On two parties, the economic and political instability that

On June 23rd, 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) ¬†government held a nationwide vote – a referendum, to gauge the support on whether the country should remain a member of the European Union (EU) or cut off relations with this union. The UK had voted for leaving the EU in an extremely close result of 59.1% for leave and 48.1% for remain (Etehad, 2016). The outcome of this referendum will shape the future lifestyles of any citizens living in the UK or the EU. In the two years that is set for planning a smooth transition of Brexit, the UK and the EU will have to work towards resolving 4 decades of exchange and support. To come to a conclusion on Brexit settlements, it is expected that many aspects of citizen life will be altered. These alterations can be seen through the developing relationship between the two parties, the economic and political instability that Brexit will cause and the rights of citizens that may be revised in the future. It is evident that the UK is undergoing a tremendous change because of their departure from the EU. This, however, will have numerous negative effects on the citizens of the UK and the EU and their lifestyles. With the UK’s recent departure from the EU, it is evident that there will be radical changes that affect both parties. The European Union had provided countless benefits for the UK government and the citizens who lived there. Now, there will be many changes made to the relationship between these two parties. When the Brexit vote came to a close, it was evident that there was a divide in the colonies of the UK (See Figure 2). England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, are put together to form the main countries of the UK. Areas such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London voted to remain in the E.U., but other parts of Britain, such as England and Wales, voted to leave (Etehad, 2016). The geographical voting divide in the UK shows a possible breaking down of this powerful nation. Another issue that this divide will bring, is the border conflict between Northern Ireland and Ireland. As mentioned before, Northern Ireland is part of the UK while Ireland is part of the EU. This will cause the need for new border laws to be created. However, the geographical border is not the only way that the EU and UK are connected. As an EU member nation, the UK has benefitted from free trade agreements that the EU has created with countless other countries (See Figure 1). Due to the fact that they have been given 2 years to create settlements, it had not been decided whether the UK gets to keep this benefit. Therefore, if the UK loses their free trade given by the EU, they will have to create new trade agreements with many different countries. A large impact that Brexit will have on Canada is the fact that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) may not stand between Canada and the UK anymore. With this trade agreement, Canada is able to export goods into any EU nation with lower tariffs (King, 2016). Consequently, as the UK leaves the EU, Canada may lose large sums of money to high tariffs when exporting goods to the UK. Free trade can increase exports, jobs, and competition within a country (Clark & Wallace, 2009). This can all contribute to a country’s economic well being. As a result of this, having free trade is a topic of pressing matters. Other than global change, Brexit will also affect citizens of the UK directly. Due to the fact that anyone living in the EU has the right to move freely within the restrictions of the union, many services have been offered for those living outside their home countries. For example, EU citizens are able to pay a lower roaming charge when traveling (Fox, Vonberg, & Dewan, 2017). However, this may no longer be the case as telecommunication services are no longer obliged to provide this type of service to UK citizens. Furthermore, it is evident that football (soccer) plays a large role in the culture of many EU nations. As a result of this, there is a common trade of UK players in EU team and EU players in UK teams. This trade is very simple and has an uncomplicated process because of the relationship between the two parties. However, in the future, it will be increasingly difficult for players to be traded within the EU and the UK. Therefore, as Brexit settlements are discussed, there will be many issues that arise regarding the future relationship between the UK and the EU and whether there will be a “soft” or “hard” Brexit. One of the most evident impacts that Brexit will have on its citizens are the implications of political instability that will ensue. Former Prime Minister David Cameron announced a referendum to decide whether the UK should remain or leave the EU. The referendum was held on June 23, 2016, and resulted in a 51.9% leave and a 48.1% stay. More than 30 million people in the UK (71.8% of the population) voted, showing the importance of this topic to Britain (Hunt & Wheeler, 2017). Due to the fact that David Cameron was against the idea of Brexit, when Britain voted to leave, he decided to step down as Prime Minister. This introduced a new person in power – Theresa