Brexit is a campaign slogan for 'Britain's Exit' from the European Union. The British people became the first nation to vote on a referendum whether or not to remain in membership to the EU on June 23, 2016. The historic vote shocked the world as the Leave campaign won by a 52-48% margin. Prime Minister David Cameron campaigned to remain in the EU and with the results public, resigned his position. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson was a leader of the Leave camp, though previously supporting Remain.
Polling indicated a tight race, with 44% preferring to stay (anti-Brexit) and 42% supporting leaving the EU (Brexit), as of April 17, 2016. Two weeks after Obama gave his support to Cameron and chided Britain to stay in the EU, a survey says Brexit gained 3% who want out. Final results show Leave with 52% of the vote to Remain with 48%, a margin that was 5 points better than polling.
Most people believed if the Brexit campaign was successful, the 28-nation EU economic and political alliance would be doomed. Financial giants warned the British of credit downgrades. The British Pound dropped significantly as results started pouring in showing Leave doing better than expected.
It is considered likely that France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, and Hungary could hold a similar referendum.
The British High Court ruled on November 3, 2016 that the British government could not unilaterally begin formal exit negotiations with the EU, but rather that parliamentary approval via an Act of Parliament is needed to permit the British Government to trigger Article 50 and begin the withdrawal process. The British government appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, skipping the Court of Appeal. On the 1st of February 2017 the British House of Commons approved beginning Brexit negotiations. Amendments were later made in the House of Lords, and each amendment was refused by the House of Commons. The bill eventually became law and on the 29th of March, Theresa May triggered Article 50 and began the withdrawal process from the European Union.
Prime Minister Theresa May officially initiated Brexit on March 29, 2017. In the Brexit negotiations, the EU parliament has a very powerful role, and has ruled out certain things the British Government was hoping to achieve (such as trade agreements with individual nation-states, rather than the European Union as an entity), thus acting as a bully to Britain.
- Voters must have been 18 or older
- British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen who resided in Britain.
- British nationals who lived overseas for less than 15 years could also vote.
Irreligious Britain, Brexit and mental illness
See also: Secular leftists and psychogenic illness
There is a considerable amount of scientific evidence that suggests that theism is more conducive to mental and physical health than atheism (See:Atheism and health). In addition, atheists have higher suicide rates (see: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and depression).
A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". See also: British atheism
The Guardian reported about Brexit:
|“|| n shrinks’ offices across the country, just as in homes, pubs and offices, people are trying to come to terms with the surprise and shock of the Brexit result. Strangers gather together to talk of how “the world is falling apart”.
Many people feel transported into a dystopian Britain that they “do not recognise, cannot understand”. Thousands are hatching plans to leave the country. Social media are full of suddenly violent flaming between former friends.
Therapists everywhere are reporting shockingly elevated levels of anxiety and despair, with few patients wishing to talk about anything else. Mental health referrals have already begun to mushroom. Why is the Brexit vote affecting us so personally? And, what does this tell us about the make-up of our psyches?
The Article 50 document was signed by the Prime Minister of the UK, Theresa May, on the 29th March 2017. It was delivered to Donald Tusk (President of The European Council) who commented there was "no reason to pretend this was a happy day" especially as the UK had been integral to the European Union for 44 years.
Following the acceptance of article 50 there will be two years of intense negotiation to finalise agreements over:
- current UK and EU nationals living in each other's territories - financial liabilities and responsibilities to each other - trade and legal agreements
If this is not completed within two years then it is likely that WTO rules would apply to any future trade unless all EU member nations agree to extending the negotiating period by up to one year.
The main concerns of the British government is to ensure access to the single market for its banking and manufacturing sectors - both major income streams for the UK. Along with this the UK business sector are very concerned about the potential loss of EU (especially Eastern European) labour for many agricultural and low paid roles.
- Obama fails to swing Britain behind EU as 'Out' takes poll lead, Reuters, April 28, 2016
- Brexit court defeat for UK government. BBC. November 3, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Brexit: MPs overwhelmingly back Article 50 bill. BBC. February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
- Bank of England economist: Brexit predictions were wrong. Fox News. January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- Suarez Sang, Lucia I. (March 29, 2017). Brexit triggered: UK prime minister sends letter to European Union to begin divorce. Fox News. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
- TRIGGERED: Britain Invokes Article 50 to Begin Brexit Process. Breitbart News. March 29, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
- EU legislators tell UK on Brexit: no parallel talks. Fox News (from the Associated Press). April 5, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Mueller, Dr. Paul S. et al. (December 2001). "Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: implications for clinical practice". Mayo Clinic Proceedings vol. 76:12, pp. 1225-1235. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic Proceedings website on July 20, 2014.
- "Research library". Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. Retrieved on July 24, 2014.
- McCullough, Michael E. et al. (2000). "Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review". Health Psychology. vol. 19:3. pp. 211-222. Retrieved from University of Miami, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology website on July 24, 2014.
- Casey, Professor Patricia (April 3, 2009). "The psycho-social benefits of religious practise" [executive summary]. Iona Institute for Religion and Society [Ireland] website. Retrieved on July 24, 2014.
- McCullough, Michael E. and Willoughby, Brian L. B. (2009). "Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: associations, explanations, and implications". Psychological Bulletin, vol. 135: 1, pp. 69–93. Retrieved from University of Miami, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology website on July 24, 2014.
- University of Colorado at Boulder (May 17, 1999). "Research shows religion plays a major role in health, longevity". ScienceDaily. Retrieved on July 24, 2014.
- Dervic, Kanita, et al. (December 2004). "Religious affiliation and suicide attempt" [abstract]. The American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 161:12, pp. 2303-8. Abstract retrieved from National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Pub Med on July 24, 2014.
- University of Warwick (December 2003). "Psychology researcher [Dr. Stephen Joseph] says spiritual meaning of Christmas brings more happiness than materialism". Scienceblog. Retrieved on July 24, 2014.
- Richard Dawkins: Brits have not spoken on Brexit, BBC
- Religion and Politics, Richard Dawkins' website
- Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
- The EU referendum has caused a mental health crisis by Jay Watts, The Guardian