Recently, the Brexit took place; it is when Britain left the European Union. A referendum took place on 23rd June and everyone of voting age took part in it.
The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. The single market is seen as the EU’s biggest achievement and one of the main reasons it was set up in the first place. Britain was a member of a free trade area in Europe before it joined what was then known as the common market. In a free trade area, countries can trade with each other without paying tariffs – but it is not a single market because the member states do not have to merge their economies together.
The European Union single market, which was completed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people within the European Union, as if it was a single country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.
Those who voted to leave won by 52% to 48%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.
Cameron or his successor needs to decide when to invoke this – that will then set in motion the formal legal process of withdrawing from the EU, and give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal. Mr Cameron has said he will be stepping down as PM by October.
EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – and that process could take some time.
The UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making. Is Britain moving too fast? Was Brexit a smart decision? We’ll have to wait and see.
Giselle Cho (2 Faith)