Brexit: Understanding What it Means.

Brexit, a word coined by blending “Britain” and “exit,” is the term used to describe the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). The U.K. was a member of the EU from 1973 until January 31, 2020, when it officially left.

History of Joining the UK with the EU

The United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union (EU) began when it joined the predecessor of the EU, the European Economic Community (EEC), on January 1, 1973[1]. The decision to join the EEC was motivated by the aim to strengthen economic ties with European nations and participate in the benefits of a single market.

Why Did the United Kingdom Vote to Leave the EU?

In 2016, the U.K. held a nationwide referendum on its membership in the EU, and 51.9% of voters chose to leave. The decision was highly controversial and polarizing, and the reasons behind it were multifold.

One of the primary reasons was concern over immigration. Many people in the U.K. felt that too many people were moving to the country from other EU countries, which was putting stress on public services and driving down wages. They believed that leaving the EU would allow the U.K. to control its borders and reduce immigration.

Another issue was the EU’s regulations, which some people felt were burdensome and unnecessary. They argued that leaving the EU would enable the U.K. to have more control over its rules and regulations and reduce the bureaucracy associated with EU membership.


How Did Brexit Happen?

The Brexit process was initiated when the U.K. The UK officially began the process of leaving the European Union in March 2017 by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. This started a two-year negotiation period between the U.K. and the EU to reach a withdrawal agreement. The two sides ultimately agreed on a deal, which was approved by the EU Parliament and the U.K. Parliament.

On January 31, 2020, the U.K. officially left the EU. However, the two sides continued to negotiate new trade agreements and other arrangements to govern their relationship after Brexit.

What are the Implications of Brexit?

Brexit has broad implications for the U.K., the EU, and the rest of the world. Some of the major implications include:

  • Changes in trade relations: After Brexit, the U.K. no longer has seamless access to the EU’s single market and must negotiate new trade deals with the EU and other countries.
  • Movement of businesses: Some businesses have moved their operations out of the U.K. or are considering doing so due to uncertainty about the post-Brexit environment.
  • Alterations to immigration policies: The U.K. has implemented a new immigration system that treats EU and non-EU citizens equally.


Brexit was a historic event that will have far-reaching consequences for the U.K., the EU, and the rest of the world. Though the reasons behind it were complex, the decision to leave the EU was driven by a desire to gain more control over immigration and reduce bureaucratic regulations. As the U.K. moves forward post-Brexit, it will face a new set of challenges and opportunities that will shape its future relationships with other countries.

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