Brexit

From Teflpedia

Brexit (/breksɪt/) is an ongoing political crisis in the United Kingdom, centred around a 2016 popular referendum held, by the Conservative government led by David Cameron, on European Union membership which was narrowly won by "leave" (leading to Cameron's resignation) and the subsequent attempts to implement a withdrawal policy by Conservative governments led by Theresa May (who resigned in failure) and Boris Johnson.

As of August 2019, it is looking increasingly likely that Johnson's Conservative government will, at the end of October 2019, attempt to unilaterally abrogate decades' worth of hard-negotiated international treaties, including those critical to the success of the UK's economy and those underpinning the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Subsequently, the government has said it plans to demand favourable trade deals with trading blocs several times its own size. Johnson only possesses a tiny majority in the House of Commons, and despite the opposition being divided, (the larger Labour Party lacking an effective leader who is at best ambivalent towards the EU, the SNP having their own nationalist agenda, and the pro-remain Liberal Democrats lacking significant numbers), this process may or may not be stopped in the house of Commons. Either way, it is likely to result in either a deepening economic crisis if the government wins or a constitutional crisis probably involving a 93-year-old politically neutral Monarch if MPs stop no-deal.

In the short term, the financial markets have responded by lowering value of the Pound Sterling. A lower value of the pound negatively affects those living outside Britain on British incomes, such as investments or pensions, including those who may teach English part-time for secondary income. On the other hand, it has increased the relative pay of those not paid in Sterling. In the medium term however, the drop in the value of Sterling will likely result in increased inflation.

For English language teachers with British passports working in the rest of the EU, the security of their jobs and pensions is at risk. Many British citizens living in the rest of the EU were denied a vote in the 2016 referendum, due to having lived outside the UK for too long, yet are likely to be affected by the result. Some have had time, means and opportunity to obtain citizenship of other European nations.

Brexit is being actively opposed by many centrists, liberals, socialists and moderate conservatives. It is being pushed for strongly by right-wing populists, who are in turn influencing many moderate conservatives to support it. Some left-wingers are doing little to actively oppose it.

It is likely that as of 2019, there is no longer a majority for leave, due to slight demographic shifts since the 2016 referendum; both older leave-leaning voters having died and more and more remain-leaning younger voters reaching age of maturity.

More widely, Brexit has also negatively affected learning of modern foreign languages in schools.[1]

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