Endless Brexit

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November, 2019

In recent months, one of the dominant news in national and international media is the Brexit issue. It all started in June 2016, more than three years ago, with a referendum in which the majority of the citizens of the United Kingdom expressed their willingness to leave the European Union: just under 52% of voters voted in favor of the Exit. It initiated with the 2015 election campaign, when then Prime Minister David Cameron promised, if elected, to hold a referendum on Britain's future in the European Union. During the same referendum campaign, he personally expressed himself explicitly to remain in the Union, but most Britons thought differently. What initially seemed a normal political game to earn a few more votes, suddenly became a kind of nightmare. After his line was defeated, according to the Anglo-Saxon tradition, he recognized his responsibility and resigned. Many say that he will remain in history as the man who destroyed the dream of a great united Europe.

According to the British constitution, the results of the referendum are a "recommendation" for the parliament, which in reality has no obligation to legislate the result. Of course, such an approach would be against the will of the British, undemocratic, and therefore the oldest democracy in the world has decided to legalize exit from Europe. Immediately after the referendum, Cameron resigns and Theresa May, the interior minister of the previous government, replaces him. In July of the same year, she was given the mandate to reach an agreement with the European Community. In March 2017, the British parliament activated Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which regulates the voluntary exit from the Union of its members; It is the first time in the history of the Union that this article has been activated.

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The negotiations are long and difficult. There are important differences within the ruling Conservative Party. Some key ministers are resigning. Finally, in November 2018, the United Kingdom government signed a contract with the European Commission, but the British parliaments refuse to ratify the treaty three times. The European Union moves the exit date to give the British prime minister more time. In May 2019, Theresa May is forced to resign, in tears. The new prime minister becomes the former mayor of London and former foreign minister Boris Johnson. He is determined to pull his country out of the Union at any cost, even without reaching an agreement with Europe. Most economic and financial analysts believe that divorce without mutual consent would be catastrophic, especially for Britain itself. Johnson has big problems with his party and with coalition parties: some MPs do not support it.

British pound (GBP) to US dollar (USD) movement from Brexit to 31 October 2019

At the time of the resignation of President May, Britain had a deadline to leave the Union: October 31, 2019. Johnson started new negotiations. In a session of parliament, he explained that the parliament itself, which does not give it the support of the majority, plays against national interests because its negotiating position is weakened for this reason. There are various political games that do not always seem completely correct. Johnson sends the Parliament to rest, in mid-October, with the intention of reducing its impact on the final decision. The act was formally approved by the queen and the opposition used unusually heavy words against the British sovereign. The various courts also come into play and in the end his move is called illegal; the parliament remains in function. Parliament approves a regulation that obliges the Prime Minister to request a further extension from Europe if a final agreement is not reached by 31 October 2019.

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A few days before the deadline, Johnson manages to get an agreement, but the Parliament does not want to authorize it before MPS see the laws that will regulate application of the treaty: not even his party colleagues trust him. Johnson sends an unsigned letter to the European Union headquarters requesting an extension of the deadline. Europe approves the new date: 31 January 2020. This is the summary of this unbelievable story that seems endless. It seems almost incredible that an Anglo-Saxon type of democracy has run aground in this way, but let's remember that even the United States has often found itself in equally absurd situations in recent years. The English would say: God save the Queen. I would like to add: God save us, common people.