What is Brexit?

The United Kingdom was a part of the EU (European Union). This included countries such as Austria, Latvia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Malta, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Estonia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden. The EU allowed all 27 countries to operate as a single market, which allowed the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people between states.

However, in December 2020, the U.K. officially announced that they were leaving the EU. This made transporting goods and services much harder because of legal complications. In addition to this, people from the U.K. couldn’t travel as freely and easily as they wished.

Brexit is the movement of the U.K. removing itself from the EU. In 2012, when Prime Minister David Cameron came to power, he promised that he would hold a referendum in June 2016. When June rolled around, Cameron kept his promise. A poll ran to all U.K. citizens posing the question: Should the United Kingdom remain in the EU, or leave? 51.89% of the population voted that they should leave. Right after the referendum happened, Cameron resigned.

Leaving the EU was supposed to happen on March 29, 2019. However, the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, had to push the deadline further because Parliament rejected her deal. Once Boris Johnson came to power, the deadline got pushed back even further after his deal. The main reason why it didn’t happen yet was because of the difference between members of Parliament. There are two types of ‘brexiteers, ‘soft’ and ‘hard.’ Those who are hard Brexiteers think that the U.K. should completely block off the EU. Those who are in favor of the soft Brexit want to continue the trade deals with the EU. Some also believe that the U.K. should hold another referendum since there are new people and some of them might have changed their minds.

So, why is Brexit so important? Well, to Britain, cutting off contact with the EU can crash the economy, and they may not survive as easily. Separating from the union can cut off their source of foreign investment, meaning that they won’t make as much money from tourism as they used to from traveling Europeans. All in all, Brexit is a huge change for Britain. It will be a struggle for the citizens and the government, but it could benefit the U.K.