Millennium Post

Leaving the Union

Leaving the Union

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This formally begins the process the United Kingdom will have to follow to leave the European Union. Reports indicate that the process will take two years. In June last year, amidst an acrimonious vote, Britain had voted to leave the European Union. The EU is Britain's biggest trading partner. Experts contend that the decision to exit the Union of European nations could have adverse implications on Britain's economy both in the long and short term. The ruling Conservative Party government will have a very tough task of negotiating a favourable trade deal with the EU.

Recent statements from EU leaders indicate that they will strike a hard bargain to discourage other countries from leaving the Union. May is already going out of her way to prove to Brussels that Britain is not hostile to the European enterprise. On the contrary, she said it wants a "deep and special partnership" with the 27 EU states that will be left behind. One hopes that the Brexit will compel EU leaders to make the economic union more democratic and less big-business-centric.

If the EU does not take the required steps, it will lead to further disintegration of the EU. For Britain, these are uncertain times. The decision to initiate Article 50 proceedings has naturally triggered a revolt among its flock of nations. Lawmakers in Scotland have voted in support of holding a second referendum on the country's independence from the United Kingdom. As a country that had overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU, it is their right.

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