My Own Personal Lens Of The European Union Essay

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On June 24th 2016, I woke up to a deeply unpleasant surprise – my fellow British people had voted to leave the European Union (EU) by 52% to 48%. This event is known as Brexit, and while the full effects are still unknown – Britain has yet to formally leave the EU – it could have a huge impact not just on my own personal life, but also on the global political economy. It all depends on terms of the divorce. This essay will seek to explore this impact through my own personal lens.

As a British citizen studying in the US, I am constantly asked what is happening back in my home country. Many Americans, who, understandably, do not fully comprehend the situation in Europe, were completely shocked that a ‘small’ nation such as Britain would choose to vote itself out of such a powerful union. Therefore, let me begin by explaining why the UK government held a referendum in the first place.

While few questioned Britain’s EU membership during the long period of economy prosperity starting in 1980s, fortunes changed with the 2008-09 Financial Crisis. A combination of worsening living standards, and an increasing influx of European migrants, particularly from the East, stoked public resentment towards Europe, and led to the rise of UKIP (the UK Independence Party), who’s primary mandate was to leave the EU. In order to keep their supporters from defecting, Conservatives, especially Eurosceptics, demanded that the Prime Minister give them something to fight off the challenge.

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