Brexit

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Brexit results. Blue-shaded areas stand for council areas that voted "Leave". Orange stands for "Remain".
For the political philosophy in favor of Brexit, see Euroskepticism

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.[1] Two weeks after Barack Obama gave his support to Cameron and chided Britain to stay in the EU, a survey says Brexit gained 3% who want out.[2] 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 political and economic 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.

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.

In early 2017, the chief economist of the Bank of England admitted that hysteric establishment predictions of economic gloom from a pro-Brexit result were wrong and inaccurate.[5]

Prime Minister Theresa May officially initiated Brexit on March 29, 2017.[6][7] 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.[8]

Eligible voters

  • Voters must have been 18 or older
  • British, Commonwealth or Irish citizen who resided in Britain.
  • British nationals who lived overseas for less than 15 years could also vote.

Secular leftists, 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).[9] In addition, atheists have higher suicide rates (see: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and depression).

Politically, most atheists fall on the left side of the political spectrum (see: Atheism and politics and Secular left).

The new atheist Richard Dawkins was against Brexit.[10] Dawkins is a liberal/leftist.[11] Most leftists were against Brexit.

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".[12] See also: British atheism

The Guardian reported about Brexit:

In 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?[13]

The columnist Patrick West wrote in his article The Post-Brexit Ugliness of the left:

The liberal-left couldn’t understand why people would vote in the name of abstract principles such as ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’ or ‘self-determination’, because they view everything in terms of their own money and their own public image.

There was a time when it was Tories who sneered at the poor, who deplored them as stupid and feckless. This was in the loadsamoney era of the 1980s, during which the market ruled and we were beholden to the whims of capitalists and the sainted market. There was even a time, many years ago, when the left spoke of principles, of democracy and liberty. How the roles have been reversed. How strange that it’s mostly conservatives who now talk in abstractions, and it’s the left that obsesses about the markets and worry about the FTSE 100, about their own money.[14]

Article 50

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 World Trade Organization rules would apply to any future trade unless all EU member nations agree to extending the negotiating period by up to one year.

Negotiations

The main concern 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.

Negotiations are proceeding very slowly because of the obstructive tactics of the EU negotiators. They are insisting that Britain must agree to an "exit fee" of over £50 billion before they will start trade talks.[15] They also wanted to discuss the "rights" of EU citizens before such talks.

See also

External links

References

  1. https://ig.ft.com/sites/brexit-polling/
  2. Obama fails to swing Britain behind EU as 'Out' takes poll lead, Reuters, April 28, 2016
  3. Brexit court defeat for UK government. BBC. November 3, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  4. Brexit: MPs overwhelmingly back Article 50 bill. BBC. February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  5. Bank of England economist: Brexit predictions were wrong. Fox News. January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  6. 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.
  7. TRIGGERED: Britain Invokes Article 50 to Begin Brexit Process. Breitbart News. March 29, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  8. EU legislators tell UK on Brexit: no parallel talks. Fox News (from the Associated Press). April 5, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  9. Multiple references:
  10. Richard Dawkins: Brits have not spoken on Brexit, BBC
  11. Religion and Politics, Richard Dawkins' website
  12. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  13. The EU referendum has caused a mental health crisis by Jay Watts, The Guardian
  14. The Post-Brexit Ugliness of the left by Patrick West
  15. http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/797852/Brexit-news-EU-expand-Britain-exit-fee-bill-budget-black-hole