Brexit Has Begun

Caroline Korinke, Staff Writer

Brexit has officially happened. As of January 31st, the United Kingdom is no longer a part of the European Union. However, according to BBC, for the next eleven months, the UK will still follow the EU’s rules as a new trade deal between the Union and the Kingdom is negotiated. The withdrawal from the European Union comes as a victory for Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister and enthusiastic Brexit advocate. As the transition period unfolds, Johnson and other high-ranking political figures need to find a smooth way for the United Kingdom to function without the current free trade deal and immigration laws it holds with the EU. 

The Brexit process began over three years ago, when pro-Brexit voters narrowly won a vote against anti-Brexit voters. As time went on, the nation only became more divided. Senior Hannah Jiminez said, “I don’t think [the United Kingdom] should leave the European Union due to economic reasons.” Her concern about the economy is shared by millions of British citizens who fear job losses and economic decline. The New York Times reported, “Europe is Britain’s most important export market and its biggest source of foreign investment,” meaning that Britain’s split from the EU will definitely have economic ramifications. Junior Kirsten Larsen said, “Personally I don’t think it’s good for Britain’s economy. Nobody really knows the consequences.” 

The United Kingdom is the first ‘member state’ to ever leave the European Union. Hopefully, the transition between European Union membership and post-Brexit independence will be simple, but right now, it is anybody’s guess.