June 27, 2016
When and How Brexit Begins – Remains Up For Debate
If you’ve turned on the TV, read a newspaper or checked social media, you’ve likely heard the historic news about Brexit — Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Britain has been a part of the EU for forty-three years, alongside twenty-eight other countries on the continent. Last week, 52 per cent of British citizens voted to leave the EU, while 48 voted to stay.
After the results of the referendum were made public, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation in tears. Economists around the world have predicted that this decision could unleash dire economic consequences for British citizens — indeed, the British pound has already dropped to the lowest it has been in over twenty years.
Even if others are more optimistic about the country’s future, there is one outcome of the decision that remains clear to everyone: for better or for worse, Brexit will undoubtedly reshape the nation’s place in the world for years to come.
But the logistics of Brexit remain a murky, grey area to navigate, especially given the lack of historical precedent for this decision — no country has ever left the EU before. When Cameron resigned, he said his successor should be responsible for dealing with the logistics of Brexit — an undoubtedly difficult job for whoever takes on his role come October 2016.
Despite the outcome of the referendum, for the time being, Britain remains a member of the EU. So when exactly would Britain cut ties with the EU, and is this truly a final decision?
This weekend, the foreign ministers of Luxembourg, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands met in Berlin to presumably discuss the next steps of this process. Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty stipulates that there is a two-year exit period in which the U.K. is able to renegotiate trade dealings and other matters with the rest of the EU. But when — and how — this process should officially begin remains up for debate. Some leaders have suggested that the exit could be initiated simply through a formal statement made by Cameron at the European Council, while others are adamant that a formal letter to the EU’s president is required instead.
While some have accepted that the people have spoken, others are frantic to stall the process in any way they can, whether it be through protests or calls for new referendums to appeal this decision.
For more on this story, visit CBC.
Featured image source: The Guardian.