Brexit Update

Photo by James Claffey on Unsplash

England was due to finally leave the European Union on October 31 after years of delaying and debating but due to stalling efforts made by parliament it was postponed yet again.

In June of 2016, England held a referendum vote on being in the EU and the verdict, by a margin of about 4 percent, was to leave the EU. While this was a shock to some, it is not that surprising considering the underlying issues facing England as a member state of the EU. 

According to exit polls, sovereignty was the primary reason people voted to leave, which shows voters’ desire to have full control of what happens in England. It also makes clear their desire to not be powerless to the government of the EU which they have little input into. The other concern, which was immigration, basically comes down to the fact that voters want to be able to control their own borders.

Really it can be seen as an issue larger than Britain, as across the Atlantic Ocean, almost at the exact same time, something similar was happening. In November of 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S. Donald Trump ran on a platform of ending illegal immigration and putting the U.S first, similar to the reasongs behind Brexit. He also wanted to end unfavorable trade deals, and make other countries pay their fair share. 

Despite the vote that took place over three years ago, Brexit has yet to happen. Time and time again, Parliament has delayed Brexit due to fears of the havoc that would follow. Recently, following his election to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson put his foot down. When he took office, he said that the UK would leave the EU on October 31 regardless of a deal. To achieve this, Johnson suspended Parliament early. However before being dismissed

the Parliament, to once again stall Brexit, passed a bill prohibiting a no deal Brexit. This led to Johnson being forced to request an extension from the EU government, which postponed it to January 31.

All of this stalling from Parliament could be compared to some extent to the impeachment inquiry made by the House of Representatives in the U.S. While the methods are quite different, they are both attempting to end something that they feel is detrimental to their country. Only instead of stalling a bill, they are trying to impeach a president.

To the Parliament’s credit, if a no deal Brexit did happen, then there would certainly be interruptions in trade. However this is largely because Parliament has made no effort to pass any trade deals of its own. If Britain made deals with each individual country that they are currently trading with, then a no deal Brexit would be of no concern and wouldn’t matter, and yet they have made no efforts to do that.

At this point, there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen. Johnson and the EU government agreed on a deal, but the Parliament refused to pass the deal. They are set to leave on January 31 or sooner if they pass a deal before then, but it seems as though Parliament is just unwilling to leave. Johnson has called for elections in December, to vote on a new Parliament. The results of those elections will likely decide the fate of Brexit.

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Owen Moore is a Sophomore at Carrboro High School. He enjoys carpentry, biking, hunting and camping. Procrastination is a passion of his.