Two things have been in the political news constantly in recent months. The first is Trump, his election/presidency, and the second is Brexit.
Everyone in the United Kingdom and the European Union is aware what Brexit is, and how it will have lasting effects on all countries and governments involved. However, I believe that people outside the European bubble don’t understand what Brexit is, or why it matters.
Brexit is a nickname given to a referendum passed in the United Kingdom to formally remove the UK from its membership with the European Union. It would be a large loss of weight and muscle for the UK that may or may not be a positive thing. The European Union is a collection of countries that maintain sovereignty within their countries, but agree to have representatives work together in a group to decide laws and regulations that benefit all countries. Some of these regulations include
- · freedom of movement for EU member citizens to other member countries
- · food regulations like banning damaged fruit from being sold, not allowing high fructose corn syrup in foods, etc.
- · providing universal healthcare to citizens in all EU countries (like the British NHS)
- · putting additional taxes on certain goods (tampons for example)
Overall, the EU functions to make all its member countries better. They want all citizens in member countries to have equality, and as a union, it helps the countries’ economies work together more symbiotically. It was founded in 1973, and (currently) has 28 member countries.
This is all well and good. Most people in the EU agree that it is hugely beneficial to their country financially and in many other ways. The UK is a country that doesn’t share this sentiment. I like the analogy of a Kit Kat bar to describe what is happening with Brexit. A Kit Kat candy bar is delicious, it tastes wonderful. The UK wants to break itself off the entire candy bar, and be its own piece of candy. Now it doesn’t have the support and benefits of being a whole candy bar. Which would you prefer, an entire Kit Kat, or only one bar that is divided and broke?
In 2016, the UK voted on whether or not to stay a part of the EU. A little over 50% of the country voted to leave. Most those that voted to leave were the elderly population, many of those who had voted against joining the EU in 1973. The two biggest reasons I have heard for people voting to leave is they think the UK will be better off financially after not having to pay taxes and membership fees to the EU and that it will prevent foreigners from easily moving and working in the UK.
Honestly, the desire to close its border’s is the most vocal cause of Brexit from what I’ve been told. (Which is offensive as a foreigner) Many people believe that Europeans are taking British jobs and resources, so they shouldn’t be allowed in.
Following the Brexit vote, the country has been in political turmoil trying to figure out what that means. What concessions will the UK have to make to leave the EU? Is it legal to leave based solely on citizen’s vote? How will this affect the UK’s economy? (The pound dropped to its lowest value in over a decade the day after this vote was passed)
The Prime Minister (UK version of President) at the time of the Brexit vote was Boris Johnson, he has since resigned because of how Brexit went down, so Theresa May replaced him. May has now called for an early election, to legitimize her position as the Prime Minister and grant her party more power. The government claims that the UK will formally be finished with the EU by 2019.
Scotland doesn’t like this break. The Scottish people didn’t vote pro-leaving the EU. Therefore, Scotland is now thinking of redoing it’s vote to leave the United Kingdom, so it can stay in the European Union.
Brexit is a massive diet for the UK. By cutting its calories (ties) with the EU it will lose the weight of immigrants, paying EU fee’s, having to follow EU regulations in health and food, as well as many other restrictions. But as with many diets, there will be side effects. The UK will lose its open access to EU member country’s economies, and it will breed anger and dislike among the member countries. Furthermore, Brexit might cause a dangerous weight loss that wasn’t anticipated, it may break the United Kingdom in half.
Early in this post I mentioned that Brexit is like a Kit Kat bar, the UK is breaking off a piece of the candy. Brexit might cause a further break in the single Kit Kat piece when Scotland potentially leaves the UK and moves goes back to the EU. Leaving the UK half of a broken candy bar.
To sum up, keep your Kit Kat whole, diets that cause weight loss can be good, but when a diet is taken too far, it only harms the dieter. Brexit isn’t in the favor of it’s the UK. It will cause far more harm than good. Alas, I’m just an American bearing witness to this moment in political history. I have no vote in the decision.