The Lowdown on the UK Leaving the EU

Are you mystified by the soap opera that is Brexit? Are you still struggling with who is doing what to whom? Read on!
Thursday 11 April 2019
The love story between the UK and the EU is about to come to an end. Photo: iStock

Brex… what?

Brexit is an abbreviation for ‘British exit’. It refers to the UK’s decision – in a bitterly fought referendum in June 2016 – where people were asked if the UK should leave the European Union. The vote ‘Leave’ won by 51.9 percent. Since then it’s been threats, tears, futile negotiations and finger-pointing – like any messy divorce after a 45-year ‘marriage’.

What’s the ‘love in’ with the EU about anyway?

The European Union (EU) is made up of 28 countries which figured that being part of an economic and political partnership would result in everyone making an effort to rub along. The ‘single market’ status means that goods and people can move around as if all member states were one country.

BREXIT iStock (3) - Brexit
Photo: iStock

What stands to change when the UK says farewell?

For starters, driving licences and passports in the UK will not be valid in the EU anymore, and neither will the laid-back travel arrangements everyone has enjoyed so far. Then it’s a ‘free for all’ on everything from mobile phone charges to how to get rid of your fridge when it conks out – matters previously decreed by EU laws.

Why is this such a big deal?

No country has ever left the EU before and it might start a precedent that could have others eyeing the exit too. Some people fear it will be the beginning of the end, which could have a huge impact on the economy and political stability of Europe, and completely undermine its original aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbours.

BREXIT iStock (2) - Brexit
Photo: iStock

Will anything good come out of it?

Who knows. One side complains that the EU has taken too much power from the UK government, and without the shackles, Britain would be able to ‘get into bed’ with new and exciting countries. However, remainers believe that although it’s not been perfect, it’s been pretty good, and we shouldn’t bail out now.

So, when is the party over?

The UK was due to leave the EU at precisely 11pm on 29 March 2019, but it was just announced today that the EU leaders have agreed to delay Brexit until 31 October 2019. Get the hankies at the ready, as the love story comes to an end.

This article is an excerpt from UNRESERVED’s April 2019 issue from the article BREXIT IN A NUTSHELL!

Related: The Effects of Brexit on This Part of the World