Brexit

From Teflpedia

Brexit (/breksɪt/) is a highly complex ongoing political, constitutional, economic and social national (and to an extent, international) crisis in the United Kingdom. Brexit is centred around a 2016 advisory referendum held on Britain's membership of the European Union which was narrowly won by the Leave Campaign, and the ensuing damage that is causing.

Background[edit]

Anti-European sentiment is common amongst Conservatives in the UK. In 2016 the Conservative government led by David Cameron held a referendum on EU membership largely in response to pressure from anti-European right-wingers within his own party. This advisory referendum was narrowly won by the Leave Campaign which led to Cameron's resignation and his replacement by Theresa May. There is strong evidence that the Leave Campaign systematically broke electoral law during this campaign.

May decided to call a general election in 2017 seemingly in the hope of obtaining a larger majority on the back of strong polling - but this backfired, with the 2017 election resulting in a hung parliament with no single party possessing a majority. May then completed negotiations with the EU, from a position of extreme weakness, but she too resigned in failure after her deal was rejected partially by right-wingers in her own party. May was replaced by Boris Johnson, one time figurehead of the Leave Campaign.


As of November 2019, the withdrawal date has been pushed back to January 2020, so that there can be a general election in December 2019, which will be the first since 2017.

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.


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.


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]

References[edit]