
- There could be change in pension and tax norms for UK citizen living in EU and vice-versa
No-deal Brexit could have a socio-economically negative impact on both parties, EU and UK, and UK may be at the receiving end of the no-deal break-up. This will be an important milestone for European Union journey and a set a tone for future course of European Union brotherhood.
Information source – News sites, Wikipedia and BBC