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Aug 02, 2017 at 11:03

Recently, in a major political turn around, Britain chose to withdraw from the EU. What does it mean and how did it go through, Shambhav Tewari puts forth his views on the entire decision.

On the morning of the 24th of June, the United Kingdom took a historic decision to

withdraw from the European Union. The decision was on the basis of a referendum held the day before, and witnessed an overwhelming turnout of over 72%. The striking feature of the referendum was, how clearly the votes were divided across Britain, along geographical, political and demographic features. In terms of geography, Northern Ireland, Scotland and London voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, whereas the rest of the country voted primarily to leave. This clear demarcation has revived Scotland’s claim to sovereignty, and some people went as far as asking London to be declared a city state. Another striking feature of the referendum was that the older voters voted to leave the European Union, whereas the younger voters voted largely to remain in the European Union. This is attributed largely to the deeper resentment in the older generations against Europe, in general.

As the news spread that Britain had narrowly voted to leave, the financial markets tumbled globally, as they widely felt that Britain would have voted to remain. Leading economists had predicted and urged Britain to remain within the EU, as leaving it would lead to great economic uncertainty and would stunt Britain’s growth. Analysts claim that the NHS funding deficit, a key point for the leave campaign, could not be met with the money recouped by rescinding from the EU. Key politicians who were pro-leave have also backtracked on claims they had made during campaigning. It was also widely reported that people were searching about “What the EU was?” online, a day after the referendum, indicating that they may have taken an ill informed decision.

The EU is not without its faults though. The EU is plagued with bureaucracy and having a common currency has led to huge turmoil, like in Greece, and resentment against it.Immigration has also been an issue, as the EU mandates that people can move freely across its member nations. In recent times, with the large influx of migrants into the more developed members of the EU, local citizens have raised valid concerns over immigrants taking away their jobs. Security concerns have also been raised and was considered a pivotal issue in the referendum.

Brexit will have a lasting impact on the world as we inherit it, but only time will tell whether it’s for the better or for worse.

Shambhav Tewari

Student Reporter