The Potential Effects of Brexit on the European Union
Why Did the UK Voters Approve Brexit?
The Economic and Political Impact of Brexit
The International Implications of Brexit
Should the UK Reconsider Its Brexit Decision?
A. Background and overview
B. Immediate after effect of Brexit vote
C. What the future holds
In June 2016, voters in the United Kingdom approved the so-called “Brexit” referendum, signaling the withdrawal of the British Commonwealth from the European Union. Although a number of economic indicators experienced a short-term downturn after the Brexit vote, most indicators have returned to their pre-Brexit levels and some have even improved. There are also other signs that the devastating consequences of the Brexit initiative will not materialize and there is a growing consensus that even if the UK does experience some challenges in the post-Brexit era, things are not doing to be as bad as predicted. To gain a better understanding of what has already happened and what experts predict for the future, this essay on brexit provides an overview of the Brexit referendum, a summary of the events that have followed its approval by UK voters and a summary of the research and important findings concerning the future for the UK and the EU in the conclusion.
To gain a better understanding of what has already happened and what experts predict for the future, this essay provides an overview of the Brexit referendum, a summary of the events that have followed its approval by UK voters and a summary of the research and important findings concerning the future for the UK and the EU in the conclusion.
It has been more than 9 months since 51.9% of the voters in the United Kingdom elected to leave the European Union (EU) in the now-famous “Brexit” referendum and in spite what some critics said at the time, the sky has not fallen. Despite some initial negative fallout and jittery reactions from many EU member-states, things appear to have resumed some semblance of normalcy and some economic indicators have even improved. To determine what has happened and what the future holds for the UK, this paper reviews the relevant literature to provide a brief overview of the Brexit referendum followed by recent events that have followed its approval by UK voters. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings concerning the future for the UK and the EU are provided in the conclusion.
When the results of the Brexit vote became known on June 23, 2016, the reaction on the part of UK voters and the EU was first a mixture of shock, dismay, fear and even anger (Jasper, 2016). For example, some representative articles and headlines that followed the Brexit vote include: “Brexit earthquake has happened, and the rubble will take years to clear”; “The Week Britain’s Brexit Earthquake Shook The World”; “Brexit economic shock equivalent to natural disaster, says OECD”; “Earthquake in Europe” and “Brexit An Earthquake” (as cited in Jasper, 2016, p. 17). After the dust actually settled and the nervous reactions to the Brexit vote turned to grudging acceptance, many economic indicators in the UK including employment have returned to their pre-Brexit levels and in some cases have since exceeded them as discussed further below.
The “earthquake” predicted by many analysts for the UK post-Brexit has simply not materialized. In this regard, Halligan (2016) emphasizes that:
There’s very little sign of the predicted post-Brexit economic crisis. To the shock of many — not least business titans who bankrolled the Remain campaign — the instant collapse doesn’t seem to be happening. The UK economy is, for now at least, taking Brexit in its stride. (p. 3)
Indeed, in the month following the Brexit vote, there were more than 150,000 more job listings in the UK than in the same month in 2015 (Halligan, 2016). Likewise, Bowler (2017) agrees that the negative economic impact predicted by many analysts post-Brexit has not materialized. For example, Bowler points out that, “Before the referendum last June, many economists produced gloomy forecasts which have since been proved wrong. Consumers’ confidence has not suffered, and by and large, things have gone on as before” (para. 4)..