May, who was the former home secretary. Unlike most of her predecessors, May came to power without winning an election. Instead, she simply became the leader of the Conservative party (Wheeler & Stamp, 2017). Countless experts have criticised the decisions and opinions she has made since the beginning of her reign in power. There is constant doubt as to whether she can lead the country to the best benefits when conferencing about Brexit settlements. As there are many oppositions and opinions on the current Prime Minister, Theresa May, it is unsure whether Britain will keep her as the leader. Furthermore, in relation to Unit 5, there may be a changing of world powers. Currently, the UK is one of the most powerful countries in the world. As a member of the UN’s security council, the UK has great deciding powers over resolutions that are being planned. This influence will diminish greatly as the UK leaves the EU. With an aging population and a potential for changing immigration laws, countries such as India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, have a large chance of replacing the UK as one of the world powers (Clark & Wallace, 2009) Furthermore, in 2009, it was predicted that in 2050, the EU will be one of the world’s greatest world powers, amongst countries such as Canada, Japan, and the US (Clark & Wallace, 2009). This includes the UK, however, this may change after leaving EU. Until Brexit is in full force, the complete effects of it and how it will change the UK’s power and economy will not be easily predicted. Through all these implications, it is evident that in two years, there will be great changes to the political aspect of the UK, which currently extremely unclear. Over the decades of affiliation between the EU and the UK, many laws that are enshrined in the constitution of the UK were prescribed by EU regulation. As a result of this, the future of these laws can be subject to change. This means that not only will some laws be amended, some citizens may also lose rights that were established by the EU. These may include workers’ rights, healthcare and the ability to move freely within the EU nations. The EU has created countless benefits for workers who work within the union. Some examples of these include, mandatory safety assurance, a strict 48 hour work week, and annual work leave (Fox, Vonberg, & Dewan, 2017). Under EU law, it is mandatory for employers to ensure that all activities their employees make perform are safe. They must find the best way for work to be done and they must inform their workers of the dangers and how to avoid injury. Furthermore, UK employers are required to ensure that their workers work no more than 48 hours in one week under EU’s Working Time Directive (Fox, Vonberg, & Dewan, 2017). It is also important to note that if an employee gets sick during their annual leave time, they are able to retake the leave and even carry it into the next year. As this law already conflicts with UK law, it is not likely that UK citizens will be able to receive this benefit anymore. Overall, the workers’ benefits will be most likely be negatively altered due to the implications of Brexit as many of the EU regulations conflict with the UK laws. Next, in the UK, if citizens are eligible for healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS), they can also receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (Fox, Vonberg & Dewan, 2017). This card allows citizens of the UK to receive medical attention in any of the member EU countries for free. It is stated under the law that the UK government will meet these costs, however, to alleviate high expenses, this law may be amended. Finally, the citizens of the UK also have the risk of losing their right to move freely around the EU. Previously, all citizens of the EU were able to travel, study and live freely around the EU. There are currently 1.2 million Britons living in Europe for many reasons and they do not require a visa (O’Carroll, 2017). This is a huge benefit for them as they are able to travel, work and study without restriction. However, with the implications of Brexit, this advantageous aspect will now be in jeopardy. Without it, citizens will have to commute from country to country when going to work. Other citizens may become unemployed and be displaced back to the UK or their EU home country. The EU has offered to allow those living in Europe before Brexit to stay, if the UK reciprocates with an offer that allows the 3 million EU citizens to move freely between other EU countries and the UK (O’Carroll, 2017). This relates to Unit 2 – Human Population, regarding population migration. When Brexit settlements are confirmed, it will be much harder for citizens of both the UK and the EU to immigrate and move around the countries of the European Union. There are many unlawful laws that the UK has tried to pass that have been rejected as they go against EU regulations such as the aforementioned workers’ rights. Another example of this is when the UK government officials previously tried to pass a law called the Investigatory Powers Act. This law was made to keep a more observant watch on the citizens of the UK. With this act, law enforcement officers would be able to