May 29 2017 | Barcelona, Spain
On June 23, 2016, the British shocked the world when they voted to withdraw from the European Union. Nearly a year later on March 29, 2017, the initial steps of the two-year process to withdraw began with Prime Minister Theresa May invoking the Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU to formally withdraw UK from the EU by April 2019.
The biggest concerns of UK government officials revolved around the economic ramifications of leaving the EU. They predicted that voting to leave the EU would result in an immediate and drastic economic recession, leading to a sudden boom in unemployment rates. However, post-Brexit has shown a much more mild decline in the economic state of UK as the pound only slumped 15% against the USD and 10% against the euro. The economy of the UK has actually grown 1.8% in the past year. Inflations has risen to 2.6%, still close the ideal inflation level of 2% and unemployment has actually fallen to it’s lowest level in the past decade of only 4.8% in the UK.
In the next two years, negotiations between the UK and the EU will continue however Article 50 is pretty straight forward, stating that any member state of the EU may do so as long as they notify the European Council and negotiate the terms of the withdrawal. Moving forward, the UK will have an election and then decide which laws and regulations of the EU to keep or repeal in the country. Current Prime Minister Theresa May has the goal of reaching a new customs union deal with the EU which will continue to allow for free trade among the UK and EU, disallowing tariffs on each other’s goods. If this falls through, the UK will have to operate under rules of the WTO, which could mean tariffs and customs checks.
All this said, the main concern of Brexit worldwide is that it may lead to the dissolution of the UK, as Scotland will most like leave the largest empire in history. Furthermore, the two Irelands will be divided, as one will be with the UK and the other still in the EU. For this reason, I believe Brexit was a rash and poor decision by British voters. Although many arguments can be made against the current state of the EU, and pressure is building for many other countries to withdraw as well, it seems that the British rushed into this decision to make a statement against the EU without considering all potential ramifications. Throughout history, the UK has been the most stable and consistent empires. Many global institutions rest on the assumption of its stability and continuity. In the next two years we will see how Brexit plays out, but as it stands now the likely outcomes are daunting for the world.
- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/world/europe/france-election-polls-macron-le-pen-frexit.html?rref=collection%2Fnewseventcollection%2Fbritain-brexit-european-union&action= Click & contentCollection = europe & region = stream & module = stream_unit & version = latest & contentPlacement = 18 & pgtype = collection & mtrref = http://www.nytimes.com & gwh = 4A5B7BABABB4BBCBF0D9A9CCB6653B14 & gwt = pay
- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/business/dealbook/eu-britain-brexit-derivatives.html?rref=collection%2Fnewseventcollection%2Fbritain-brexit-european-union&action=click&contentCollection=europe®ion=stream&module= Stream_unit & version = latest & contentPlacement = 23 & pgtype = collection & mtrref = http://www.nytimes.com & gwh = 90B53FBA69F063E91C1CAF2BE8D0296E & gwt = pay
- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/world/europe/european-union-brussels-brexit-theresa-may.html?rref=collection%2Fnewseventcollection%2Fbritain-brexit-european-union&action=click&contentCollection= Europe & region = stream & module = stream_unit & version = latest & contentPlacement = 29 & pgtype = collection & mtrref = http://www.nytimes.com & gwh = 7487F3B3752EE5EE61084BA83516C6F0 & gwt = pay