1. Brexit is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU - merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past. A referendum took place in the UK on Thursday 23rd June, 2016. Everyone in the UK (almost) was eligible to vote, just like in a general election. But on the ballot paper were just two questions. Should the UK leave the EU or remain in the EU.
2. The E.U. - short for the European Union - is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are less likely to go to war with each other.
3. It has since grown to become a ‘single market’ allowing goods and people to move around as if all the member states were one country.
4. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas - including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges. Although the UK never adopted the Euro. In the UK we still use the British Pound.
5. Britain voted from 7am till 10pm. The ballot papers were all counted and the results were announced around 5am on Friday morning. ‘Leave the EU’ won by 52% to 48%.
6. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.
7. But don’t worry if you are travelling to the UK or Europe. Nothing has actually changed and probably won't for some time.
8. Actually, a few things have changed. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. It’s widely held that the whole reason the referendum was called was to keep his political party, the Conservatives, happy. Many of them have long been against the European Union, even though it was Conservative Prime Minister, Winton Churchill who first mooted the idea after the Second World War. It’s complicated…
9. Voting was very polarised throughout the UK. London and Scotland voted overwhelmingly to STAY in the European Union, as did Northern Ireland. The rest of the UK were not so keen though and swung the vote. It was a tough campaign. The financial effects of the Brexit is actually GOOD news though if you are thinking of traveling to the UK. The Pound had its biggest fall on the currency markets for decades and although it’s bound to recover, you’ll get more for your Dollars, Yens and, ironically, your Euros! So come and see us soon. Because…
10. …in spite of some turmoil over the Brexit campaign, the UK is still a fantastically fair, democratic, welcoming and beautiful place to visit. The Mother of Parliaments, London, is the Cultural Capital of the World, as you’ll see if you come on the London Literary Pub Crawl! Birmingham, the UK’s Second City, is one of Britain’s youngest and most innovative places, just down the road from Shakespeare's home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Manchester is still mad about music, as is Liverpool. Northern Ireland is home to much of ‘The Game Of Thrones’. Wales gave us Dylan Thomas. Scotland holds the biggest open arts festival in the world! So to quote the official tourist line, “You’re Welcome.” And you really will be. Come and see us soon. You’ll love it.
In : Nick Hennegan
Tags: brexit european union visit britain uk tourism conservative labour politics.
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