The British Exit Referendum

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The British Exit, also known as Brexit, was a referendum that happened on June 23, 2016, where people voted whether the UK should leave or stay in the European Union. The leave side won by 51.9% to 48.1%, and the results were 71.8% with more than 30 million people voting. But for the UK to leave the EU, they had to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This treaty give both sides two years to come to an agree on terms of the split. Theresa May out this process into motion on March 29, 2017, so the UK has until March 29, 2019, until they have to split from the EU. However, if all 28 EU members agree then the process may be extended, but as of right now all sides have been set on that date and Theresa May has even put it into British law.

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The “Leave” campaign was focused more on issues related to migration and sovereignty, whereas the remain campaign focused more on the economic impacts of leaving the EU. On the day of the referendum Lord Ashcroft’s polling team questioned 12,369 people who had voted. His data showed that 49% of people who voted to leave, voted this way because they wanted to be making decisions for themselves, and they didn’t want others (the EU) making decisions for them. Also in Ashcroft’s data, one third of the people (33%) of leave voters said that one of the main reasons for voting to leave offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders.

In order for the transition to be as smooth as possible politicians have had to make a “deal”, this deal gives time to the two sides to come out with a permanent trading relationship. The Brexit deal that the UK and the EU agreed to comes to two parts, a 585-page withdraw agreement and a 26-page statement on future relations. The 585-page withdraw agreement is a legally-binding text that sets the terms of the UK’s divorce from the EU, it also says about how much money the UK owes the EU (about $51,361,635,000 or 39 billion pounds), and what will happen to UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens that live in the UK. The 26-page statement on future relations however is not legally-binding and it shows the kind of long-term relationship that the UK and EU want to have that relate to trade, defence, and security. Although this deal that Theresa May has made cannot come into effect until it has been passed by Parliament. If the UK left without a deal then they would be force to sever all ties with the EU with immediate effect, with no transition period and no guarantees on citizens rights if residents.

The Bank of England however says that May’s plan could result in new trade barriers and this could cause the UK economy to be 0.75% smaller than current forecast in 2023. But on the other hand if she can negotiate a future trade relationship with the EU that Does not include customers checks or regulatory barriers, the economy could be 1.75% lager. But either way officials say that under any scenario, leaving the EU will make Britain poorer than staying in. Analysis made by a group campaigning for a second referendum said the UK economy would be 4% smaller by 2030 under May’s deal.

While Brexit will presumably affect many, we have no way of telling what the future holds until Brexit goes into full effect. The Brexit is due to happen on March 29, 2019 and until then there is only so much that we can predict is going to happen relating to the economy, and the lives of the people who live in the EU, UK, and possibly even the US.

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The British Exit Referendum. (2020, Apr 29). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from

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