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A hard Brexit scenario such as that emerging from a 'No Deal' exit would foster secesionist claims in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We discuss if Brexit could lead to the end of the UK. Or on the other hand it will strengthen the Union. Join our debate and discuss the Brexit pros and cons
Debate created by GlobalNET21
Consequences of Brexit: will it trigger the end of the UK?
Brexit contines to be a hot political issue months after the referendum. Although the negotiations with the European Union seem to have seen some progress lately, there are are still many uncertainties about the future of the UK outside the Europe. Many claim that this decision may have not only important economic impacts, but it could also have deeper domestic political consequences. Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are requesting a second idependence referendum in Scotland.
On 23 June 2016, Britain decided in referendum to leave the European Union. The Brexit referendum was promised by David Cameron during the campaign for the 2015 General Elections. Theresa May, his successor, has vowed not only to leave the EU but also to abandon the Single Market. This scenario of hard Brexit was not the one most people predicted but it has become a very plausible one now. Moreover the negotiations of Brexit with the European Union are not going as well as many initially predicted. Michel Barnier, chief negotiator of the European Union announced on 20 November 2017 that if the UK is to abandon EU rules and regulation a post-Brexit agreement will be very complicated.
The consequences of the YES vote in the Brexit referendum can be far-reaching. Many people have discussed the negative impact that this decision could have have on the stability of the already weakened European Union. The G20 discussed the probability of a global economic "shock" as a result of a UK EU exit. The impact of Brexit on other EU member states is still unpredictable. A recent study at the London School of Economics on the impacts of Brexit at a local level, show that there will be few winners and many losers and that the effects will be highly asymmetric across the UK.
Similarly unpredictable are the effects that leaving the EU could have on the United Kingdom itself. The different types of nationalism and national identities coexisting in the UK may be exacerbated in the Brexit process. In addition to economic, social, and diplomatic implications, a Brexit can destabilize the territorial configuration and even disintegrate the UK.
Traditionally, scepticism about the EU has largely came from sections of the English community but not from the Scottish or Welsh and probably not from those in Northern Ireland either as they have largely benefitted by EU membership. In fact, the majority of Scots and Northern Irish people voted to stay in the EU. Wales backed the leave option, but only by a small margin. This has led to the prospect that an exit from the EU could end up with the United Kingdom breaking up.
If the Scots were to leave the UK then what are the possibilities that the Welsh would like to follow? And what about Northern Ireland? A Northern Ireland tied to England and outside the EU could well see conflict emerging again. The Nationalists would not be willing to continue accepting a Union with a with a weakend England outside Europe. Some experts have suggested that Brexit may endanger the Good Friday Agreements and re-open a border dispute with Ireland and undermine British position vis-a-vis the conflict with Spain on Gibraltar sovereignty.
Watch these videos with some of the reasons for the UK to exit from and remain in the EU
Brexit pros and cons
In addition to the potential negative consequences of Brexit described above this is a list of the pros and cons of being in the EU for the United Kingdom
Cons of leaving the EU
- The UK may become less influential in the international arena if it is not part of the EU
- Trade relationships with EU member states may be harmed. As well as the trade with third countries which have preferential trade parnership with the European Union
- The UK status as world leading financial center could be jeopardize. Frankfurt or Paris could attract many of the investors who so far have made of London their hub. Europe could impose stricter regulation for capital flows towards the City
- Spillover effect: Europe may get hit by the Brexit scenario. A loss of trust from investors in Europe could be one of the negative consequences of Brexit. Many Europeans would accuse the British government of being irresponsible for having triggered an European crisis and this could damage the image of the United Kingdom abroad
- It would take months of negotiations to break up with the EU. Hundreds of treaties should be revisit and that would have a great cost. Millions spent in lawyers, analysts and thousand of hours of work spent by British political leaders and public officers simply disentangling the UK legislative corpus from that of the EU
- British citizens would find more bureaucratic barriers if they want to live or work in other EU member states. there are millions of British expats that could suffer the consequences of Brexit if other European countries such as Spain, France or Italy impose restrictions to non-EU citizens
- Millions of jobs could be lost if multinational companies move their production centers from the UK to other EU countries. Brexit could trigger a new global financial crisis.
- After Brexit a border may separate Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which would create problems for citizens and business alike.
- The reduction of skilled immigrants may make more difficult for the UK to continue to provide high quality education and health to its citizens.
- The UK may cease to be the undisputed financial services leader in Europe, as other cities such as Paris and Frankfurt will attract many of the companies currently operating from London.
Pros of leaving the EU:
- A UK outside the EU would have the capacity to better control its immigration and prioritize British citizens over the citizens of other European states. With the increased sovereignty the British government could also apply enhanced counter-terrorist measures, which currently may be challenged by European legislation
- Will the Euro collapse? What is the future of the EU? Many are pessimistic about Europe. The UK could become an attractive investment center outside the EU if the European project collapses. London could be a safe haven for investors trying to escape from the uncertainties surrounding the EU
- Pro-Brexit leaders claimed that Britain could fare as well as Norway outise the EU. Norway, has access to the single market but can opt out to some of the policies enacted by the European commission. However, it seems that now the most likely Brexit scenario entails leaving the Single Market too
- Eurosceptics claim that the regulatory burden imposed by the EU is damaging for small and medium size UK companies, the majority of which do not significantly trade with the EU
- Despite Obama's warnings, many believe that a UK outside the EU would have the ability to forge stronger international alliances with the USA and other countries
- Currently the capacity of the UK to shape decisions in the EU is limited because Germany has become the top dog in the European Union. If the UK leaves the EU, British people will regain the capacity to decide their own futures.
Do you think the potential positive consequences of Brexit justify a change in the status quo? Is a EU Brexit mainly a danger or an opportunity?
The stakes are high for the United Kingdom in the next two years. Do you think that the UK could disintegrate or survive a Brexit? Would Scotland be the only nation to leave the Union or would Wales and Northern Ireland follow the road to independence later?
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Consequences of Brexit: pros and cons. Can it lead to the end of the UK?
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