Great Britain has began the formal process to leave the European Union. This came after residents of the country voted for autonomy last June with a vote of 51.9-48.1 percent in favor of the “Leave” campaign. The election boasted a historic 77.2% turnout. Following “Leave” campaign’s success, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and his fellow Conservative Party member Theresa May assumed the prime minister role.
Today, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty –which has never been invoked before — will be used to begin Great Britain’s formal divorce from the E.U. This will initiate two years of lengthy negotiations with respect to autonomy and trade–with a formal British exit expected by March 2019. If no formal agreement is reached or agreed to by the remaining EU countries within two years’ time, then Great Britain will be under the duress of the World Trade Organization and have tariffs imposed on all goods the nation sells to the E.U.
Here are the provisions for Article 50 of the aforementioned treaty, which would theoretically penalize any member that decides to leave:
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
For context as to why the vote took place, I recommend watching “Brexit The Movie”:
Why Brexit? The Brits were tired of taking decrees from Brussels–the epicenter of the E.U. How can a continent-wide entity decide the fate or best represent all 27 countries? It clearly can’t. And we’ll see more countries attempt to defect and similarly regain autonomy.
Plus, for Americans, travel to Britain is expected to become cheaper — an expected 20 percent in savings.
What will other tangible benefits of Brexit be? We are expected to have better U.S.-U.K. trade relations and a renewed friendship that soured under the last administration.
For those asserting Brexit in any way, shape, or form is an endorsement of pro-Kremlin activists should be dismissed. Both the European Union and Putin’s attempt to create a Eurasian Union are terrible arrangements which fail to promote autonomous countries, free market ideals, and limited government. This dichotomy musth be rejected when thinking in terms of Brexit.
Overall, Americans should welcome Brexit. Countries desiring to be autonomous and more freedom-minded should be embraced in the 21st century. Cheers to our friends across the pond!