Was leaving the EU a mistake?

June 30, 2016

Last week, England and the rest of the United Kingdom took a national vote to decide if they should leave the European Union, the results of which has left a far reaching effect on the future of all of Europe for years to come.

Citizens had a simple choice to make in the voting booth: either vote to remain a member of the European Union or vote to leave.

In a stunning outcome, the option to leave the EU won with a slim 52 percent of the vote, but politicians and Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned following the result, have said that they would honor the decision of the British people.

The implications of the vote were felt immediately. The value of the British pound dropped dramatically as soon as the initial polls began to roll in, dropping to a 31 year low against the dollar, 12 percent lower than before the vote.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and the London region all voted to remain while the rest of England and Wales voted to leave. Many believe that Northern Ireland and

Scotland wanting to remain in the EU may lead to their exit from the United Kingdom.

Scotland has already had extensive talks on the subject and even had a vote gauging interest in the possibility of departing from the UK.

The leave side of the vote and their de facto leaders Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, both possible nominees for the soon to be open Prime Minister position, seemingly won support for their ideal by using a mixture of nationalism and xenophobia. The two made assurances that they are now backing off of in the wake of the vote, including that the £350 million pounds given annually to the EU would be instead put toward funding the country’s health care system. The day after the vote, Farage said in a TV interview that the promise was a “mistake” and should not have been said. One of the many possible reasons for so many wanting to leave was the “uneven” growth of the country since joining the EU. The areas that voted leave have had a much smaller growth income wise than the areas that have experienced financial progression.

Also, the number of refugees the UK was taking in following the recent major conflicts in Syria did not sit well with some citizens, so leaving the EU meant a chance to force out unwanted immigrants.

In the wake of the referendum, the UK now has to officially invoke what is known as Article 50, and will have two years to negotiate their way out of the EU and what their relationship will be following their exit.

This will include settling their debts with the EU, creating trade agreements with dozens of member states, deciding how migration between countries will work and sifting through thousands of EU regulations while deciding which to retain. Furthermore, the future of thousands of citizens of other EU countries will need to be sorted out.

Of course, whoever becomes the next prime minister will have to deal with all of the chaos that is on the horizon. One has to wonder if all of this trouble is worth it the long road that approaches.


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