Britain’s been a part of the European Union (EU) since its formation in 1993. However, now it’s holding a referendum to decide if it should bow out of the organisation (populary termed as Brexit). Here’s a quick summary to understand what’s happening.
1. The European Union is a politico-economic union in Europe
It has 28 member states and was formed to increase economic and political unity within the continent by having a common market and uniform laws that apply to all its members.
2. Britain has always been a part of this Union
Britain was a founding member of the EU in 1993. However, its membership has always been a bit controversial.
3. It hasn’t always fit in
Britain isn’t part of some of the EU’s most important institutions. Firstly, it is not part of the Schengen Visa Zone, where member nations have one common visa to help individuals migrate across EU borders easily. Secondly, it has not adopted the common currency, the ‘Euro’.
4. Britons are split in their opinion over EU membership
‘Eurosceptics’ support Brexit (E.g. Justice Secretary Michael Grove). They think that the EU is too restrictive for business while being too free on migration.
‘Europhiles’ support Britain’s membership in the EU and are led by David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain. They think that membership makes it easier to trade within the EU and the migration helps economic productivity as it increases the number of employable people.
Confused about other terminogoligies of Brexit? Understand it here..
5. So, Britain is going to have a vote to decide if it should stay in the EU
The recent debate regarding Britain’s EU Membership resulted in the passage of European Union Act (2011), which calls for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. It will take place on 23rdJune 2016 and will ask voters the following question: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or should it Brexit?
6. Whatever Britain decides, their relationship with the EU is facing a big change
If the Britain votes for a Brexit, the trade and immigration dynamics will change for the whole continent. The UK will now have to re-establish its global business image independently and London will no longer be the financial capital of Europe. Even if Britain chooses to stay in the EU, Prime Minister Cameron has agreed to a package of changes for the UK’s membership in the EU in terms of currency, migration and business.
So it seems that change in Europe may be inevitable this June.