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Brexit's Effect on Globalization

Updated on November 15, 2016

Mike Bercek

November 15, 2016

Brexit’s Effect on Globalization

​Britain's exit from the EU, otherwise known as Brexit, could mark the end of globalization, as we know it. Globalization can be described as a process of integration and interaction between people, companies, and governments of nations around the world. Britain's exit from the European Union is the single greatest event in terms of globalization since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989.

The United Kingdom first joined the European Union in 1973 with a 67 percent vote in favor of the referendum. The European Union can be described as the political and economical union of 28 member states located primarily in Europe. The European Union policies strive to ensure the free movement of people, goods, and services, and capital throughout its participating states. Other policies the European Union aims to ensure are enacting legislation in justice and home affairs, as well as being involved in the policies on trade and agriculture.

The official date of Britain’s vote to leave or stay in the European Union was June 24th. On that morning, 51.9 percent voted in favor of leaving the European Union and 48.1 percent voted in favor of remaining in the European Union. With this vote, Britain took a stand against the idea of globalization and would remain an independent state. However, this vote to leave does not come without consequences for both parties. The consequences of withdrawal for the United Kingdom include everything from a stained relationship with current members of the European Union now to immigration and economic effects. Although the majority of voters supported leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom presented a number of alternatives of membership that would allow Britain access to relations with some remaining European Union members. For example, The EFTA, or European Free Trade Association, would allow trade with countries like Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. This would allow the United Kingdom to trade goods with some of the same countries it has been for the past years without being directly involved in the European Union and remaining independent. Another effect of the Brexit movement of the United Kingdom includes immigration. There are many questions that arise from the Brexit decision for the United Kingdom like the allowing of immigrants from European Union countries into Britain or not. In late July 2016, there were discussions that may provide the United Kingdom exemption from the European Union’s rules on refugees’ freedom of movement. While the process of the Brexit movement continues there will most certainly be increased security when it comes to regulating who comes in and prevention of new immigrants staying in the United Kingdom. Another one of the many implications of the Brexit movement on the United Kingdom is the economic effect. On October 4th 2016 the Financial Times estimated assessed the potential banking effects of the Brexit movement. Their assessment includes things like the British financial service industry possibly losing 35,000 of its one million jobs. Some other assessments include the British Treasury Department losing 5 billion pounds in tax revenue. One particular group of citizens directly affected by the Brexit vote is university students. United Kingdom universities rely on the European Union for 16 percent of their research funding. The European Union also provided a number of grants to United Kingdom universities that will not longer be available. These are just a number of the possible implications of the United Kingdom vote to withdraw from the European Union.

Not only does the Brexit movement have some possible adverse consequences to the United Kingdom, but the European Union itself as well. The vote of the Brexit movement could potential spark a trend in the European Union and cause other members to leave as well. This would leave the European Union and globalization crippled and a thing of the past. Britain’s contributions to the European Union will also be greatly missed by the European Union. In total, approximately 750,000 jobs in Germany rely on exports to Britain. With Brexit the European loses its second largest economy, the country with the third largest population, and one of the financial centers of the world. Not to mention, the European Union also loses its strongest military power. The European Union is clearly going to be adversely effected by the departure of Britain.

With the British vote to exit the European Union all the major aspects of globalization are affected immensely. Everything from immigration, banking, military and such will be flipped on its head for both parties involved. In the end, globalization as a whole will be left in the dust for years to come with this single major global event.


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