by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s hard to believe – especially given the amount of coverage it’s received in international press over the last few months – but it is now officially a year since the UK voted to leave the European Union. It’s a decision which has not been met lightly – with it seeming that many politicians were caught off-guard by the final result, a slim majority – and, as a result, statespeople such as Prime Minister Theresa May have made it their aim to base politics squarely on this unprecedented removal from the Union. Talks are just beginning, with the supposed and projected removal date lined up for March 2019 – and many still aren’t sure exactly what will happen when everything is finalized. This means that certain rights for citizens, trade movement and more are effectively up in the air.
There is also the matter of how ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ Brexit will be – this terminology refers to exactly what terms are likely to come out of a deal, and whether or not an agreement is likely to have a ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ approach. May has long since proposed the idea of a ‘Hard Brexit’ despite having supported Remain last year – yet, with the outcome of the recent snap UK election having swung against her favor, it appears that the Prime Minister may now need to scale back some of her assertions to appeal to the majority of MPs in Parliament. Certainly, her recently proposal for government appeared to whittle back on much of the manifesto pledges that the Conservatives had led with during campaigning – meaning that, at a critical period for Brexit negotiation, the UK is still no clearer on exactly what is going to happen to citizenship, trade and certain rights once the deal is done.
Various media outlets and polls report that many people who voted to leave the EU would now go the opposite way – but it seems that a second chance on the debate is far from a possibility. Therefore, whomever may form the at-present tentative UK government will likely be in charge of making sure that all needs and wants are met. It’s certainly not an enviable task in the current climate – meaning that will have to wait and see just how things go down in the weeks and months to come. Who will even be leading the UK by this time next month? Place your bets!