Brexit Explained

Brexit Explained

On June 23rd, 2016, an entire country headed
into the unknown. That’s the day 17.4 million people in the
United Kingdom voted to become the first country to leave the European Union. This is the story of Brexit. We begin 60 years ago. After World Wars I and II had brought unprecedented
death and destruction to the continent, a simple theory gained traction: if countries
form stronger economic ties, they’ll be much less likely to fight each other. So, in 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome and formed the European Economic Community. The UK wasn’t included. It tried to join in 1963 and ‘67, but was
blocked by French President Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle didn’t trust the British and their
close allies, the United States, although de Gaulle’s official reason was that the
UK’s economy wasn’t compatible with Europe’s. A few years later, once de Gaulle was out
of power, the UK became a member of the EEC in 1973. But not everyone was sold on the idea. So, just two years after joining, the UK held
its first ever national referendum to decide whether it should turn around and leave. The vote wasn’t close, 67% of the electorate
chose to stay. In the years since, the EEC has become known
as the European Union, expanded to 28 member states, and enacted countless laws and reforms
that have created a thriving political and economic zone with 500 million citizens. In many ways it was designed to mirror the
world’s most successful federal republic: the United States. Just like the American colonies had done two
centuries earlier, the individual countries of Europe decided they’d be better off – economically,
geopolitically – if they formed a unified group. It was a good decision. For proof, look no further than the year-by-year,
per-person GDP rate, which has skyrocketed across the entire euro-zone. Germany, the UK, and France, the EU’s biggest
economies and the 4th, 5th, and 6th largest individual economies in the world, have seen
their growth track right along with each other at roughly the rate of the United States. A look at the emerging economies of Brazil,
China, and South Africa gives you a better sense of just how closely the Europeans have
tracked together. Look at Turkey — who wants desperately to
join the union — compared to Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain the four EU countries most
affected by the global downturn at the end of the previous decade, and you see more evidence
of the power of the EU in driving growth. As it has became more and more integrated
— as its members chose to give up more and more of their sovereignty — the UK kept
negotiating ways to stay independent from key aspects of the union. It didn’t join the open border that the
rest of the EU created in 1995 to create completely free movement within the union, and it chose
to keep the British pound as its currency instead of adopting the Euro. But the development that made the UK’s eventual
exit most likely was the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. Not only did it make the EU’s central institutions
more efficient and more powerful, but — for the first time — it gave its members an
official mechanism to leave, called Article 50. At around the same time, the world was hit
by a severe recession. Greece, whose public debt was far higher than
most other EU members, was worse off. Its fellow union members forced it to implement
severe spending cutbacks in exchange for money it needed to stabilize its economy. This was followed by a migrant crisis, as
millions of refugees fled war-torn countries across the Middle East and North Africa. As immigration rates rose across Europe, the
preferred destination was one of the big three economies: Germany, the UK, or France. With all of these new arrivals — many of
whom were in need of tremendous public assistance — anti-immigrant, nationalist feelings rose. As Europe’s leaders came under heavy pressure
to stop the flow, fences and walls were built in the east, patrols were intensified along
the Mediterranean coast, camps were set up along borders, and deportations rose. Some leaders, like Germany’s Angela Merkel
pledged to welcome large numbers of migrants, while the UK — as an island — was able
to stop the flow more easily. Facing a tough reelection, UK Prime Minister
David Cameron promised that — if he won — he’d schedule a public referendum on
whether the UK should leave the EU. When he did win, he used his victory as leverage
to successfully renegotiate a few minor terms of the UK’s membership. Although it changed little, Cameron hailed
it as a victory—it was the first time an existing EU member country had been permitted
to have its own special deal. [David Cameron] “Britain will be permanently
out of ever closer union, never part of a European super state. There will be tough new restrictions on access
to our welfare system for EU migrants, no more something for nothing.” That deal was dependent on Britain choosing
to remain in the union during a vote scheduled for June 2016. By campaigning hard for the remain side, Cameron
also made it a referendum of sorts on his time in office, while giving his rivals and
critics who wanted him out an extra incentive to push for Brexit. Chief among those urging Brexit were far right
politicians who relied on inflamed rhetoric and misinformation. One of the primary l arguments was that the
UK — as one of the wealthier countries in the Union — was contributing too much money
to the EU budget. Another factor that pushed Britain toward
the exit was terrorism. A string of attacks, some carried out by immigrants,
had hit Europe, including the devastating November 2015 violence in Paris that killed
