Another referendum has arrived to the land of Great Britain. But unlike the last time where only the people of Scotland voted whether to remain in the U.K. or not, this time the entire Britain including the residents of the Commonwealth countries are voting whether to stay in the European Union. A hotly contested issue, especially in recent times as the European Union has gained more power over its member states, it has a huge stake in the domestic politics and will determine the economic future of Britain and the European Union.
Britain’s membership in the European Union has been debated since 1973, the year it joined European Union, leading to a referendum in 1975 where its citizens voted to remain in the E.U. As European Union became more integrated, bureaucratic and consolidated power, proponents of exit have increased leading to the formation of the Brexit movement – Britian exits from the European Union. The fear and perils of a common currency, pressure of a common economic policy and freedom of movement of people has compounded even more with the recession of 2008 and the recent migrant crisis. This was reflected in Britain’s domestic politics as it became a major debate issue in the last election where Prime Minister David Cameron, running again from the Conservative Party promised to hold a referendum if re-elected. His announcement was a reflection of the demands of the people, parts of his own party who are increasingly favoring exit, as well as a move to undermine and pacify the UKIP party.
If Britain exits the European Union, there are going to be economic repercussions that are undeniable. While economists debate over what the long term effects will be, there is no doubt that leaving the European Union will slow growth for the short and medium term, at least until 2030 at the best. Furthermore, it will lose the privilege of magnifying its voice in the international stage through the European Union and will have to negotiate as an island in the Europe, which might not give it the necessary power. It will also have to negotiate and find a suitable relationship and footing with the European Union as it will continue being a huge part of its trade and economy. If the results of the referendum says exit, Britain will take about two years to negotiate a deal with the EU and permanently exit. By recent polls however, the vote being held on June 23 will probably be in the favor of staying in the Union.