have easy access to personal information. It will also require telecommunications companies to store browsing data of their users for up to a year (Fox, Vonberg & Dewan, 2017). Undoubtedly, the Investigatory Powers Act was an infringement of the privacy rights of UK citizens under Article 12 of the UDHR. Therefore, the EU announced that this was Act would be unlawful as citizens should be informed when their data information is being stored or accessed (Fox, Vonberg & Dewan, 2017). In post-Brexit UK, this may not be the case anymore. The UK government will most likely reject the advisement from the EU and pass the Investigatory Powers Act. The most prominent aspect that many experts worry about, is the economic consequences that will follow, post-Brexit. Currently, the UK economy has fared better than expected according to leading economists. The GDP has raised 0.7% due to an unforeseen increase in the manufacturing industry (Bowler, 2017). However, these numbers are predicted to decline as Brexit settlements continue to be discussed. This is will cause a ripple effect in the sense that there will be financial instability in the country’s economy. For Canadians, this will mean that any investments in the UK will be unstable. It will also mean that the money Canadians have tied to the UK, such as retirement funds (Canada Pension Plan), may not be safe or reliable (King, 2016). Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is the total value of all the country’s good and services produced over a period of time (Clark & Wallace, 2009). When analyzing a country’s GDP, it is important to note that this indicator measures the economic and social progress in a country (Clark & Wallace, 2009). Therefore, when the GDP of the UK falls, it will be due to the decrease in their economic progression. The root cause of this issue is the fact that free trade may not continue to exist in the UK without EU trade agreements. Without free trade, due to tariffs, it will cost more to import and export goods. In the long term, goods will increase in price, which will also eventually decrease the number of consumers purchasing these products (“Benefits of Free Trade”, 2017). Consequently, this decreases the need for production and will subsequently lower the GDP as the country’s total number of goods and services has decreased (Clark & Wallace, 2009). Furthermore, in relation to the economy, the British pound has significantly dropped in value since the Brexit vote (See Figure 3). From this graph, it is evident that within one day, the pound has experienced a drastic decrease in value – which has not occurred in the UK in over two decades. Within a few minutes, the pound had dropped 6% when Theresa May suggested a ‘hard Brexit’ from the EU and an additional 11% fell from the actual Brexit vote (Cassell, 2016). There are countless negative impacts that the decrease of the British pound will have on the citizens of the UK. An example of this is that shopping from high street or grocery stores will cost consumers more money as the price of imported goods will increase (Cassell, 2017). This is not the only way that consumers will need to pay more for their goods. As the UK is a large importer of fuel, citizens will have to pay more for their energy bills. In Canada, it is evident that the decrease of the British pound to the US dollar will have great impacts on their travel plans. As the US dollar grows to be stronger, it will cost more for Canadians to go on vacation to any US state (King, 2016). Due to all of these consequences, one can see that Brexit will have numerous consequences in the economic aspect of the UK. In conclusion, it is evident that Brexit will have many negative impacts on the lifestyles of those living in the UK and the EU. Firstly, the future relationship between the two parties is still extremely unclear as settlements must decide whether to have a “hard” or “soft” Brexit from the EU. This can be seen through many agreements that must be altered, such as, free trade agreements, new border laws and special services provided for people of the EU. All of these changes to the interconnections of the EU and the UK will radically affect the daily lives of citizens in the EU. Next, with the political uncertainty of the new Prime Minister Theresa May, there is constant doubt as to whether she can lead Brexit settlements into the right direction. Therefore, this negatively affects citizens as they may be losing a lot of benefits they had before, due to an inadequate government system. In addition, many UK citizens may lose rights they enjoyed as an EU citizens. These rights include workers rights, healthcare and the ability to move freely within the EU. Undoubtedly, the amending of these laws will directly affect citizens by implementing more regulations on what they can and cannot do. Lastly, as the most concerning topic, economic instability will affect citizen’s buying and spending habits as prices will now increase. It will also render any investments made in the UK, extremely insecure. As a result of these factors, Brexit overwhelmingly has more negative than positive aspects as seen in the manner of how it will affect the lifestyles of those living in the EU and the UK.