Hello and hi. Apologies for the ‘radio silence’ dear readers. I have been busier than a one-legged man at a butt kickin’ contest! Truth. Please know that this is a typical Southern colloquialism/saying. I am not from the South. I am from the North and that means I simply turn my nose up at Southern ways and their strange proclivities. Mind you…I do rather like their crazy, Southern sayings. Respect.
So, yes, I have been busy. I mean, who knew that I would be the ONLY American in London Town-assigned with the task of making sure that the Labour government does not actually implode…while secretly meeting with Conservative party leaders ensuring that this BREXIT business goes accordingly. Erm…I totally made that up. But I have been busy doing other, equally important stuff in West London. Yes, yes I have.
That being said, I was thinking about having a BREXIT only blog (where I would just write exclusively on BREXIT) But, my schedule may not allow me the time-but thanks to H for the proposed titles. Thanks matey! ;). I still may do the BREXIT only blog, but for now…here is a BREXIT recap. You are welcome. Ok, let’s do this.
‘Brexit means Brexit’ our illustrious PM famously once chortled. Which was quite reassuring, as many in the UK thought it meant: ‘yellow and blue make green.’ Anyway, So our girl Theresa May, triggered Article 50 to commence the Brexit-ing. Of course, these things never go to plan and there were a few stumbles along the way. Yup. Thanks Gina Miller! You made this process longer and more painful by hauling the Government into the UK Supreme Court regarding the process of Brexit.
Then…First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon had a few concerns. She sure did. Oh Nicola…honey girl-child, we respect that you want an independent nation for your people of Scotland-but, child, now is not the time. Oh and BTW, you have a devolved government so any and all decisions or proposed changes you want or need for Scotland, need to be approved by Westminster. I am guessing you already knew that. So, settle down, love. Now is not the time to leave. We are stronger together. Stay already. We like family-England and Scotland. Yes. Yes, we are.
Now for some basics…(please tell me you know all of this-but if not…read on)
When you merge the words Britain and exit you get: BREXIT. Simples.
Why is Britain leaving the UK?
We had a referendum (a vote in which everyone of voting age can take part) on Thursday 23 June, 2016. The referendum/vote was regarding whether the UK should LEAVE or REMAIN within the EU. The LEAVE won by 51.9% to 48.1%. According to the BBC, the referendum turnout was 71.8%-with more than 30 million people voting. I would like to add that a certain American blogger did not vote in the referendum (but, said blogger would have voted REMAIN).
Brexit Breakdown across the UK
- England voted for Brexit by 53.4% to 46.6%
- Wales also voted for Brexit
- Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU.
Changes to the Government post-Brexit
About 2 minutes after the referendum results had been announced, our Prime Minister, David Cameron resigned. A short while later, Britain got a new Prime Minister-Theresa May. May was previously the Home Secretary and she took over from David Cameron. The people did not even vote for Theresa May. There was no general election held. Ain’t democracy grand?
Image: Wales online
Interestingly, Theresa May was against Britain leaving the EU. Yup. This meant that she played a low-key role in the campaign and was never really seen as much of an enthusiast for the EU. Later, our Theresa became Prime Minister without facing a full Conservative leadership after her key rivals from what had been the Leave side, pulled out. So, our new PM was a REMAIN-er, but now in her new role as PM, she would be assisting and facilitating in LEAVING the EU. I guess, when life hands you a lemon…you make lemonade. Yup.
Image: The Daily Express
What PM Theresa May has done so far…
Plenty. Loads. A massive amount….I think you get the point.
Essentially, during her infancy as PM, the Conservative Party, according to opinion polls, had an enormous lead over the largest opposition party, Labour. Theresa May’s key message of ‘Brexit means Brexit’ was pretty pivotal (and self-explanatory) and subsequently led to her triggering the 2 year process of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2017. Later, May set out her Brexit negotiating goals in a letter to the EU council president, Donald Tusk. You can read them here.
The Economy post-Brexit
Our former PM, David Cameron and his trusty sidekick, Chancellor George Osborne (along with other senior figures who wanted to stay in the EU) predicted in a rather scaremongering sort of way that the UK would most likely face an almost certain immediate economic crisis, should the UK vote to leave. They said:
- house prices would fall
- there would be a recession with a BIG rise in unemployment
- an emergency Budget would be needed to bring in the large cuts in spending that that would be needed (mind you, the pound did take a mighty beating the day after the referendum and still remains around 15% lower against the dollar and 10% down against the Euro, according to the BBC-but predictions of doom did not prove accurate. Nope.
- The economy is estimated to have grown 1.8% in 2016, second only to German’s 1.9% among the world’s G7 leading industrialised nations. So take that, George Osborne. Enjoy eating crow, mate.
Finally, I have saved the best for last, in this handy recap. So…what is the EU? Allow me. Please and thanks.
What is the EU?
The European Union (often known as the EU) is an economic and political partnership (read: albatross around the neck) involving 28 European countries. In brief, it began after World War II in order to foster economic co-operation, with the pie in the sky idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other.
Further, the EU has since grown to become a ‘single market’ and this subsequently allows goods and people to move seamlessly around-as if the member states were one country. In addition, it has its own currency-the euro-which is used by 19 of the member countries. Also, it has its own parliament and it sets rules on a wide range of areas-including areas such as: the environment, transport, consumer rights and even vastly important things such as mobile phone charges.
So, that is the EU in a nutshell. Please know I have been brief here, as this is not a University module/seminar on the EU and Brexit….this is only a blog post, people. So kindly accept the fact that it was quite impossible for me to include everything.
In closing, I hope you have enjoyed this recap-Part 1. Recap-Part 2 is coming soon. I promise. But please remember this…’Brexit means Brexit.’
Oh and thanks for reading, this was a long post. So, cheers for that . Check you cool cats later (read: will return with Part 2 sooner rather than later.) Yes. Yes, I will. That is all.