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UK votes its way out of the European Union

On June 23, 2016 Britons voted to decide whether the UK should leave the European Union. On the referendum, which led more than 30 million voters to ballots, the “yes” received 52% of the votes, paving the way for the British exit from the European Union.

The UK is the first member to ever decide to leave the EU and, for that reason, there is plenty of uncertainty regarding the country’s withdrawal from the economic bloc. In order to leave EU, the British Government will need to invoke art. 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, process that might take some time. Until then, the EU law still is applicable within the UK.

Arguments in favor of Brexit (Britain Exit) argued that that EU implied in a greater bureaucracy and in a bigger financial burden to the UK, due to annual membership fees. Additionally, the need to strengthen border and migrants control was a crucial topic used by those in favor of a quick exit.

Those against Brexit argued that the EU is positive to the British economy, since the European market is significant, and so is the migrant workforce, usually younger and more proactive than Britons themselves. Furthermore, advocates of a British permanence in the block believe that leaving the EU would stain the British image worldwide.

Almost 44% of British exports are destined to EU markets. For that reason, some pundits believe that it might be possible for Britain to remain in the EU free trade area, where it would still benefit from free trade with European countries, but without paying high fees and with more control on its borders.

The real consequences of Brexit remain uncertain, as the withdrawal process still needs to be voted by the British Parliament and, if approved, discussed by both the EU and British authorities. The main concern, however, derives from the fact that Brexit might encourage other countries, not necessarily satisfied with the EU developments, to follow the UK steps in the near future.


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