Another reason for the return to relative normalcy in the UK and EU has been the growing realization that the UK is not going to withdraw from the EU anytime soon. Despite the results of the Brexit referendum, the UK parliament is not legally required to automatically trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin formal proceedings for withdrawal from the EU and the only pressure do to so will come from the mandate of the referendum vote. For instance, Brooks (2016) emphasizes that, “In law, a referendum result is advisory on Parliament but not binding. Parliament need do nothing at all legally” (p. 2). In addition, even assuming that a revocation initiative does not overturn the Brexit referendum, it will likely be years and perhaps even a decade or more before all of the negotiations to fully effect the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Indeed, according to Castle (2016), the trade negotiations that are involved in the Brexit initiative are highly complex and contentious and resolving these issues may require another decade with no guarantee of a successful outcome. Many authorities agree, though, that the stakes are too high for the EU to adopt an uncompromising or belligerent approach to post-Brexit trade negotiations with the UK. As Hodges (2017) recently pointed out:
It’s entirely conceivable that a ‘soft Brexit’, in which Britain maintains many of our existing EU trading and regulatory relationships, could be made to work. It’s even possible that, with a bit of luck and skilful negotiation, a ‘hard Brexit’, involving a much looser trading framework, could also be sustainable. (2017, p. 41)
As can be readily discerned from the data shown in Figure 1 below, the UK’s retail sales index has experienced gains in the post-Brexit climate:
Likewise, another reason for the return of calm to the European continent has been the recognition that despite its importance to the EU, the loss of the UK is not its death knell. Indeed, the EU has become a formidable economic entity in its own right and it is reasonable to suggest that member-states that share the continent overwhelmingly view the arrangement as being in their best interests. In this regard, Headley (2016) emphasizes that, “Even after Britain’s departure, the remaining European Union of 27 members, added to the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein) and the special arrangements with Switzerland, will still be the world’s largest economic entity” (p. 8).
Taken together, it is clear that both the EU and the UK will survive the Brexit referendum and both will perhaps even prosper as a result (Headley, 2016). It is also clear, though, that when and if the UK finalizes its withdrawal from the EU, both will be compelled to make substantive changes, or as Headley (2016) puts it, to “reinvent themselves” (p. 11).
While the EU will remain the largest economic entity in the world for the foreseeable future, though, the outlook for the UK is less clear. While it will remain an important member of NATO and close military ally of the U.S., the UK is faced with forging a new identity that will by need be fundamentally different than what many citizens have known all their lives. For instance, according to Brooks (2016), “Britain must do much more than leave — it must figure out what it will be” (p. 27). Fortunately for the UK, the enormous time and effort spent in formulating the wide range of laws and policies that have contributed to the EU’s success to date also mean that the UK can freely pick and choose what it likes best from the lot and adapt them for its own unique circumstances. In this regard, Brooks (2016) concludes that, “We’ve been promised the good laws will stay — but be made British — and the bad ones will go” (p. 27). Notwithstanding the promise this opportunity holds for the UK, this process too will take a significant amount of time and the outcome for the UK remains less certain today (Brooks, 2016).
The results of the Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016 confounded analysts and pundits who confidently but inaccurately predicted that voters in the UK would never leave the security of the European Union. The research showed, though, that despite some initial economic fallout as a result of the vote, things have returned to their pre-Brexit levels and some economic indicators have even improved. Some of the reasons for this return to normalcy include the amount of time that will be required to formally effect the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the growing realization on the part of UK voters that the outcome can actually benefit them given enough time and attention to post-Brexit issues, including most especially the selection of which EU laws and policies will remain in place.
We hope this example Brexit essay will provide you with a template or guideline in helping you write your own paper on this topic. You are free to use any information, sources, or topics, titles, or ideas provided in this essay as long as you properly cite the information in your paper and on your reference page.
Bowler, T. (2017, March 28). How has the economy fared since the Brexit vote? BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36956418.
Brooks, T. (2016, September 9). So Brexit means Brexit, does it? I don’t think so. The Journal (Newcastle, England), 27.
Castle, S. (2016, December 15). Brexit talks could stretch 10 years, British official warns. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/15/world/europe/ brexit-talks-could-stretch-10-years-british-official-warns.html?_r=0.
Halligan, L. (2016, July 23). The Brexit bust that wasn’t. The Spectator, 3.
Headley, S. (2016, September-October). Europe after the British exit: Demise or reinvention? New Zealand International Review, 41(5), 7-11.
Hodges, D. Kamikaze Brexit; DAN HODGES POLITICAL COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR Brace Yourselves! Leadsom and Her Ultras Have Been Handed the Controls and We’re Zooming towards A. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Mail on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: March 26, 2017. Page number: 41.
Jasper, W. F. (2016, August 8). Brexit: Rejecting globalism. The New American, 32(15), 17-21.