Brexit and European Union

Brexit mean: It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a possible Greek exit from the euro was dubbed Grexit in the past.

Why is Britain leaving the European Union: A referendum – a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part – was held on Thursday 23 June, 2016, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 51.9% to 48.1%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting.

What was the breakdown across the UK?

England voted for Brexit, by 53.4% to 46.6%. Wales also voted for Brexit, with Leave getting 52.5% of the vote and Remain 47.5%. Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. Scotland backed Remain by 62% to 38%, while 55.8% in Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.2% Leave.

Why Did Brexit Happen?

  • Economic governance:Securing an explicit recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union, to ensure countries outside the eurozone are not materially disadvantaged. The UK wants safeguards that steps to further financial union cannot be imposed on non-eurozone members and the UK will not have to contribute to eurozone bailouts.
  • Competitiveness: The “burden” of excessive regulation and extending the single market.
  • Immigration: To restrict access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants. Specifically, ministers want to stop those coming to the UK from claiming certain benefits until they have been resident for four years.
  • Sovereignty: Allowing Britain to opt out from the EU’s founding ambition to forge an “ever closer union” of the peoples of Europe so it will not be drawn into further political integration. Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation.

What is Article 50: Article 50 is a plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU. It was created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon – an agreement signed up to by all EU states which became law in 2009. Before that treaty, there was no formal mechanism for a country to leave the EU.

What date will the UK will leave the EU: For the UK to leave the EU it had to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives the two sides two years to agree the terms of the split. Theresa May triggered this process on 29 March, meaning the UK is scheduled to leave on Friday, 29 March 2019. It can be extended if all 28 EU members agree, but at the moment all sides are focusing on that date as being the key one.

What is the focus of negotiations between the UK and EU?

The priority issues in negotiations are:

  1. Agreeing what rights EU citizens already in the UK – and UK citizens living in the rest of the EU – will have after Brexit.
  2. Agreeing a figure for the amount of money the UK has to pay the rest of the EU “to settle its accounts”, when it leaves.
  3. Working out what will happen on the border between Northern Ireland, when it is outside the EU, and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU.
  4. The EU says it wants to make decent progress on these three issues before beginning talks about what the UK’s relations with the EU will be like after Brexit.

Cost of Brexit:

  • Britain has lead role as a financial services hub in Eurozone. Finance is the U.K.’s biggest industry and worth as much as 10 per cent of its GDP. Now, its lead may take a hit.
  • The Gnomes of the City of London, a less regulated offshore financial center, are seeking ways and means on how best to maximize its attractiveness as was before Brexit.
  • Almost immediately the U.K. will need to prepare for the loss of nearly 2,85,000 financial sector jobs.
  • London’s standing as the world’s principal place for trading in euro — a $2 trillion-a-day market — will come under new pressures.
  • The EU today has 28 members, with a combined GDP of $19 trillion. Yet, apart from lacking the kind of legitimacy required of a supranational state, it also suffered from an inbuilt weakness in handling internal conflicts.

What is the future of Globalization?

  1. A possible unraveling(disintegration) of the EU.
  2. A possible destabilization of the West, with the liberal international order coming under strain as world democracies begin to look inward.
  3. A strengthening of the trend against globalization, favoring the erection of barriers, and undermining free trade in goods and services.
  4. The exit of the U.K. (America’s most loyal partner) from the EU would not merely limit U.S. ability to manoeuvre NATO into accepting U.S. dictates (against Russia), but weaken NATO itself.
  5. Increase tensions between Germany and France over leadership in Europe. With Britain’s exit, Germany’s share of EU’s GDP would increase from one-fifth to one-fourth. Germany’s steady rise as the de facto leader of Europe already riles France. Washington’s attempts, of late, to strengthen its axis with Germany will further exacerbate the strained relations.
  6. The U.K. was among the hawks endorsing U.S. sanctions against Russia (For supporting East-Ukraine rebels against Ukraine Central Government, Which have U.S. support). Brexit, and a weakened EU resolve, is likely to lead to the easing of sanctions.
  7. Globalization has both an economic and security aspect. If Brexit, as seems likely, impacts the forces ranged against globalization, perceptibly slows it down, and strengthens protectionism, then major developed countries might well begin to look inward.
European Union

How the EU began: The European Union grew out of a desire for peace in a war-torn and divided continent. Five years after World War II ended, France and Germany came up with a plan to ensure their two countries would never go to war against each other again. The result was a deal signed by six nations to pool their coal and steel resources in 1950.

Seven years later a treaty signed in Rome created the European Economic Community (EEC) – the foundations of today’s European Union. The UK was one of three new members to join in the first wave of expansion in 1973. Today the EU has 28 member states with a total population of more than 500 million.

Which countries belong to the EU?

The EU has grown steadily from its six founding members to 28 countries. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed up to the EEC, or Common Market in 1957. Britain, Ireland and Denmark joined in the first wave of expansion in 1973, followed by Greece in 1981 and Portugal and Spain five years later. Eastern Germany joined after unification and Austria, Finland and Sweden became part of the EU in 1995. The biggest enlargement came in 2004 when 10 new member countries joined. Romania and Bulgaria joined in 2007 and Croatia was latest to sign up in 2013.

How does the EU work? There are four key institutions which work together to run the EU – the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the Court of Justice.

What does it all cost?

The UK’s estimated net contribution in 2015 was £8.5bn – according to Treasury figures. Each country receives money back from the EU to support development and other projects. The UK also gets a rebate, or money back, on its contribution, because much of the budget is spent on agricultural subsidies and the UK does not gain nearly as much as other countries like France. After all repayments were taken into account in 2015, Britain contributed about 12.6% of the entire EU budget. Germany paid the largest share, 21.36% and France was the second-biggest contributor at 15.72%.

How does the EU spend its money?

The EEC started out as a trading bloc – with free movement of goods and services within the Common Market – now its interests include reducing regional inequalities, preserving the environment, promoting human rights and investing in education and research.

The EU is Britain’s biggest trading partner. British citizens are free to work in any EU country and EU funding is spent on supporting farmers, boosting jobs in the UK, redeveloping rundown areas, and grants for university research. The EU has contributed to cheaper travel by challenging monopolies and boosting competition. It has reduced the cost of mobile data roaming and set water quality standards in Europe.

But giving subsidies to farmers led to over-supply of some crops and so the EU was forced to rethink its agriculture policy. Critics say the EU has taken too much power from the UK government, its regulations are costly to the British economy and without them, Britain would be able to sign other trade deals with growing economies like China and India. They also say that the EU wastes taxpayers’ money on excessive bureaucracy – citing MEPs monthly trips to Strasbourg which cost 180m euros (£136m) per year.

Euroscepticism: is criticism of and strong opposition to the European Union (EU). Many countries who are part of EU, formed many Eurosceptic Parties. Surprisingly, each year their popularity is on rise so is Euoscepticism is on Rise.

Schengen Area:

It take its name from the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, where the agreement was signed in 1985. It took effect in 1995.

The Schengen Area /ˈʃɛŋən/ is the area including 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders. It mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the Schengen Agreement (Luxembourg).

Today, the Schengen Area encompasses most EU States, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. However, Bulgaria and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area. Of non-EU States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have joined the Schengen Area.

EU- All you need to know in under 2 minutes – BBC News – YouTube