The referendum on June 23, 2016 showed that 52% of Britons agreed with Brexit and 48% disagreed. Before that even the pro-Brexit leaders didn’t expect they could win.
Initial impacts on Britain
British politics saw a lot of changes after Brexit and all political parties were under pressure. Theresa May, a neutral figure of the Conservative Party, succeeded David Cameron as Prime Minister and has taken over the task of managing Brexit procedures.
The Labour Party experienced internal division including the resignation of 20 members of parliament, except leader President Jeremy Corbyn, who is against Brexit.
Scottish Governor, Nicola Sturgeon, has repeatedly threatened to organize a referendum on Scotland’s separation from the UK. The UK Independence Party (UKIP), which tends to oppose immigration and advocates Scotland to leave the UK, has gained stronger say.
Experts predicted that Brexit would push the UK’s economy into a recession, but in fact it’s not. The UK’s economy has prospered thanks to stronger consumption and improved industrial production and trade.
6 months after Brexit, the UK’s production and services were stable; retail revenue was higher than expected; the labor market recovered with unemployment falling to 4.5%, the lowest in 11 years.
The EU’s problems
Brexit has pushed the EU in to the most difficult period since the Cold War. It has weakened the EU and created more problems for EU leaders, besides the anti-terrorism war, the migrant crisis, and its economic impacts.
Brexit has also caused division among EU members. Switzerland has decided withdraw its application to join the EU, while some other EU members, including Italy and the Netherlands, are considering similar referendums like in the UK.
The EU’s influence on economic negotiations with the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, and China has reduced. In anti-terrorism, the EU has lost its intelligent resources in the UK.
Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU will officially begin in 2017. Experts say rows over Brexit will push Britain into instability as both employers and employees feel insecure, and complicated issues regarding free travel, employment, trade, and the rights of British citizens in the EU and vice versa need carefully consideration.
Economic instability will affect Britain’s trade with big partners including Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Brexit’s impact on EU’s economy in the short-term will not be serious, but it will hinder regional economic recovery. Political division will expand as many EU countries will organize elections this year.