It has been less than four months since the U.K. finalized their decision to leave the European Union (EU). Yet international worries continue to surface about the future state and security of the nation. After months of debate, Brits finally agreed upon a separation from the EU following a referendum vote that passed at the end of June. Up until the official vote, all the world seemingly became involved in the political discourse of Brexit; political analysts debated over whether or not the split would be beneficial for the U.K. as well as the EU.
Some concerns brought to the international discussion included the future state of the nation, security of the U.K. economy and what the EU separation would mean for transnational trade. One of the most significant questions following the referendum vote was not only why Britain would want to leave the EU, but also how a they planned to navigate the split.
Since the vote passed in June, changes within the U.K. have occurred that will have lasting international impacts. Then Prime Minister David Cameron officially resigned only one day after losing the EU vote. He has since been replaced by Prime Minister Theresa May, who has promised to respect the rights and will of the British people during Brexit.
May has admitted that there are a few political hoops that Britain must jump through before they can completely separate from the union. The U.K. will be obligated to submit an agreement with the EU called the “Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty,” which will delay any sort of official separation for a period of two years.
Both sides have been assigned the task of combing through over four decades of treaties that now need to be re-worked to accommodate the separation. Thanks to this waiting period, the international system as well as both the EU and U.K. will now be able to get a sense of what Brexit will mean for the future of the global sphere. The most important question the international community faces now post-Brexit is: will the U.K. be able to remain a superpower and player in the global system?
Although we may not know exactly how this split will play out within the next two years, concerns continue to arise from surrounding nations who feel Brexit was not the right decision for anyone. Britain was already in a fragile state that has only become more prevalent after the vote passed. Many now fear for the security of all aspects of U.K. government and society, especially in terms of immigration, economy and trade.
At this point, we will not be able to have a clear, guaranteed idea about the effects of Brexit until agreements are finalized. With that in mind, global citizens can only hope that the next two years will prove to be beneficial for the U.K., ensuring the safety of transnational trade and the international economy.