People are saying the world is ending, that this is the worst political decision in recent memory, and that this is the greatest thing the UK could ever do. So what’s the real situation here? Let’s look at the Brexit, and what exactly it means.
1. Defining “Brexit.”
“Brexit,” which is an abbreviation for “British Exit,” was a referendum vote held yesterday in Great Britain over whether or not Britain should leave the European Union. In a tight vote (52%-48%), the outcome is that Britain is leaving the EU; thus, they are Brexiting. They are the first European nation to exit the EU, so we’re kind of in unchartered territory here.
2. The prime minister is resigning.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday morning that due to this news, he will resign. He was opposed to Britain leaving the UK, and thus said he thinks their should be new leadership in office for the transition to happen. Many blame him for the Brexit as he was the one who first introduced the referendum — a delivery on a campaign promise.
3. This has big financial implications.
In the immediate aftermath of the decision, the pound dropped to its lowest level in years. The Brexit also impacted stock markets around the world, many of which went into steady decline. There is concern that the decision will lead to a British recession, which would then have global implications.
4. Here’s why those in favor support the Brexit.
Those who supported the Brexit largely felt that Britain was being held back by their attachments to the EU. They also wanted the UK to have firmer control over its own borders, and make it more difficult for people from abroad to come and live and work in there. Basically they didn’t think Britain was getting as much out of the EU as they were putting in.
5. Here’s why those opposed don’t support it.
They believe that it’s economically and politically beneficial for Britain to be part of a union of nations. It makes it easier for immigrants to enter the country which in turn helps pay for public services. Also it makes doing business with other nations in the EU easier, and provides a level of international security when all the countries in the EU are working together.
6. Here’s what Obama has to say.
7. And Trump.
8. And Clinton.
9. And Bernie.
10. Young people in the UK are pretty opposed to it.
75% of people ages 18 to 24 voted to remain in the EU. Many of them are sharing their opinions on social media:
11. Here’s what will happen next.
It is technically possible that another vote will be held, but it is highly unlikely. In order for Britain to leave the EU they need to invoke something called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Invoking this Treaty will begin the formal legal process of withdrawing. The process could take more than two years.