Author: Hunter Wright
Many of you may have been hearing about Brexit (British Exit) and wondering what the big deal is. As an American resident in Germany, I'm happy to fill you in on exactly why Brexit also impacts Americans both abroad and at home.
By the Numbers:
Brexit Referendum: 51.9% voted Leave; 48.1% voted Stay. Notable exclusions: Scotland and the City of London both voted overwhelmingly to Stay in the EU.
The European Union (EU) is a supranational block of countries that has a Single Market, the Euro €€€ is used by 19 countries, and a Schengen Zone guarantees barrier-free travel throughout the 28 Member Countries once you have entered into any one of them.
First things first, Brexit is about the UK leaving the European Union. The EU is basically a conglomeration of European countries with one currency and a central governmental body in Brussels, Belgium. What makes this an issue for Americans is the way our world has become so interconnected and interdependent.
The world of today is doggedly international. Integration has had many benefits for tourists and migrants alike, making traveling to and living in new place much more convenient and attractive.
There's just one problem to this intertwined future: the British. They have decided amongst themselves that they would prefer to disintegrate from the EU and forge their own course.
Currently the UK is still a part of the EU, but their intentions are clear: they want out. The dream of every traveler, of a borderless, open world society in which to explore, just took a big setback. With Britain deciding to opt out of the EU, it's possible more European Union Countries will want to follow.
As Americans, the idea of separate but united individual states makes sense. But for Europeans, who have different languages and cultures and histories, such a union is anything but simple. There is also the divide between rich and poor countries (compare the likes of rich countries Germany and France with poorer ones like Romania and Bulgaria). The differences eventually tally up to create a divided governing system that have very different agendas.
The problem with predicting any future models of the UK involves the groundbreaking nature of this decision. The EU has only ever been added to. However it turns out for the UK's culture or economy, the hoped for world of integration and interchange may have to be put on hold indefinitely if separationproves to be a world-wide rather than British trend.