The European Union is a political and economic union consisting of 28 European countries. Originally created in 1958 under the name European Economic Community (EEC), the group of countries strictly began as an economic union. However, over time, the EEC started expanding its work into political matters across Europe and, in 1993, the European Economic Community developed into the European Union. Great Britain, one of the countries in the European Union, is now debating on withdrawing its membership, known as a Brexit, and parting ways with the other European Union countries.
In order to decide whether or not the country will actually leave the union, Great Britain is having a referendum and asking its citizens a simple question of whether to stay or leave. Recent polls and predictions show that 53% percent of British citizens wish to leave the European Union while 47% of British citizens wish to stay. This excludes undecided voters, who may be the ultimate key to the decision. While these numbers have fluctuated over time, the results have remained close.
Relating to economics and international trade, supporters of Great Britain remaining in the EU say that leaving the Union would be detrimental to Britain’s economy. Additionally, they predict that a Brexit would cause economic shock, resulting in slower economic growth. Furthermore, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, stated that withdrawing from the European Union would cause Great Britain to become a “permanently poorer country in every sense.” The overall opinion from supporters of the EU revolves around the predicted damaging economic effects that leaving the European Union would cause Great Britain and other countries.
Supporters of withdrawing from the European Union argue that UK companies would no longer be accountable to EU regulations. Furthermore, supporters of a Brexit favor the predicted lower prices of goods in Britain. Other main arguments for withdrawing from the European Union are centered on national pride and sovereignty. British advocates of a Brexit believe that sovereignty and self-government issues should override economic issues. Former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for example, stated that Britons need to “take back control of [Great Britain’s] destiny.”
In conclusion, supporters of remaining in the European Union argue that Great Britain leaving the EU would cause major economic growth reduction, overall hurting the British economy, and weakening the country as a whole. Supporters also foresee Great Britain leaving the European Union as damaging the economies of other countries heavily invested in Europe. On the opposite end of the spectrum, supporters of Brexit argue that British businesses and corporations would not be limited by EU regulations, allowing them to freely grow. They also believe that sovereignty issues outweighs the country’s economic and business issues. Regardless of the decision made by the referendum on June 23, 2016, each outcome could drastically change the way Great Britain, and the rest of the world, functions economically.