A Breakdown of the Brexit


Rachael Marks, Contributor

Do you have the 29th of March marked on the calendar? No? Well, then you’re probably not living in Britain. In less than two weeks the United Kingdom is set to leave the E.U., deal or no. This not only means The Troubles might be returning for round two, but the UK’s economy most likely drop and citizens could be without common goods.

How did this happen?

Similar to the 2016 wave of nationalism in America that led Donald Trump to the presidency, some people in the UK felt that foreign powers had to much influence on British policy making. As part of the EU, the UK handed the power to make decisions about immigration, taxes, and trade are exchanged for larger bargaining power, interconnectivity, and subsidies.

People believed that leaving the EU would make the UK stronger. As such a campaigned followed, but unfortunately it was plagued by misinformation and flat out lies. Politicians who wished to leave promised the citizens that leaving would include keeping the benefits of being in the EU, without having to pay the memberships fines and taxes. One of their major points was that the UK payed the EU 350 million pounds each week. This is simply not true as the UK only payed 188 million pounds each week it was part of the EU. Also this doesn’t take into account the 4.6 billion pounds the UK  received in the form of funding, research, and subsidies in 2014.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the time, decide to take the issue to the people with a public referendum In a 52% to 48% decision, the UK voted to leave.

Ironically, the top google searched the next morning in Britain was “What is the EU?”


What’s happening with the Brexit deal?

The plan for leaving the EU was for the two bodies to hammer out an agreement dealing with trade, immigration, transport, and all the other systems that had become intertangled through the fifty-odd years of membership. Problem was they only had two years to do it. Also, the EU had a vested interest in making the Brexit deal as unsavory as humanly possible to deter anyone else from leaving.

Recently, Theresa May presented the deal she made with the EU, but received the largest defeat in the Common’s history. Over 585 pages, May’s deal prevent a hard border between the Irelands, it preserved of EU nationals in Britain and UK national in other EU countries,  and payment plan for the UK to repay its debts to the EU. People who wished to stay, or “Remianers”, didn’t like it because they had no desire to leave in the first place; “Leavers”, or people who wanted to leave, hate it because it didn’t include the promises that they made to the people. Also neither party is happy with the Irish border plan, or backstop. This has caused the people’s approval rating of the government to plummet, as one might expect.

Another issue arising from this deal is how to deal with subsidies. As part of the EU, UK farmers received most of their income from EU-subsidies. Now that the UK is on its own, it lacks the financial power to support all the farmers, not to mention all the other subsidies that citizens rely on, such as [insert rachael giving me really great examples]. It is predicted by  Business Insider that under May’s deal, 25% of Britain’s farms could go bankrupt. Currently, there are roughly 212,000 farms in the UK, which means 53,000 of those would go under.

Also, if trade deals and port inspection aren’t decided upon quickly, Britain’s shelves are going to become barren. Suddenly a system of seamless transport between the UK and the continent will disappear, leaving the rules and regulation you would see between the EU and non-EU country. Around the Port of Dover, Britain’s main port for transport coming from Europe, NPR estimates of 10,000 vehicles cross the English Channel each day. With a no-deal Brexit, the most likely outcome will be custom line 20 to 30 miles long. The time it would take the channel perishables, such as food, are going to a heavy hit.

What does leaving with no deal entail?

Currently, the UK is set to leave without a deal, which is by far the worst option. Overnight the UK would go from being an EU member to being considered a foreign nation, like the USA or Norway. Hard borders would go up between the UK, Europe, and Ireland. Anyone in Ireland, North or Republic, could tell you why a hard border between the Irelands is an atrocious idea; it ends with bombs, tanks, and shootings. The Troubles, which lasted thirty old years and took countless lives, displays repercussions of physically splitting the Irelands.

Beside domestic issues, according to Forbes and the London School of Economics, the UK’s economy would take a hit: 9.7% GDP drop over the next fifteen years. Even if they were to get a deal, it would still drop by 3.9% GDP. That means, under the best option, the UK would putting out 100 million pounds less each year.

Direct trades deal from the USA, China, Australia, the Middle East, and other countries will only add approximately 0.1% to the GDP. Theresa May has recently asked the EU for an extension to June 30, which was accepted by the EU, so Parliament might have time to pass a satisfactory deal.

Couldn’t they just cancel Brexit?

All it would take to end this Brexit mess is for Parliament to say that this decision brings  unnecessary harm to the nation and nullify the decision. However, the chances of this occurring are slim to none. It would equate to political suicide for the current lawmakers.

The only other way  Brexit could be canceled is through another public referendum; but Theresa May has already rejected this option.

The UK has placed itself between a rock and hard place with Brexit, and no one, not even lawmakers, knows what’s going to happen in the coming weeks.