The citizens of the United Kingdom voted via a referendum on Thursday to leave the European Union.
“What? When? Why? and How?” you ask…
Here’s the Reader’s CliffNotes version:
The European Union, an economic and political partnership between 28 European countries often referred to as the EU, basically operates fiscally as one country. The EU has its own currency– the euro– its own parliament and can regulate far-reaching issues that impact the collective, for example, transportation, the environment and consumer spending.
From the beginning, U.K. citizens have remained divided on the decision of joining the EU– whether it was truly to their benefit. Current Britain Prime Minister David Cameron backs the U.K.’s membership in the EU. However, national feelings around the U.K.’s membership in the EU grew more divided, following the EU’s move to allow Syrian Refugees into its borders, propelling more and more U.K. citizens to call for its exit.
Political sentiments have grown so caustic, a referendum was called on whether to “leave” or “remain”– what has been dubbed the “Brexit” question.
Basically, there are two U.K. camps in favor of exiting the EU.
- Those that hate rules, big government and who want to reduce social benefits to EU citizens (generally, the wealthy)
- Those that want to control immigration (generally, the not-so-wealthy)
(Sound vaguely familiar)?
A record-setting 46.5 million people in the U.K. registered to cast their ballot, with 71 percent turning out to vote. England voted strongly for the Brexit (53.4 percent), as did Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU, while Northern Ireland voted to leave.
In the end, the move to “Leave” got a final 52.5 percent of the vote and “Remain” received 47.5 percent. After the referendum decision was confirmed at around 2:00am Friday EST, Prime Minister Cameron has since resigned.
The value of the pound against the dollar is falling fast since the stock market opened this morning: The UK is now reportedly poorer than France, as the pound hits a 30-year low.
To all of the Brits living in Brooklyn, what is your opinion on the referendum decision? Were you in support of the “Brexit?” If so or if not, why?