Brexit is a portmanteau of “British exit” which indicates the impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). The United Kingdom is trying to leave EU, and the EU is trying to prevent U.K from seceding from the union. Both sides have been unable to agree on terms of a compromise for over a year and a half. However, on November 25, the 27 leaders of the European Union have signed a Brexit Agreement which was a gradual step for the UK to withdraw from the EU. As a result, the first member nation to ever withdraw from the EU is becoming a reality. The UK held a referendum on the withdrawal from the European Union about a year and a half ago. As a result, 51.9% of the people voted in favor of withdrawal from the EU in 43 years. Once this agreement passes, the United Kingdom will be free from the constraints of the EU and it will be able to carry out its own policies.
There are two main reasons for why over half of the citizens of the United Kingdom is in favor of withdrawal. The first reason is due to problems related to immigrants in Europe. The UK sees immigration as a crucial factor in causing economic and social problems. They complain that immigrants have taken their jobs, lowered wages, and caused housing shortages which made house prices skyrocket ever since. The second main reason is that while the United Kingdom’s economy is currently in recovery, EU remains in a slow growth phase. Also, the United Kingdom was always dissatisfied with financially supporting the stabilization of the euro. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the United Kingdom has to support the EU with around 30 trillion won to the EU every year which has made it impossible to make any progress for themselves. They are confident that they will be better off by utilizing such money in welfare and new growth engines rather than wasting it on the EU.
However, some experts are deeply concerned about the United Kingdom from leaving the EU. If the UK withdraws from the EU, it will lose its tariff exemption in Europe which is crucial since 45% of their exports are to countries in Europe. In the long term, agreeing for the withdrawal will burden each citizen with approximately 1.6 million won per year. Consequentially, the UK’s economy will shrink by more than 8% before the year 2030. Furthermore, the United Kingdom has been a member of the EU for 43 years, so it is likely that the country will have major difficulties in diplomatic relations with Europe and other countries. The United Kingdom will be required to make new agreements with 90 different countries since the agreements were made in the name of EU. In addition, countries other than European countries will also be reluctant to invest in the UK because of a risk of uncertainty.
Then, what made it so difficult for both sides to reach to an agreement? The United Kingdom wishes to enjoy the economic benefits of the EU market, and to stop any infringement from EU. However, the EU believes that if allowing the United Kingdom to do so, it will lead to unstable relations and complaints from the members of the EU.
Only god knows what results Brexit will bring. However, both sides should think thoroughly and seek the best way possible to end this without any hard feelings for each other.
Jeong Seung-in, reporter email@example.com
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