After three years of anticipation, Great Britain has officially severed ties with the rest of the European Union on January 31, 2020. The fate of Britain was sealed after the election of conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson. While Brexit is a large issue that deserves much more than just an editorial, here is an oversimplified version.
To begin, the European Union, which was then the European Economic Community, was started in 1957, and many citizens were reluctant for the nation to join in the first place. Since then, problems with the Union have been noticed with the single currency in 1999, which is the case that the E.U. felt the need for all of the nations in it to have the same currency to make commerce and trade easier and Great Britain was not really into that.
Immigration from eastern states, kicking off in 2004, was another big problem right around the year the European Union added eight new eastern states. Since then, they have promoted the free and fair movement of residence between all of its countries. There was then mass immigration into Britain from the east.
In June of 2016, there was a vote to see whether Britain would stay or leave. At 52 percent of the vote, they decided to leave the European Union. However, there was somewhat of a quietness about it after the vote until Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister in July of 2019. He then vowed to take Britain out of the E.U., which happened on January 31, after a series of oppositions to the decision.
After the divorce between the two, there is a transition period that will be in effect until December 31, 2020. As for why it is happening in the first place, it is due to a myriad of issues, but mainly the ways in which the European Union has negatively influenced Great Britain’s economy.
Personally, I didn’t really have an opinion of Brexit before this and, as an American, my knowledge of this event was pretty limited until I did my research. While I am still a little unsure of my thoughts, I do think that Britain has every right to do what they want and if that is what the people wanted then I believe that is what the people deserve.
For topics like immigration and the economy, I could easily understand why these would be topical reasons for debate and maybe even removal from an established community. But as for the single currency concerns of 1999, I do not understand why the citizens of Britain would be upset about that.
In early colonial America, each colony had a different kind of currency which proved to be a hindrance when it came to intercolonial commerce, considering not everywhere took the same currency and the exchange rates were different. Brexit is a broad concept and I would like to add that my understanding is still just at the cusp of the entirety of this issue.
DISCLAIMER: This article is the sole opinion of Lydia Mardin
Lydia Mardin can be contacted at Lydia.Mardin@ksc.keene.edu