United Kingdom’s Exit from the EU
Friday, July 8th, 2016
On Thursday, June 23rd, a referendum changed the entire order of the European Union (EU); Britain voted to leave the EU by 52%. The European Union, once comprising of 28 countries, began after World War II, with the idea that countries will trade together to avoid going to war with each other. As a result of the referendum of the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU (Brexit), Prime Minister David Cameron will be stepping down from his position by October 2016. However, the country cannot leave immediately, as a two-year negotiation process follows the referendum.
What does ‘Brexit’ mean for Belize?
Since Belize has a Partnership Agreement between the members of the European Union, Belizeans fear that the country will be affected by Britain’s decision. Firstly, the value of the British pound plunged for the first time in 30 years, and economists fear the cutoff of trade will provoke another financial crisis. Many business owners want to keep importing and exporting goods to EU countries with minimum difficulties.
According to Executive Director of the Caribbean Council, David Jessop, trade and investment flows can expect to be negatively affected. “The Caribbean will be affected in a number of ways. These include a possible negative impact on trade and development flows; a diminution in the region’s ability to influence thinking on its policy concerns in Europe; a specific range of problems for the UK’s overseas territories in the region; and a long period of uncertainty as Britain’s foreign, trade and development policy is reoriented.”
It will also reduce the region’s ability to influence thinking on its policy concerns in Europe. “British withdrawal could also have wider consequences, such as Europe’s future relationship with the African Caribbean and Pacific grouping of states. It will accelerate the EU’s general trend towards dialogue with Latin America and the Caribbean as a single region, rather than two distinct blocs,” Jessop said in an article issued by the Antillean Media Group.
Not only is the economy and trade of major concern, but safety is. A series of racist incidents has occurred after the UK’s decision to leave the EU. There’s more than 90 counts of racial discrimination, along with violence that has been reported after the referendum.
Only time will tell if Britain’s surprising decision will have a direct impact in Belize.
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