or injured nearly 500 people. A look at the data also helps us understand
why immigration was a key issue. Compared to the four other European countries
with more than 40 million residents, the UK has the highest population density. The US, if you’re wondering, is six times
less crowded than the UK. And as you can see in this graph, for the
better part of 15 years, the UK had been absorbing far more immigrants than before—capped off
by its two highest years of net migration right before the Brexit vote. Which finally brings us to the decision that
shocked the world. By a narrow vote of 51.9% to 48.1% the United
Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. The consequences were immediate. Cameron resigned and the value of the British
pound plummeted. Today, it remains around 15% lower against
the dollar. Theresa May — a member of Cameron’s cabinet
— had been against Brexit, but in a cunning move, chose not to publicly campaign, positioning
her perfectly to succeed Cameron as Prime Minister when Brexit passed. True to her “Brexit means Brexit” saying,
May sent a letter to EU President Donald Tusk invoking Article 50, which starts a two year
countdown for the UK to negotiate its future relationship with Europe before it has to
leave. [Theresa May} “A few minutes ago in Brussels,
the United Kingdom’s permanent representative to the EU handed a letter to the President
of the European Council on my behalf confirming the government’s decision to invoke Article
50 of the Treaty on European Union.” Two years isn’t a very long time to get
through the long list of key points which include:
whether the European Court of Justice will continue to have jurisdiction over the UK;
whether the UK will reject the Human Rights Act in favor of writing their own British
Bill of Rights; how the security and crime-fighting relationship will work; how much the UK will
pay for EU projects and programs that it committed to before Brexit; what the rights will be
for EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa, for Britons living in the EU; what
will happen to Scotland, who voted to remain in the EU by a large margin of 62%-38%, there
is some talk it will leave the UK and become an EU member; what will happen along the land
border between Northern Ireland (of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (an EU member
state). There is currently a common travel area between
the UK and the Republic. The man who wrote Article 50, the distinguished
diplomat Lord John Kerr, detailed the bill Britain must agree to pay before any negotiations
will move forward. [Lord Kerr] “The trade negotiation won’t
get very far until the money negotiation is clearly settled. Now the money negotiation is going to be a
very nasty negotiation.” Perhaps the biggest issue is whether Brexit
will be hard or soft. This mainly has to do with trade and immigration. A soft Brexit would largely keep things the
same as they are now, with the continued free movement of goods and people from the continent. But a hard Brexit would result in import taxes
on goods and services in both directions. Hard would also restrict the migration of
EU citizens into the UK. Norway is an example of how a soft Brexit
would work. It is a member of the single market, but not
a full EU member. So for access to the market, it accepts the
free movement of people. The most influential leader in the EU, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel, has made it clear that Europe is going to drive a hard bargain
and will look after the interests of its 27 members. [Chancellor Merkel speaking in German] The UK is in a terrible bargaining position
and has put the EU leadership in a tough spot. Why would the EU allow the UK to leave, but
still keep the best parts of union membership? In order to maintain the legitimacy of the
EU, it has to make an example out of the UK. It must show its members that leaving has
very real consequences. This has many British business leaders — like
entrepreneur David Cleevely — nervous. [Entrepreneur David Cleevely] “My concern
about Brexit is that we have a big market just a few miles away, and we’re not going
to be able to access it as freely as we could before.” Once a deal is hammered out, at least 20 of
the 27 countries in the Union must approve it. But if no deal is reached, negotiations can
only continue if all 27 EU countries agree to extend the talks. Regardless of whether there’s a deal in
place when the UK leaves, the moment it does, all the EU laws Britain has been living under
cease to apply. To deal with this potential catastrophe, the
UK plans to pass a Great Repeal Bill. It will copy all the existing EU laws into
UK law to give parliament time to decide which laws to keep, change, or get rid of. This uncertainty has many who voted for Brexit
regretting their decision. As it becomes clear that independence won’t
be so great, opinion polls consistently show that the result would be reversed if the referendum
were held again. So, is there any chance the UK could reverse
course? Again, we’ll again turn to the author of
Article 50. After running through various scenarios for
how Brexit could play out, Lord Kerr said this. [Lord Kerr] “There is, and I’m almost
ashamed to mention it, the possibility of the United Kingdom changing its mind. An Article 50 notification – the triggering
– is revocable.” So, that’s Brexit in a nutshell. But I want to know what you think. Is this a classic case of people not appreciating
what they have, and thinking the grass is greener on the other side? And what do you think will be most significant
effect of the UK’s withdrawal? Thanks for watching. For The Daily Conversation, I’m Bryce Plank.

