On the 23rd of June the United Kingdom held a referendum on the issue of whether or not the nation should or should not leave the European Union (EU). The voter turnout was the highest ever since the 1992 general elections, attracting nearly 71% of eligible voters. The votes were tallied and the results came as a shock to many. With a grand total of 52% for and 48% against the people of the Kingdom voiced their wish to leave.
On 8 am the 24th of June the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, announced that he will be resigning so as to allow a new prime minister to preside over the process of withdrawal from the EU by the start of the conservative conference to be held in October.
So what does this all mean for the United Kingdom?
Basically, the United Kingdom will now have to renegotiate numerous trade deals and bilateral agreements since now they are no longer bound by EU laws and their accompanying trade packages that are negotiated as a whole between members of the EU and outside parties. Therefore, now the United Kingdom will have to negotiate its own deals. It stands alone.
Some of those deals involve how immigrants move into and out of the United Kingdom. Being within the confines of the EU allows citizens of EU member states to move freely within the continent, however now visa arrangements will soon need to be made for EU citizens to travel to the United Kingdom.
Are they officially out of the EU?
The United Kingdom is not officially out of the EU until they fulfill the requirements set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty which outlines the procedure that needs to be followed should a member wishes to leave. The entire process would take approximately two years; within that time the United Kingdom will still abide by EU laws however they will not be involved in any decision making processes.
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49
What about football?
As a football fan I could not leave this behind without dedicating a section towards, because not only does it discuss something that means a lot to millions of people around the world but also shows just how wide ranging the ramifications Brexit are.
Due to the fact that the United Kingdom is going to leave the EU many teams will have to now let go of many of their star English players due to there being a limit in every league for the number of non-EU players. And since the United Kingdom will no longer be in the EU, English players are no longer counted amongst the EU category. In addition, the premier league itself will suffer tremendously as they are now no longer capable of bringing in players from the 16-18-year-old age group as before teams could bring in players from a very young age and develop them into their squads so long as they are EU citizens. Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Fàbregas would not have been able to grow into the players they are today had it not been for these regulations allowing for player movements within the EU.
All in all, we can see just how broad the ramifications of the Brexit which has failed not only the 48% who voted against it but also to every logical human being who believes in the notion of unity. The European Union was built upon that belief, that after the carnage of the second world war a pact, a bond, a team, nay! a union was needed to hold the shattered pieces of the continent and bring them together in belief that through their unity they can prevent a repeat of the horrors of the two world wars. The English seem to have forgotten those ideals, a Europe that their soldiers fought and died in to preserve, yet now they leave it behind. A soldier who fought in World War II said “Do not abandon the Europe that I fought for – and my comrades died for” such is the belief and unshakeable determination that the British fought for more than victory in that war, they fought for a better and safer Europe, a united one.