They voted. Britain cast its “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union. Financial collateral damage began early on the morning after the news broke, even though changes will take two years to implement. But what’s next on the list? What and who will be affected, and to what degree, remains to be seen.
Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Apparently, breaking up is not that difficult. Britain just voted to do it. Because of that outcome, Scotland announced it may break from Britain because Scotland voted almost unanimously to stay with the EU, and they want to keep the financial protection and trade abilities it had before with other countries and within the union.
Talk of breaking up has even spread as far as Texas, spurring rumblings (again) of that state seceding. It has even gotten its own moniker: “Texit.”
What is the EU?
The day after millions of people — 52 percent of the entire United Kingdom, which includes the countries England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (the last two voting to remain in the EU), voted to leave the European Union, the top Google Trends searches centered around “What is the EU?” and “How many countries are in the EU?”
Evidently millions of people voted for something before they understood what they were voting for.
“Brexit” was not a surprise ballot, however. Campaigning for and against this cause had been going on for quite awhile beforehand, but it took an abrupt halt when Jo Cox was murdered last week by a man whose mental health is currently being evaluated. Ms. Cox was a member of Parliament who had been against Britain leaving the EU.
For the record, according to BBC News, the EU, or European Union, currently comprises 28 countries who have joined together one at a time, steadily since its inception in 1957, with the main goal of keeping peace and trade agreements between the countries.
The day after the Brexit vote on June 23, financial chaos ensued, which was to be expected. The British pound, Chinese yen, and Australian dollar (at least) fell in value. Scotland talked about splitting from the U.K. David Cameron resigned his post as Britain’s Prime Minister as of October of this year. Since he was in favor of remaining with the European Union, he emotionally decided he was not the right person to lead his country into the next phase of what was coming, even though it will still take two years for everything to be hashed out.
“I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” Cameron said.
Even though the U.K.’s credit rating tanked from stable to negative via Moody’s grading system, and the Australian dollar’s value fell, Scott Morrison, Treasurer of Australia, said “We will see some short-term volatility” but this is temporary and “cool heads” must prevail.
This was, after all, an anticipated move and after the initial worry stage that usually accompanies a big change such as the “Brexit” vote, things will calm down. He is also confident a new free trade agreement will be able to be worked out between Australia and the EU.
Everyone is weighing in on their thoughts about this vote, including John Oliver’s impassioned plea last week before the Brexit vote, and TV host James Corden, who tweeted after Brexit: “I can’t get my head around what’s happening in Britain. I’m so sorry to the youth of Britain. I fear you’ve been let down today.”
While the Brexit vote seems scary to many, and will indeed spur many changes on several fronts, both in Britain and across the world, there will still be “a two-year negotiating process to hammer out details of the exit,” NPR explains. Likewise, all other potential separation activities, like Scotland’s possible vote, and Texas’ “Texit” will take time to come to fruition of one sort or another.
[Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas – WPA Pool/Getty Images]