What you need to know about Brexit: a historic moment of mourning or celebration?

Friday evening and the clock was 23:00 GMT, Britain cut ties with the EU; the British Flags were quietly lowered, folded and taken away from the many EU buildings of Brussels. This historic moment left the world with a question of whether the UK woke up today the 1st of Feb. on an uncertain future or not.

This controversial move left some people celebrating and others mourning the UK’s departure.

In his new year speech, the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the upcoming decade would be one of “prosperity and opportunity” for the United Kingdom. This statement will be debated for years! Johnson described the Brexit moment as “a moment of real national renewal and change.”

With the UK formally leaving the EU on 31 January 2020, a lot to talk about and months of negotiation will follow. Both the EU and the UK still need to decide on the shape of their future relationship. This fate will be worked out during the transition or implementation period which is due on the 31st of December 2020. Meanwhile, the UK is destined to follow all of the EU’s rules and its trading relationship which shall remain the same.

Trade is on the top of the debatable items on the agenda, many other aspects of the future of the UK-EU relationship will also need to be decided. These aspects range from the matters of Law enforcement, data sharing and security, aviation standards and safety, access to fishing waters, supplies of electricity and gas, licensing and regulation of medicines.

This will be accompanied by some implications as the lost seats of many UK MEPs, no more EU summits, the ability of the UK to start talking to countries around the world about setting new rules for buying and selling goods and services, the change in the color of the UK’s passports, circulation of 50p Brexit coins bearing the date “31 January” and the inscription: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”,  the anticipated tightening of the UK – US relationship and shutting down the UK’s Brexit department.

These aspects are accompanied with the arguments for remaining in the EU focusing on the benefits of being part of a wider union, and the security and favourable trading relationship made possible through EU membership. While reducing red tape, gaining more sovereignty and taking control over immigration are the major arguments against.

The below chart extracted from IG gives further clarification on the controvesey of Brexit.

Key arguments for remainKey arguments for leave
Foreign affairs
As part of a community of 500 million people, Britain has greater influence over international matters as a member of the EU.
Foreign affairs
EU membership limits Britain’s international influence, ruling out an independent seat at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Sovereignty
Britain has proved that it can opt out of some EU policies which it considers counterintuitive, such as adoption of the euro, the Schengen Agreement and enforced migrant quotas.
Sovereignty
Britain would have more control of its laws and regulations, without risk of having counterintuitive policies forcefully imposed.
Security
A union better equips Britain to tackle threats to security, including terrorism and cross-border crime.
Security
Britain’s domestic security could benefit from full border controls, which it would gain outside the political union.
Money
European businesses invest billions of pounds in the UK every year, both in the public sector and private sector.
Money
Britain contributes billions of pounds in membership fees to the EU every year.
Trade
EU membership gives Britain access to the European single market, which is invaluable for trade and enables the easy movement of goods, services and people across member states.
Trade
Membership of the EU keeps Britain from fully capitalising on trade with other major economies such as Japan, India and the US.
Business
Free trade within the EU reduces barriers and enables UK companies to grow.
Business
The EU subjects Britain to slow and inflexible bureaucracy, making it more prohibitive for smaller companies to do business.
Jobs
Millions of jobs linked to Britain’s membership would be put at risk. Some sectors such as nursing and manufacturing could experience a slump in skilled labour.
Jobs
Improved global trade agreements and more selective immigration could have a positive effect on the British job market.
Consumer goods
The average person in Britain saves hundreds each year thanks to lower prices of goods and services facilitated by the EU.
Consumer goods
The average person in Britain loses hundreds of pounds each year due to EU VAT contributions and agricultural subsidies policies.

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