Where Brexit is heading to
No confusion "Brexit means Brexit". "The country voted to leave the European Union, and as prime minister I will make sure that we leave the European Union" what the British Prime Minister Theresa May said is already in motion. By following the appropriate way, the government of UK has already notified European council about its intention of leaving union under the procedure prescribed in the article 50.
UK-EU has 40 years of relationship which involves many aspects of citizen’s lives; a large number of citizens of UK are working, living, traveling and enjoying greater degree of right among the 27 member states of EU. Same is also true for the European citizen living in UK. If UK demands the privilege those EU citizens have to get same. The process of leaving starts after the Britain historical referendum held on 23 June 2016 regarding the issue of leaving or remaining European Union membership which apparently results to leave the union. 270 counting vote to leave and 129 counting areas for remaining with European Union. The vote ratio was 52-48 is not fair enough for the entire UK to Exit EU some expert argues.
In a representative democracy like UK, it is proper that parliament decides to execute the referendum result and in this case both the house said yes to Brexit. Direct democracy is good in a sense that general public could reflect their opinion but sometimes public want things which are impossible. In the case of this referendum, it is important to question that did the voters of UK know what did they vote for and what is the consequence of the choice for UK and international partners. This is a weakness of direct democracy. In addition, the situation of Britain, in this case, can be regarded as the Alexis de Tocqueville’s term tyranny of majority. 1.3 million Citizen of UK who works and live in EU will suffer due to Brexit. In addition, the 3.3 million EU citizens who live in UK will also be a direct victim of this tyranny of Majority.
Major challenges are still remain untouched, withdrawal process from the side of EU is far more complex; EU needs to take consent of all the arrangement from European Parliament by a qualified majority of 72% of the EU’s remaining 27 member states. Meanwhile, in response to Prime Minister Theresa May Brexit notice, EU has announced a call for European Council meeting on April 29. The key issues of withdrawal agreement covers financial liabilities, citizens’ rights, the border issue of Ireland and most importantly the negotiation might turn so difficult when it comes to the point of single market access. The time limit is also important catalyst in play here, this negotiation has to be finished within two-year time period, in case both the parties are unable to reach a point of agreement within prescribed timeframe, the membership of UK will automatically be ceased unless member states agree to extend the negotiation period.
In addition, Article 50 did not explicitly mention what issue need to be solved and what could be the line cooperation in the future.
The issue of Brexit has been the subject of intense debate due to the standing of Scotland and Northern Ireland. 62 % of Scottish voted for remaining in EU with all of their 32 councils remains in favor of EU. Theresa May has ruled out the Scotish first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a new Scottish independence referendum before Brexit. But it is still worth to consider that Brexit might create a big crisis in the relationship between Scotland and England in the future. The future of Great Britain might be in question.
In addition, Northern Ireland which gets huge funds from EU also voted to remain. Due to the Brexit, the future of approximately 1.8 million citizens of Northern Ireland like Scotland will eventually be the victim of the majority tyranny because they represent only 1.5% of the total citizen of UK. England and wales voted for leave and Scotland, Northern Ireland voted to remain. However, Time might come when people would realize the negative consequence of withdrawal, there might be popular demand for another referendum.
The majority of England and Wales may have thought to leave the club of 27 EU because they do not want to compromise the sovereignty of UK, as member states need to follow the instruction and guidelines come from the Brussels rather than own government choice. The people vote for exit would like the control back to their country. UK can now negotiate trade deal with all other countries individually; it can restrict people in immigrating to the land and make job available for its own citizen.
*The writer is a researcher, and development professional, Vienna, Austria.