On January 31, Britain will finally begin Brexit, which she spoke about regularly over the past 1300 days. How did it all begin and what are the consequences of leaving the European Union affecting Foggy Albion?
Brexitis. How did it all start?
Britain has historically been isolated from Europe. The island separated from Eurasia 8 thousand years ago. Plus, for the past few centuries, London has virtually not intervened in the “European battlefield” and pursued its imperial policy.
The differences between Britain and Europe have always been emphasized by conservatives, referring to a sense of English exclusivity. In 1988, Margaret Thatcher made her famous speech in Bruges, which laid the foundation for the Euro-skepticism of the British. Then the conservatives went into the shadows, and in the 2010s they gradually returned to power. And the Brexit saga continued.
In 2015, against the backdrop of financial collapse, the threat of an influx of immigrants and the growth of right-wing sentiments, David Cameron talked about Brexit. He proposed holding a referendum on Britain’s secession from the EU and campaigned under the slogan “return of control.” After that, 52% of Britons supported Brexit.
And three years of uncertainty came. Britain seemed to have voted to leave the EU, but the uncertainty of the future status of Northern Ireland did not allow it to materialize.
And then in 2019, Boris Johnson became British Prime Minister and in October was able to compromise with the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
They agreed that there would still be no customs inspection of goods between Northern Ireland and the EU, but it would be carried out at the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
So, on January 31, the UK will officially launch Brexit. What will happen next?
Great Britain will cease to have political membership in the European Union. She will lose her right to vote and will no longer take part in summits of UN leaders. But that’s all.
By the end of 2021, the country will enter a “transition period”. Will remain part of a single European market and customs union. The British will still be able to live and work in Europe, and the citizens of Europe in the United Kingdom.
The final Brexit will take place on January 1, 2021, but it can also be delayed for another year or two.
However, the process is irreversible. On Friday at 23:00 the UK and the European Union will officially diverge. After half a century of cooperation, the country will no longer be able to influence the laws and development of Europe.
On Friday, a countdown clock will appear on Downing Street. But there will be no grand celebrations. The government is afraid of exacerbating disagreements in society.
A 50 pence commemorative coin dedicated to Brexit will be issued. On it will be the words “peace, prosperity and friendship with all countries.”
The European Union, in turn, says that the UK can always apply for a return, but it will not be able to sit on two chairs.
At the same time, without the UK, the EU will become weaker politically and economically.