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Britain Quits Euro Zone: Brexit
Jun 27, 2016

Brexit is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU–merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.

  • The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.
  • England voted strongly for Brexit, by 53.4% to 46.6%, as did Wales, with Leave getting 52.5% of the vote and Remain 47.5%.
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. Scotland backed Remain by 62% to 38%, while 55.8% in Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.2% Leave.
  • For the UK to leave the EU it has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
  • David Cameron or his successor needs to decide when to invoke this— that will then set in motion the formal legal process of withdrawing from the EU, and give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal.
  • EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member, and that process could take some time.
  • The UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiates a withdrawal agreement and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc.

EU: The European Union (EU) is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other.

  • It has since grown to become a single market allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country.
  • It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas—including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.

No nation state has ever left the EU. But Greenland, one of Denmark's overseas territories, held a referendum in 1982, after gaining a greater degree of self government, and voted by 52% to 48% to leave, which it duly did after a period of negotiation.


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