Brexit Is Official
It was a huge day for the United Kingdom yesterday. Whether it was a good day or a bad day remains to be seen and it depends on whom you ask.
A letter from Prime Minister May had been delivered to European Union leaders notifying them that the United Kingdom is officially leaving the European Union.
It’s been called Brexit (short for British Exit).
The European Union is a group 28 countries in Europe joined together by some common rules and goals. This helps them work together and be friendly toward each other. Being in the European Union makes it easier for people to travel and work between countries as well as to do business with each other and transport goods, like cheese, chocolates, watches, and whatever else they produce, back and forth more easily. The European Union also has a common currency, the Euro.
It’s a complicated arrangement that’s not perfect but the European Union has been around for over 20 years, since 1993.
Last June, the United Kingdom (U.K.), which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, asked its citizens to vote on one single question: Should the U.K. stay part of the European Union … or should it leave?
Voting on a single issue like that is called a referendum .
Many people assumed that the U.K. would choose to stay.
That turned out not to be the case.
The vote was incredibly close but 51.9% of the people chose to leave. And 48.1% chose to stay.
Leaving was the will of the people but that vote was just the beginning. It has taken until now to even officially signal that the U.K. is leaving the European Union.
The U.K.’s laws have become intertwined with the European Union’s so much that it’s going to take two years before they can actually formally separate and the U.K. be on its own again.
No country has ever left the E.U. before. In fact, countries usually want to join. So nobody has done this before or knows how it will go.
Complicating matters is that before the U.K. vote about whether to stay or go … Scotland (remember, part of the U.K.), had its own referendum about whether to leave the U.K. and become its own country.
At the time, Scottish people voted to stay part of the U.K. … but barely. But they did vote to stay part of the European Union in the Brexit vote… even though England didn’t. So now Scotland is considering a do-over on their vote to see if this changes the situation for them.
Maybe Scotland will become its own country … and still try to be part of the European Union! Stay tuned.