By Dylan Byrne | UK
The Brexit referendum voted upon on June 23, 2016, has sparked major backlash and support alike across the globe. It was a vote which decided whether or not the United Kingdom would remain a part of the European Union; the people of the UK have spoken, and they have displayed their desire to withdraw themselves from the EU. It is scheduled to split away from this confederation at precisely 11 pm BST on Friday, March 29, 2019, and the question must be asked: what has and will become of this decision? A recent BBC article reviews everything one who displays interest in this topic ought to know.
Negotiations are currently being made regarding three major issues which are as follows: the amount of money the UK owes the EU, what will happen to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and vice versa, and what will happen to the Northern Ireland border. Requests for talks about the future of Brexit have been made by the UK, regarding topics such as a two-year “transition period” but have been denied by the EU, which wishes to focus upon more pressing matters. Since the vote, major governmental changes have been made, the most prominent of which is the change in prime ministers from David Cameron to Theresa May. Cameron announced his resignation after losing the referendum, opening the doors for May – who was previously in opposition to Brexit but has since been a strong proponent for it stating that it is what the people want – to enter the office. Plans have since been made by the new prime minister to introduce a bill that will “end the primacy of EU law in UK.” This will make it so UK law reigns supreme over all law that the EU passes, but this bill is not without controversy. Opponents of the Conservative government have voiced their concern about May’s supposed attempts to bypass parliament and rewrite the law of the United Kingdom.
Predictions that the economy of the United Kingdom would suffer disastrous consequences proved to be false. The value of the British pound has decreased and inflation has increased, but a number of other things have improved since the vote in June of 2016. Among these positive changes include lower house prices, decreasing unemployment which reached a 42 year low by the end of 2016, and an economic growth of 1.8% in 2016. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the economy will stay in such a condition post-Brexit when the two economies of the EU and the UK officially split.
There is undoubtedly some uncertainty about the future of the United Kingdom once March of 2019 passes, but whether the effects are positive or negative, this independence movement shall stand as an important part of British history.
By Colin Louis | U.S.
All around the globe nationalism is on the rise. The ideas of right wing populism and nationalism are starting to grow into large movements all over the free world. People are beginning to shift to these ideas. The following five countries are turning nationalist.
5. The UK
Recently, the U.K has shown signs of shifting further to the nationalist right. The Brexit vote provided evidence that the UK is moving further towards nationalism and populism. Brexit clearly signals that nationalism and euroskepticism is on a significant rise in the U.K. The recent UKIP leadership election could help them continue this.
Irish politics serves as a reminder that nationalism comes in different forms. In the case of Ireland, it’s left nationalism with much momentum. The concept of left nationalism is a form of socialism mixed with nationalism, not to be confused with National Socialism, which is a far more authoritarian belief. Sinn Féin, led by Garry Adams, won around 14% of the vote in the recent 2016 election. Sinn Féin did very well compared to its past performance and that of other less nationalist parties. 14% might not sound like much, but the ruling party, Fine Gael, only received around 36% of the vote.
In the most recent German elections, the new nationalist party, Alternative Für Deutschland (AFD), won a considerable amount of seats in the German parliament. This sent a signal to incumbent Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that the German people are moving further from the European Union and her administration. Germany has always attempted to stray away from their Nazi history and refrain from nationalist movements. Although the election of AFD provides evidence that Germany is losing this mindset.
The recent election of Donald Trump as President of the United States signals a shift further towards his movement of American nationalism. The policies Trump promised he would put in place, such as protectionist trade deals with China, are designed to put America over the rest of the world. The movement Trump sparked now runs rampant through the Republican Party. The Republican Party didn’t necessarily hold these views until Trump nearly hijacked the party. His America first movement destroyed the Party establishment and put these ideas into action.
The one that may surprise people the most is the Netherlands. The once center left nation recently took a swing right in the 2017 elections when Garret Wilders and the Party for Freedom ran a hard anti Islam and European Union campaign. Wilders has come out in support of banning the Koran, even going as far as to compare the book to Mein Kampf. Wilder’s Party won enough seats to place them as the opposition party in the Dutch House of Representatives. Even parties that have never run a hard line anti- Islam campaign are shifting in support of more nationalist ideas. Prime Minister Mark Rutte put out an advertisement that stated, “act normal or leave.” Rutte later said that this wasn’t meant to attack ethnic groups, but instead people who did not share their values. This signals that Wilder’s nationalist movement has spread most everywhere in the Netherlands.