A Summary of Brexit (So Far)

Brexit is a topic that is obviously incredibly important for us to understand and keep up to date with for our project, but it’s also a topic that a lot of people (including people in my group) don’t know much about and so I decided to look in to articles which would allow our team to be more informed in regards to this topic.

I found this article which helped break the broad subject of Brexit in to smaller pieces which were easier to understand. Rosie then condensed it, creating a great resource for us to look back on and use as a reference throughout this project.

Rosie’s Breakdown 

What does Brexit Mean?

It is a shorthand way of say the UK is leaving the EU. It was made by merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit.

Why is Britain leaving the European Union?

A referendum was a vote in which everyone of voting age could vote on whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. The results of the referendum were 52% to leave and 48% to stay. –

  • Wales, 52.5% Leave, 47.5% Remain
  • Scotland 38% Leave, 62% Remain
  • Northern Ireland 44.2% Leave, 55.8% Remain
  • England 53.4% Leave, 46.6% Remain

What has happened since the Referendum?

Britain got a new Prime Minister – Theresa May. The former home secretary took over from David Cameron, who resigned on the day after losing the referendum. She has said “Brexit means Brexit” but there is still a lot of debate about what that will mean in practice especially on the two key issues of how British firms do business in the European Union and what curbs are brought in on the rights of European Union nationals to live and work in the UK.

What about the Economy?

The UK economy appears to have weathered the initial shock of the Brexit vote, although the value of the pound remains near a 30-year low, but opinion is sharply divided over the long-term effects of leaving the EU.

What is the European Union?

The European Union is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a single market allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.

When will Britain actually leave?

For the UK to leave the EU it has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives the two sides two years to agree the terms of the split. Theresa May has said she intends to trigger this process by the end of March 2017, meaning the UK will be expected to have left by the summer of 2019, depending on the precise timetable agreed during the negotiations

How long will it take for Britain to leave the EU?

Once Article 50 has been triggered, the UK will have two years to negotiate its withdrawal. But no one really knows how the Brexit process will work – Article 50 was only created in late 2009 and it has never been used. The terms of Britain’s exit will have to be agreed by 27 national parliaments. EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member. The UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making.

What do “soft” and “hard” Brexit mean?

A “hard” Brexit could involve the UK refusing to compromise on issues like the free movement of people in order to maintain access to the EU single market. A “soft” Brexit might follow a similar path to Norway, which is a member of the single market and has to accept the free movement of people as a result.

Will immigration be cut?

Prime Minister Theresa May has said one of the main messages she has taken from the Leave vote is that the British people want to see a reduction in immigration.

What does this mean for Scotland?

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in the wake of the Leave result that it is “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland faces being taken out of the EU when it voted to Remain. A second independence referendum for the country is now “highly likely”, she has said, although not in 2017. She has said she wants Scotland to stay in the single market and said Mrs May’s decision to rule out the UK staying in the single market “undoubtedly” brings the referendum closer.

What does it mean for Northern Ireland?

Before his resignation, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the impact in Northern Ireland would be “very profound” and that the whole island of Ireland should now be able to vote on reunification. But, speaking while she was still Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers ruled out the call from Sinn Féin for a border poll, saying the circumstances in which one would be called did not exist. The land border is likely to be a key part of the Brexit talks. Theresa May said a priority for her would be negotiating a deal with the EU which allowed a common travel area between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

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