100 thoughts on “Brexit Explained

  1. To fellow Americans watching this video, things can be best summed up like this: People in favor of Brexit are Trump supporters.

  2. It seems to me that the EU should have stuck to economic agreements and allowed each country to maintain its sovereignty…Apologies if I don’t understand this…but what about sovereignty and why should the EU bureaucracy over rule a nations elected government?

  3. It has now been discovered that all the Remoaners that took to the streets in their Violent March against Brexit were all from the South East of England and worried about losing their lucrative Alcohol and Tobacco Run bringing in a Tax Free income of Tens of Thousands a year.

    P.S. If you live towards the Midlands, The North of England or Wales they are more likely to search your bags at Customs for crossing the Channel..

  4. It looks like the french president knew too well that british cannot be a trusted member in European union and will be a trouble maker when the uk join that is why he block the uk from joining in the first place. Now look at this mess they create after joining, the only country that keep asking for special treatments and the only country that keep asking to leave EU, they voted to leave twice first they voted to remain and now they voted to leave. I think EU made a big mistakes in the first place for accepting UK.

  5. It's a classic case of Brexit voters being cheated of the ballot which they cast. It's a sad example of a once great nation losing it's Independence and sovereignty. Today is a sad day for a once proud country. Brexit has been hijacked and nullified by MPs who accomplished nothing in the years since the referendum. Why ever vote again?

  6. England has open there eyes England should be leaders of EU if they want England to stay they must be in command England and Russia gave freedom to Europe God Bless England

  7. 1. Why the referendum was held at all wasn't mentioned. Cameron promised it to get right wing politicians on his side (or in short: to gain and keep power), but didn't believe it would have any consequence
    2. The EU isn't hard to punish the UK or to discourage other member states from leaving. It's just a logical thing. If you want access to the common market you have to obey some rules. There cannot be exceptions that would put the UK in a better position than Norway for example (like it would be if the UK was allowed to trade withing the common market but not accept free movement) – or even a member state. Actually Merkel said that. And there are only a few issues that are a red line for the EU. For example the border between Nothern Ireland and Rep. of Ireland. And of course: if you want to act within the internal market without tariffs you cannot make your own trade deals. Otherwise the UK could circumvent EU tariffs (importing goods into EU states without the EU tariffs having any effects). Of course the UK thinks the same the other way around. Also no other country wants to leave, on the contrary.
    3. Independency doesn't mean the UK can do whatever it wants. There's still the WTO and it has rules. A lot of the things UKIP promised would go against those rules. Of course the UK could also leave the WTO…
    oh and 4. another important thing: The UK only joined because it was bankrupt. The political union was never wanted, just access the economic area (and so UK politicans told the EU/EC project was only about trade although they new it was more).

  8. UK has democratically decided to leave. Go and do not ask for any special bargain. Bear the consequences and get on with it.

  9. The EU is not working with too much countries. Now make a end…lets support the countrys they are in…or lets die this think of a united land…

  10. E.U. is the biggest joke in history. Stupid policy makers pretend that they know what's best for each country. Guess what, they don't. Figures!

  11. I’m Russian and I wonder why Russians can’t come to Britain without visa as easy as Latvians, poles, Estonians, Lithuanians. These countries are just as poor as Russia. Only because they are in EU? They shouldn’t be in EU, they are too poor.

