Brexit: Then, Now and Next…

That Britain wants out of the European Union is no longer news. That it wants a good deal from the union to soften its hard landing from the exit is no news. That it was the first member of the European union to ever invoke Article 50, the major initiator for a member nation to kick-start the process of leaving the union is no news too. The news is what comes next after the exit.

One of the major things people have never taken note of is that the UK has not always fully committed to being part of the EU. This had been there right from when it joined the European Community (the precursor to the European Union in 1 January 1973). The former French president, Charles de Gaulle saw it right when he vetoed the UK’s plan to join the body both in 1963 and 1967. He opined that the structure of the British economy makes it incompatible with the European Union and that Britain harbors a deep seated hostility towards a pan-European structure. It should also be noted that it did not join the European single currency platform.

Going back in history, precisely in 1975, the UK had tried through a referendum to agree on whether to stay in the EEC- the precursor of the EU under a different terms of entry. Back then they voted to stay by 67.2 per cent. That urge to always disrupt the EU membership never left. The spirit came back in 2016 and this time around, they hit the bulls eye by voting to exit the European Community through a fresh referendum.

It is of note that no member country had ever left the EU except Greenland which is an autonomous province of Denmark and is quite off the European Continental land mass. This was in 1985. It is now on record that the UK is the first major continental European country that has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which covers the process of exiting from the Union. At least the British had this first in the EU.

One of the hidden reasons for the call for exit by the British was the frustration of the ultra-conservative class with the way immigrants of mostly Eastern European origin have overwhelmed the British systems ranging from health to education. They complained about how they have to wait for weeks, sometimes months before they get appointment with healthcare givers because the number of beneficiary of the system had been bloated by the inclusion of the immigrants.

The initial date of exit was set at the 29th of March, 2019 but had been shifted to 12th of April 2019. So far, the British Parliament had rejected the exit deals propositioned by the Prime Minister, Theresa May. She wants a good deal, the EU are looking forward to a favorable agreement but it seems the British MP’s are hell bent on leaving without any exit deal. From the look of things, the British wants to eat their cake and have it. They want to leave the union while still enjoying most of the major perks of the union-ship.

With the push for exit in full swing, the future implication on UK itself is looming like a hanging sword. It might spring up the Scottish clamor for an out from the United Kingdom Union itself. Another referendum might come up. There are whispers of Northern Ireland favoring an EU stay. A lot of issues are going to come to the fore.

In addition to all these the loss of the UK might be the gain of some of the strong members of the EU majorly Germany and France. The position of Germany as the strongest economy would likely be more consolidated while France would move up the notch too.

As time goes on, more on all these would be revealed.