The British government is as jumpy as a mud fish in the open grass field, out of the safe marshlands. Theresa May, the Prime Minister is having sleepless nights and running dry her coffee stacks as the issue around Brexit wraps around her as the dead cold killer python coils. The UK has been a key member of EU, which is an economic and political union of European countries since 1973. The EU has played a significant role in the trade, economics, politics and social aspects among the member countries, especially in negotiating in important matters that commonly benefited its member states. How it went down until UK opted out, in a Brexit vote on the memorable day of 23rd June, 2016 is still a dilemma to many. Referendum campaigns were conducted, with those who proposed to leave the EU winning by 52% against 48% of those who wished UK stays put.
That vote for the Brexit has escalates to new developments and melodrama as politicians, leaders, economists, the business community and people who are concerned voiced their opinions, feeling and looked into the uncertain future. The resigning of the able and competent David Cameron after the country voted to leave the EU brought the Britons crashing down to reality, asking the actual questions away from the euphoria created by smooth talking politicians and law makers the House of Commons. In came Theresa May, who has had a torrid time in the top off ice as she juggles and attempts to ride the Brexit juggernaut. Since the vote, there have been on-going negotiations between the UK and other members of the EU, on how they will leave. The complex withdrawal deal includes about GBP 39 billion requires to be paid to the EU, issues around what will happen to British citizens leaving in the EU, those EU citizens who reside in Britain. Also, the border issue between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland will be revisited, when it becomes a frontier between the UK the European Union.
The contentious issues around the Brexit have had the House of Commons blowing hot, with two voting sessions already done. May has been walking on a thin ground, with the January 15th vote rejecting the withdrawal agreement on a 432 to 202 votes. This was by far the largest defeat to a sitting government in UK’s history. On 12th March, the house rejected the proposal by May again, leaving an egg in her face. With time running out for her, the MPs having to approve the withdrawal agreement and the Speaker, Mr. James Bercow starting matter-of-factly he won’t allow a third motion on a dead and buried issue. Delays are imminent, seemingly.
The UK is still keen wanting to leave the EU, but the complexities around the withdrawal agreement have resulted in delays.EU, which naturally opposes such a move but a key member has stated through its EU Court of Justice that the Brexit could altogether be cancelled, especially if the other member countries do not agree on their exit. Without a withdrawal deal, the UK can still withdraw from the EU with no transition period from the time of exit. Also, EU rules will stop applying in the UK immediately.
- Food prices would rise sharply. Customs will be damn expensive and intolerable.
- The systems in place will have to be changed and adjusted from what people are accustomed to.
- New rules of traveling to the rest of Europe will be introduced and enforced (on air and by road)
- Medical care will be more expensive.
- Britons outside the UK in other European countries will face unfamiliar challenges on taxation, identification paperwork and insurance
- Goods imported from EU into the UK will be more expensive
- Speculations on the real estate market, with a slow down due to uncertainties
- Increase roaming mobile phone charges
- Freight disruptions from custom check delays, passport and ID checks, delayed deliveries of cargo on ports.
- Student studies will be disrupted.
It would be a tainted legacy and failed leadership for May and the British government if the Brexit issue is not well handled. A lot of things are at stake, and the world watches, the media waits to report and critise, and the EU ponders on what will be the aftermath to the rest of its members as Britain takes the impossible dive to the unknown waters. As Theresa May grapples with all these issues, the Britons must be really asking the hard questions. Can the UK make it on their own, or they need collective bargaining power under the strong, influential and indomitable EU umbrella? 29th May is looming, and still no answers yet.