Brexit vote

News:

Following the vote to reject the Brexit withdrawal agreement, UK Prime Minister won no confidence motion.

Important Facts:

What does Brexit mean

  • Brexit is an abbreviation for “British exit,” referring to the UK’s decision in June, 2016 referendum to leave the European Union (EU).

Reasons for Brexit:

  • Economic migration from eastern Europe spiked after the EU expansions of 2004 and 2007, pushing net migration to the UK
  • The Eurozone crisis also created strains after the EU proposed an unprecedented “fiscal compact” to coordinate budget policy
  • A wave of asylum seekers arriving from beyond the bloc’s borders has also driven tensions.
  • In a 2013 speech, the then PM attacked flaws in the Eurozone and called the EU’s excessive bureaucracy and lack of democratic accountability.
  • In 2015, Britain started seeking EU reform in four major areas: national sovereignty, immigration policy, financial and economic regulation, and competitiveness and announced referendum in 2016 to allow people vote for their choice to remain in European Union or exit from it.
  • Referendum was held in June 2016 to allow voters to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.
  • The people with majority voted for exit but the exit didn’t happen straight away. It’s due to take place on 29 March 2019.
ParametersKey arguments for remainKey arguments for leave
Foreign affairsBeing a member of EU, Britain has greater influence over international mattersBecause of EU membership Britain’sfailed to secure independent seat at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
SovereigntyEU policies such as euro, the Schengen Agreement and enforced migrant quotas are against the Principal of British Sovereignty Without such policies Britain would have more control of its laws and regulations without any risk.
SecurityEU helps Britain to tackle threats to security, including terrorism and cross-border crime.Britain’s domestic security would benefit more from greater border control than political union.
MoneyBritain attract Billions of Pounds worth of investment being a member of EU.Britain also contributes billions of pounds in membership fees to the EU every year.
TradeEU membership gives Britain access to the European single market, which enables the easy movement of goods, services and people.Membership in the EU restrict Britain from fully capitalizing on trade with other major economies like Japan, India and the UAE.
BusinessFree trade within the EU reduces barriers and enables UK companies – particularly small ones – to grow.The EU subjects Britain to slow and inflexible bureaucracy, making it more prohibitive for smaller companies to do business.
Consumer goodsThe average person in Britain saves hundreds each year because of lower prices of goods and services facilitated by EU.The average person in Britain loses hundreds of pounds each year due to EU VAT contributions and agricultural subsidies policies.
JobsMillions of jobs linked to Britain’s membership would be put at risk.Improved global trade agreements and more selective immigration could have a positive effect on the British job market.

What has happened so far?

  • Since 2016, negotiations have been taking place between the UK and the other EU countries.
  • The discussions have been mainly over the “divorce” deal, which sets out exactly how the UK leaves and not what will happen afterwards known as the withdrawal agreement.
  • Recently Theresa May plan for Brexit has been defeated in the parliament and there are number of possible options to a way forwards out of the current mess.

Possible Options:

  • Possibilities include the prime minister being allowed to have a second go at getting her deal accepted by Parliament, a renegotiation or another referendum.
  • May can ask the EU to postpone Brexit, giving the House of Commons more time to reach a resolution.
  • May can also call a general election to try and beef up Conservative representation in Parliament
  • If the members of parliament do not pass a deal before March 29, Britain faces a disorderly exit from the bloc or a delayed Brexit.
  • The European Court of Justice has ruled that it would be legal for the UK to unilaterally revoke Article 50 to cancel Brexit (without the need for agreement from the other 27 EU countries).
What is Article 50?
• Article 50 is a plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU to do so. It was created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon – an agreement signed up to by all EU states which became law in 2009. Before that treaty, there was no formal mechanism for a country to leave the EU.

 

Brexit Deal will come into two parts:

  • Withdrawal agreement – This is a legally-binding text that sets the terms of the UK’s divorce from the EU
    • It covers how much money the UK owes the EU –
    • what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.
    • It also proposes a method of avoiding the return of a physical Northern Ireland border.
  • Declaration on future relations – This is not legally-binding and sketches out the kind of long-term relationship the UK and EU want to have in a range of areas, including trade, defence and security.

Way Forward:

  • Calling a second referendum may not be only possibly way forwards, however, it is the only way that would give power back to the people.
  • If the Government or Parliament decided to abandon Brexit without calling a second referendum, there may be violent reaction from pro-Brexit supporters, claiming that the Government or Parliament is going against the “will of the people”
  • Alternatively, the Government or Parliament could vote to postpone Brexit by invoking Article 50, and remain in the EU for the time being.

 

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