Brexit. The common slang term uttered as of late signifies a major shift that may occur within the European Union: the U.K. is voting on whether to leave it.
The U.K. has contemplated leaving the EU for some time, though only recently have the calls for this type of reform been so loud.
There is a strong divide as to Britain’s exit, with those in favor claiming it will boost the United Kingdom’s economy and sovereignty, and those against it decrying it as a certain doom that will spread through Europe.
The EU has been seen by some as in a similar situation to the United States: multiple areas with borders acting in a unified way and allowing certain privileges and rights to occur. But overtime, these privileges and benefits have seemed quite the opposite to many—certain countries within the EU don’t perform as well as others and overarching bureaucratic limitations are seen as a hindrance to the full potential of the U.K.
These issues include currency concerns, with the Euro having too strong a tie to how the EU functions. Also, specific trade rules from the EU limit the expansion and growth the U.K. can achieve through its own business maneuvers. By leaving the EU the U.K. would no longer have to pay into a collective budget and would incur a fiscal raise in this way.
The negative aspect of an exit would be a diminished relationship with the rest of the EU, and trade regulations would still need to be honored within it regardless of the gain of outside trade partners. There could also be a dynamic flux in the amount of workers entering and exiting the country, thus seeing strained housing costs and job opportunities.
Ultimately, the Brexit is about the sovereignty of a nation. As seen with Quebec in Canada and Texas in the USA, people, regions and cultures can face an identity crisis of sorts. It’s in this time that a country flexes its metaphorical muscle and defines or redefines its value both to its region and the global economic landscape.
Regardless of what happens in the Brexit vote, the U.K. will have reminded the EU and the world that it is a major global player and it is both prepared and willing to step up to a greater challenge.