  12. The Good Friday Agreement is the peace agreement for Northern Ireland. This was written when the UK was a member of the EEC. The referendum was nonsense because we cannot leave the EEC – why? Because of the Good Friday Agreement. Membership of the EEC is enshrined in that agreement. That document means there is peace in Northern Ireland. There is no Backstop. That is just May's nonsense. We cannot leave the EEC because of the Good Friday Agreement.

  13. I am a UK citizen. I voted to leave. If you want to know why then watch my YouTube video:
    Click on FILTER, select ‘Today’ (if it is today: 03/04/19) and enter ‘Was I right to vote for Brexit?’ in the search field.

  14. You said that he UK is the first county to leave the EU; But that's technically wrong. It is not. Algeria was a member back in 1957 and then left; same with Greenland and Saint Barthelemy.

  15. They want to leave but at the same time they want some special conditions. Lol
    I thought UE was a weight!!! LOL
    They are all so ridiculous arrogant and misinformed.
    We will not miss them!!
    Just stop with this circus and leave!!!

  16. Yes. THIS is a balanced report. Skew much? If everyone's life is so peachy WHY did so many BRITS vote to leave?! Inflammatory right thing speech?! Nah. I call BS

  17. The UK likes to be King of it's own castle and I don't blame them. The EU is Germany run on the long run and the UK will never submit to any other sovereign nation.

  18. Brexit is a good idea but after the disaster and chaos in the British Parliament, we all know Britain cannot survive a Brexit. And I even do not mention here the problems with NI! But today the EU does not want that Britain join the EU because of this chaos and of this disaster Brexit is like poison for the EU – and this cannot destroy the UK but maybe the whole EU!😉

  19. This has been the best video I have come across explaining Brexit. I loved how you explained the EU and how it formed. It answered all my questions. Thank you!

  20. I will say it again… 50% + 1 is not a majority…..considering that half the people Change their minds half the time 75% is the minimum , mathematically even more. They should never have entered into the union . All of the economic conditions can be made individually they should order to reflect current conditions . .

  21. To Officer D: The people who want Brexit are those who believe a country should make its own laws, vote in or out its own leaders and control its borders. Are you seriously telling me hat there are any Americans of whatever political persuasion that do not share those values?


    What does Brexit mean?
    Why is it wanted by UK citizens?
    Why and by whom was it presented in referendum?

    You can read our article "Brexit Dilemma" if you wonder what is going on with that Brexit saga!

  23. This attempts to be a fair account, but it's hard not to see a an agenda – there's one side which isn't really represented fairly or much at all.

  24. This is why the government should explain the consequency n implications of brexit before holding the referendum.. So ppl wont be so clueless n know what they are going to face after the brexit..

  25. Soon maybe Russia will become a member of the European Union and then Europe will become very strong but it will happen in 50 years )))

  26. Brexit will mean we are all poorer accept for the rich, the same people who run the Tory party. I have asked my MP regarding which rights Mr Amiss and the ERG object too. I have never had a response to that particular question. The bottom line is the Tory part and the ERG are simply scum who wish to line their own pockets at the expense of the many. Mr Farage an ex chief Tory councillor did very well on election night, thinking of selling short again Nigel?

  27. And yet we still are in the e.u. its like pinky and the brain. They always make plan that fails but they keep trying to take over the world

  28. Remember alot of the old Communist USSR morphed into the EU. Half of Germany was part of it.

    That's why you see entrapment and dictatorship in the foundations of its platform.

    Britain will never be ruled by old alliances formed from the former Soviet & German systems – Never !!

  29. And we will be leaving eventually one way or another when the majority vote the party in to do this .

    Labour/Conservatives are finished.

    Meanwhile it's business as usual and do has much damage/vandalism as possible whilst locked in the room.

  30. Brexiteers: We don't want to be a vassal state of the EU!
    Also Brexiteers: We don't want to lose our vassal anexations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales!

  31. why isn't Farage talking about that we left theEU on 29th march 2019 at 23.00pm with No Deal? Robin Tilbrook MP has court case pending about the Treasonous May carrying on as if the Withdrawal bill wasn't enacted. See Robin Tilbrook and Graham Moore

  32. He said thatopinion polls are "consistently showing that the result would be reversed in the future", the results show that we are still more likely to vote leave. There were 5 results showing we would remain compared to the 10 saying we would leave. Ngl but in my opinion that still shows that we are wanting to leave more than remain .

