Brexit: How Did That Happen? | Teen Ink

Brexit: How Did That Happen?

March 22, 2019
By RaniaMichaela PLATINUM, Abu Dhabi, Other
RaniaMichaela PLATINUM, Abu Dhabi, Other
21 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't watch what they say, watch what they do." ~ Rachel Maddow

What do people think of when they hear the word Brexit? It really depends on who you ask. Some people may say something along the lines of “This was a long time coming!” or “We needed to leave the EU!” or “We need to take control of our own borders!” whereas others could have a drastically different approach and can call it “a victory for the right wingers” or “a huge mess” or “the biggest mistake the UK has made in recent history.”

Those differences really are stark.

For others who either aren’t British or don’t keep up with British politics as much as American politics (guilty as charged), you might not even know what to say because you might not know enough. Sure, you’ll know what Brexit is and that there’s been a lot of fighting and arguing over it but not much more than that. For the rest of us who don’t have an eagle eye on the House of Commons or 10 Downing Street, just what on Earth is this Brexit thing? And why did it even happen?

Needless to say, it’s complicated. Really, it is.

As you might know, the UK voted to leave the European Union back in 2016 and while politicians were campaigning before the referendum vote, the term ‘Brexit’ was coined by the Leave campaign. Why did people want to leave the EU? It’s actually much more simple than you think. One word, immigration.

Alright, maybe it’s not all about immigration. Needless to say, immigration is a massive part of why people voted to leave the EU.

Over the past few years, immigration has become a hotly contested issue in the UK. Terror attacks have been happening more often (take the Manchester attack at an Ariana Grande concert or the London Bridge stabbings as examples) and people have been feeling like their culture is being taken away from them. They're losing their sense of national pride, and they're not okay with that. Change is difficult for some people, and these changes in demographics can almost serve as a threat to what they know. The rise in terrorist attacks have fuelled this idea of controlling the British borders and not allowing the EU to take control of every single legislative decision when it comes to immigration. Voters also wanted to have more control over British law making and didn't want to send any more money to the EU. Some people voted for Brexit just so they could teach the big wigs in Westminster a lesson. These statistics don't change the fact that immigration is the guiding issue for Brexit supporters.

Besides all of that, people really wanted a change and didn’t like David Cameron or his leadership. The perceived insincerity from the Remain campaign also turned off a lot of voters. Fortune Magazine cites Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as a high profile example of insincerity regarding Brexit, calling him ‘another closet Brexit supporter, a Socialist who sees the E.U. as the stooge of global capitalism, eroding workers’ rights with its neoliberal focus on the Single Market.’ If this really is the case, it may have affected the Remain campaign since a good majority of high profile Tories voted to remain in the EU.

In conclusion, people voted to leave the European Union because they greatly disagreed with their stance on immigration. They're feeling like they're being left behind by society and that the EU is changing the country they know and love. They didn't want it to change, and now they're fighting back. They also wanted more of a say when it comes to legislation because in some cases, the UK had to answer to the EU. They wanted sovereignty. For those who were really feeling sour about what's been going on in British politics recently, they just wanted to teach politicians a lesson. Either way, the clash between Remainers and Brexiteers has been nasty thus far. Brexit was set to initiate on March 29th and the House of Commons has rejected every single deal Theresa May has put forward. Now, they have just voted to delay Brexit and the EU has approved that measure. Now, nobody knows when the UK will leave the EU and on what terms. The question now is, what do we do now?

The author's comments:

Brexit is honestly a huge mess, this is just my take on what I think happened. I used polls as well as opinion from actual British voters I know on this issue. Hopefully this can give people a bit more clarity about all of this, but I'm not sure anyone really knows what happened.

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