Friday, June 24, 2016

UK votes to LEAVE the EU

June 24, 2016, a day after people of the United Kingdom rushed to their nearest polling station to decide the fate of the nation in the European Union. Even though experts believed that it could be a close match between the REMAIN side and LEAVE side, it's official that 51.9% of the voters voted LEAVE while 48.1% of the voters voted REMAIN.

This result will change the course of the history as Great Britain will be remembered as the first European nation in the union to leave via referendum and as what UKIP leader Nigel Farage, one of the spearheaders of the LEAVE campaign, said, it will be remembered as "Independence Day".

Despite UK voted to leave the European Union, nothing changes immediately because as of now, UK is still being part of the EU for the time being until politicians worked out what to do next. Of course, with the world stunned on this historic referendum, the European Union is expected to hold emergency meetings in Brussels. The process for the UK to achieve independence from the EU is via Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives a two year period for terms of exit to be negotiated. With the timeframe given on Article 50, it is expected to have the United Kingdom achieve independence from the EU by 2018 once notice to leave is formally given but it is not known when will it occur.

The UK and the EU will now have to work out a new deal first on trade. If the UK doesn't want to leave the single market, it could have to pay towards the EU budget and still follows the EU's rules and regulations, allowing the free movement of people might be required. Status of British residents living in other EU countries and EU citizens living in the UK has to be worked out. If the UK leaves formally, most EU laws and regulations will need to be updated to UK law.

With the world stunned by the Brits' decision to achieve independence from the EU, how long before independence will be achieved? What will be the aftermath from this "Brexit" vote? How would world leaders react to such a historic move? Only time will tell...

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