  33. What does terrorism and immigration have to do with Brexit tho? Is the EU the one with a policy that makes the UK allow more immigrants?

  34. If the EU will keep on forcing countries to do things they don'w want probably UK will not be the only one who will leave.

  35. I wanted to watch this, but the opening statement and description above are false. The UK aren't the first to leave.

  36. Brexit is a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face, because Cameron took a reckless gamble that he should not have taken, and lost.

    The Tories responsible for Brexit and the MPs who perpetuated the lies behind the leave campaign should all be slowly lowered in to a vat of acid.

  37. It's about time our incompetent politicians just admit that so many people voted leave that had absolutely no idea what they were voting for that brexit needs to be stopped now, the referendum was so close it's amazing the country is embarrassing itself to the entire world. Nothing is perfect, the same applies for democracy. It's only because of the egos of a certain few questionable politicians we are still in this mess.

  38. Another referendum would be an intelligent idea!
    ….accept according to the votes from the last one, more than half the uk need to go get some education

  39. Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia. Today Singapore is the richest nation in Asia. Put Lee kuan yew in UK and Brexit will be a reality; the BRitish are not stupid

  40. Brexit really shows that democracy is not always a good thing, you decide to put the country's future in the hands of people that have no idea what the prons and cons of the vote are…! Only people that are educated on the subject should have voted.

  41. EU was created to handle threat from Russia, and not in case they potentially can fight each other….how can I believe the rest video if this simple info is already incorrect????

  42. the EU has control over our laws. this means if they ever wanted to change or create laws they would have the ability to do so. people who are high up in the european union, people who we do not vote for and people who we don't even know have that power over us.

  43. The UK is on the brink of civil war and you think you can explain the death of democracy in a few sound bites? You have no idea how stupid and uninformed you are.

  44. cameron is a twat for resigning just after the brexit vote was passed, passing hte burden to Theresa May, and should be held responsible for what he did

  45. This video is so one sided and told from the point of view of someone it doesn’t affect in anyway


  47. America trump is destroying my country and we have never had an attack on us ,the bunker zone I just want as a back up incase I need to get rice guys its just a back up plan

  48. Most of those refugees were from Northern African countries which were peaceful. Also most Syrian refugees (73%) were men without families

  49. The Yougov poll "statistics" need to be taken with a truckload of salt. The often push-poll in favour of the political strategy of whatever organisation has hired them.

  50. I love your chart, that says the population of the United States is 325 billion. Slight little error there methinks.. lol.

  51. People are saying this video is biased towards the UK remaining in the EU, but he is being unbiased because all the reasons to remain are facts and all the reasons to leave are lies

  52. america destoys middle east and that equals migranta and that equals stealing jobs from native people and that equals debt and that equals brexit

  53. This are only my views and to my best understanding of Brexit. For many years EU has been doing economically well to support each other in the 27 members they have. Acknowledge that GB is the biggest contributor to EU economic success but I’m sure other members also contributed to the growth of EU countries. EU council has given GB plenty of exceptions which I’m sure was within acceptable consensus. GB wanting out is no longer felt like it wants to support EU as a union rather than wanting gain from their individual success, which is obviously right for them to do so, anyways.
    However, the consequences of opting to be out causes more damages to other EU members as well as to GB especially on possible high tariffs and and strict cross borders. Overall economically and trade wise will definitely hit consumer wrt buying powers and business owners profit as one of the classic examples.
    For the best of EU and GB, I hope EU council will make a sound decision, put aside all political emotions and be objective in ensuring safe and profitable business trades happens. Why create unnecessary tension where one can work out matters in a more amicable manner.

  54. Immigration from Poland has been a nightmare of UK for decades. Polish people kept migrating in millions over period of time to uk to enjoy better social support system. UK has right to stop these polish people who in return talk nonsense about uk.

  55. just take a look at some of these comments, english citizens sound more and more as russians who think putin is some kind of god and right extremists trump suporters, well we dont want that in EU, so please leave no deal

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