Something that adults are always talking about is Brexit.
What is it?
Brexit is about the UK leaving the EU. The EU is an organisation of 27 countries within mainland Europe, and it sets the political and economic agenda of its 27 members.
Why does the UK want to leave?
There was a referendum giving voters the choice of remaining in the EU or leaving the EU. The leave vote was 52%, the remain vote was 48%, so leave won with a narrow majority of just 4%.
The main reasons for people voting to leave:
- To regain control from Brussels (the seat of government of the EU).
- To stop EU law superseding UK law.
- To control our own immigration policy
Why should we stay in the EU?
It’s working very well as it is, and we shouldn’t change it.
It’s better to be part of a large group of 27 countries, rather than be a single isolated unit.
We currently have a free trade agreement with the other 26 countries, and people can work and travel easily within the EU.
What is a soft Brexit?
A soft Brexit is where the UK makes a deal with the EU so that it can technically leave, whilst retaining some of the benefits of staying as well. The problem is that we are still controlled and ruled by Brussels.
Some people say that this is the worst of all worlds……..we would be half in and half out.
What is the backstop?
The backstop is meant to be a last resort to keep an open border on the island of Ireland - whatever happens in the Brexit negotiations. It would mean that
Northern Ireland, but not the rest of the UK, would still follow some EU rules on things such as food products.
What happens if the UK leaves without a deal?
"No deal” is the political default in the event we cannot agree a deal, and means the UK would in effect “crash out” of the EU. It is the route favoured by the ERG (European Research Group) a right wing faction of the Conservative government. Those opposing this say it would cause food prices to rise and that we would have shortages of some essential medicines. If we did crash out with “No Deal”, EU laws would stop applying to the UK immediately, and we would be free to make new trade deals with other countries around the world.
To conclude: Brexit is very divisive, and at least 50% of the population will be disappointed……….Whatever the outcome.