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Brexit is an abbreviation that is used to denote the term “British exit” from the European Union (EU). The EU includes 28 European countries which are in an economic and political union due to which the residents get the opportunity to live or work in any of those countries they want.
Brexit resulted from a public vote or also called as referendum which was held on 23rd June, 2016 to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in EU.
It was done with the intention to settle this big question once and for all and also as the then Prime Minister David Cameron promised such a National Referendum. He himself was campaigning for continuing the membership and was convinced that people would want to remain in the EU. The number of people voting was around 30 million.
Leave was supported by 52% and opposed by 48%. The voting results came as a big shock and created a huge disturbance in the global markets.Cameron announced his resignation the following day.
Though the UK government announced the country’s withdrawal in March 2017, it started a two year long process which was to be concluded on 29 March, 2019 completing the withdrawal.
But the UK parliament has voted against the withdrawal agreement thrice, causing the deadline to be extended twice; from 29th March to 9th October 2019. The latest deadline is 19th October 2019 and if the UK Parliament does not reach any agreement on that day then the withdrawal deadline will experience another extension.
PM Johnson’s Negotiations
Boris Johnson, current Prime Minister of Britain has offered a final Brexit offer to the European Union. In the latest Negotiation the following were covered:-
- Brexit new Offer: The PM made new offers on which he insisted on ditching the “Irish Backstop”, which is an insurance policy that is designed to ensure that there are no customs or any other type of infrastructure on the Irish border.
- Checks the business area: Johnson admitted that after Brexit some custom checks will be required in Ireland. He suggested that it could be done on “decentralized basis”. There are plans that would keep the Northern Ireland to stay in a regulatory zone with the EU single market for goods, removing the need for checks.
- “Get it done”: In the Tory conference the statement “Let’s Get Brexit done” was a repeated statement. Johnson’s office billed the proposals as a final offer. He reaffirmed that they have no intention of getting another extension. In his speech Johnson also said that no-deal is an outcome that the government isn’t seeking but it’s an outcome for which they are ready.
Timeline of Brexit
- 23rd June, 2016: Most commentators were in the belief that the Brits would decide to remain in the EU but the ‘Leave’ campaign won by 51.9% to 48.1% with a gap of 13 million votes. David Cameron resigned the next day.
- 13th July, 2016: Theresa May was appointed as the Prime Minister.
- 17 January, 2017: Through her speeches and setting out the government’s “Plan for Britain” May showed her intentions for a “hard brexit”.
- 29th March, 2017: May triggered article 50 which started the two year negotiation process that leads to UK exiting the EU.
- 8th December,2017: Amidst of the negotiations between UK and EU, they agreed over a deal covering both UK and EU citizens’ rights and the Northern Irish “backstop”.
- 6th July 2018: May took her cabinet to Chequers for signing a collective position for further negotiations with the EU but Brexit secretary David Davis and Boris Johnson opted out of it naming it as a suicide vest.
- 15th Jan & 12th March, 2019: With the fear of losing her votes, May made an attempt to get her deal ratified but due to various other concerns it wasn’t possible and hence she suffered a heavy defeat.
- 24th June, 2019: Due to the failure to get the withdrawal agreement ratified, May resigned.
- 24th July & 4th Sept, 2019: Boris Johnson had an easy win with 66% of the votes. MPs backed up a bill which blocked No-Deal Brexit on the 31st October. This would require Johnson to get extension the Brexit deadline, if he fails to strike a deal with EU.
- 3rd October, 2019: Johnson made a few negotiation proposals with a mind to get this brexit with or without a deal.
On 28th August, Boris Johnson confirmed that the Parliament will be suspended for four weeks from mid- September. Recently, in this regard, the Supreme Court of UK declared that the PM acted unlawfully when he announced such suspension in a desperate attempt to muzzle Parliament for as much time as to in the run-up to the Brexit date of 31st October.
Just three weeks before the deadline of Brexit there are hopes that the agreement might be concluded between UK and EU after a meeting between the UK Prime minister and his Irish counterpart.
Despite the introduction of Johnson’s new Brexit plan, the huge differences remained in their respective positions. The new proposal seeks to strip out the Irish Border “backstop”- it seems to be a main issue.
The UK would no longer remain in custom with the EU and Northern Ireland would leave the EU’s customs union along with UK. However, it could remain partially aligned with EU’s single market as subjected to Approval of Belfast in every four years.
Johnson’s assurance over customs checks failed to convince EU leaders. The single market and consent proposal also caused alarm in Northern Ireland’s farming and business communities.
Implications of Brexit
In the situation of No-Deal
No-deal would imply that UK is not a part of EU and removal of its tariff free status with the rest of the members without an agreement. Increase in tariff would cause trouble for exporters as export cost will be increased.
Trade and travel in Ireland would become complicated in a no-deal brexit situation. UK would have to pay $51 billion outstanding EU bills and also guarantee EU citizens’ rights those living in UK.
In the situation of a Hard Brexit
It is almost same as a no-deal brexit but with a trade agreement. London’s reputation as being the bastion for business will be damaged. It would have a huge effect on young workers as there will be no jobs readily available for UL’s workers after Brexit. Hard Brexit could lead to UK losing Scotland.
Effect on US
US dollar increased in value when the pound fell. This is not good for foreign shareholders. High rate of dollar means exports from US becomes expensive which in-turn affects the farming and manufacturing sector of US.
UK would lose its titles like “world’s second largest economy”, third largest populated country and being the “financial capital of the world”.
Now, as the EU is almost there at the deadline for getting the much awaited brexit there might still be a question in the minds of people that is it worth it? Keeping in mind all the adverse effect that Brexit will bring for the EU, still those in favour of Brexit are looking at the bright side.
The economic fallout since the issue of the referendum has been improved and will be taken care of in the future. As the PM is determined for getting the Brexit done by the end of October and the voters are also in a bit of assurance that separation form the EU would actually provide them beneficial outcome, with the passage of time.
Deal or no-deal, pro- Brexit people are ready to go separate ways and bear the load upon them. Though, it is still required to have a system of proper laws that would be needed for the functioning of the post Brexit UK.
-This article is brought to you in collaboration with Rajni Negi from Bansathali Vidyapith, Newai, Rajasthan.