If you’re not living on the moon, you probably heard about the “Brexit”. In Europe, you heard the word currently at least once a day. In every kind of news. That’s why I thought this animated video about the last one hundred years of British Politics was perfect to give you a bit more background information.
Britain is similar to the United States when it comes to their party system. In theory, there are more than just two parties, but all other parties than the two big ones are not important, as they basically never reach the majority.
As you can see in the video it’s a constant switch between the Labour party and the Conservatives. You could say the Labour party are the democrats and the Conservatives are the Republicans – although it’s not that simple in reality.
I want to try to give you a super quick overview of the so-called “Brexit“.
- The term comes from “British exit” – refers to the UK leaving the EU.
- The EU aka European Union is economic and political union involving 28 European countries. Goods can be traded without taxes.
- A public vote – a referendum – was held on 23rd June 2016, where the people of Great Britain could decide whether to stay or leave the EU.
- Leave won by 52% to 48%. Turnout was very high with 72%. That means more than 30 million people voted. 17,4 voted to leave the EU.
- Brexit was due to happen on 29 March 2019. That was two years after then Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 – the formal process to leave – and kicked off negotiations. But the Brexit date has been delayed twice.
That’s where we are now. Nobody and I mean NOBODY seems to know where the British politics and the Brexit is going to head.
From here there are two options:
A Brexit deal and the so-called “No deal” solution. You can probably guess it from the name “no deal”. This could make things quite difficult for the people in the UK and European politics as well.
To make things even more complicated: The Republic of Ireland stays with the European Union and it has a land border with Northern Ireland (which goes with GB). Now the politicians have to figure out a way to handle this border, as there are obviously no checkpoints, no fence – nothing to track in and out-going trade goods.
As you can see the whole process is a prime example of a “huge mess”. A sand castle is build on better grounds than this ordeal.
Still, the current Prime Minister Mr. Johnson has said the UK must leave on 31 October, even if that is without a deal.
Right now there are the following options: Britain finds a solution until October 31st. They ask the EU for a third deadline extension on October 19th. The extension must be agreed to by all members of the EU. Or they will leave without a deal.
Leaving without a deal would mean potential massive traffic problems at the EU/GB border, as all trucks and goods would have to be controlled at the EU border.
It remains to be seen how this saga is going to end.