By Elizabeth White
(TEANECK) – On June 24, 2016 more than 30 million people in the United Kingdom (UK), which is composed of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, voted to leave the European Union (EU) by a close margin of 52 percent leave and 48 percent stay.
This dynamic decision was historic in the UK, as well as across the world, as the value of the pound fell drastically and still remains at a 30-year low.
Global stock plummeted and other potentially drastic changes are predicted to come as the UK separates from the EU.
The EU is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries – one that the UK has been a part of since 1973, according to the BBC.
The EU has laws and regulations that the countries within it are supposed to follow with a few exceptions that allow for member states, including the UK, to opt-out of certain regulations like the Eurozone. The entire UK, including Northern Ireland, still uses the British pound.
The day after the UK voted to leave the EU, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, of the Conservative party, resigned. Theresa May, also of the Conservative party, took over as Prime Minister.
Although the first few days after the referendum were hectic with Cameron’s resignation and global markets plummeting, not much else has happened in the three months following.
Leaving the EU is a complicated process that begins with invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. According to BBC News, this “gives the two sides two years to agree the terms of the split.”
Prime Minister May has said that this process of separating from the EU will not begin before the end of this year.
Before the referendum, the government did not prepare for the possibility of Brexit causing them to scramble to bring together a negotiating team, according to the BBC.
May set up a department of the government to deal specifically with Brexit, headed by David Davis, who is a veteran Conservative Member of Parliament, (MP). May made other appointments that included making Liam Fox international trade secretary and Boris Johnson foreign secretary.
Together, the “Three Brexiteers,” as they have been called by The Guardian, began to iron out the negotiations between the EU and the UK. May has the final say in all of their decisions.
No one really knows how the Brexit process will work or how long it will take. Once they have begun the process of withdrawing from the EU, however, Davis believes that “the country could formally sever its relationship with the EU by December 2018.”
Philip Hammond, former Foreign Secretary and now Chancellor, on the other hand, believes it could take up to six years to separate completely.
In the meantime, the laws set by the EU still exist and are in practice until the UK is no longer a member. However, they will not take part in any EU decision-making.