So The UK Has Left The European Union - What Will That Mean For Us?
A whole lot of changes.
Leave. Remain. Whatever you voted – or couldn’t because you were too young – the results of the EU Referendum will affect everyone. But with lots of claims and stats being thrown around on social media, what does this really mean to younger people?
Here’s a short guide to what we know so far…
33 million people (all aged over 18) voted, with around 52% of people voting leave. David Cameron has resigned, but he might not step down til October. But, this does mean there will be a new Prime Minister for the UK – and this could potentially trigger a general election.
To leave the EU, the UK will need to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – it’s the process of negotiating with the EU as to what exactly the terms will be for the UK leaving. And, as no one’s ever done it before, no one is sure how long it will take, but it could be up to two years.
Lots of the questions that we have like;
- Will we need new passports?
- Can we use our European health cards abroad?
- Will I need a visa to go to Europe?
- Can I study and work abroad?
will only be answered what the Article 50 negotiations have taken place, meaning nothing will change until those talks have finished. So it’s life – and holidays in Europe – as normal for now.
If you’re worried about what will happen to mainland Europeans living in the UK, and vice-versa, there was no talk of mass deportations before the referendum, so there shouldn’t be any large scale changes. However, as with so much of the implications of leaving the EU, any changes are tied up into what the Article 50 talks decide.
Does this mean the UK might change?
Scotland majority vote was to remain, meaning that staying as part of the UK will mean they leave the EU. As a result, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that it’s very likely they will have a second referendum, and decide it they want to stay a part of the UK. However, no date has been set for this yet.
Northern Ireland also had a majority vote to remain in the EU. They have recalled their parliament (Dáil) to work out what their next steps will be.
I’m heading off on holiday – do I need to do anything differently?
Not differently, but it might cost more. If you’re heading on holiday to Europe and want to take £250 with you, it’s looking like it will end up costing about thirty pounds more than this time last year due to value of the pound changing. If you’re heading to the US, there’s been an even bigger jump, so will cost you even more.
One thing you’ll need to keep an eye on is EU roaming charges. Some phone operators have suggested that EU caps that were in place might be lifted, so check with your network provider before you start browsing like you would back home.
And what does it mean for my wallet?
If the pound stays low it’ll mean we’ll start to see prices of the everyday items that we buy from abroad, rising. We probably won’t see this immediately, but it could kick in after the summer. There’s no agreement on whether interest rates might rise (pushing up rents and mortgages) or get lower (making them cheaper). It’s all tied to the value of the pound, so we’ll have to watch what happens.
If mortgages do rise, then house prices could drop, especially in London. Good news for first time buyers, but bad news for existing home-owners - which would then impact back on anyone renting.
Because of the value of the pound against the dollar, petrol prices could rise immediately by 2p-3p a litre was on the cards.
And what about jobs?
It’s not great news there. If other countries are less willing to invest in the UK, it means less jobs available. And wages potentially lower for those that do have them.
Leaving the EU also means losing a lot of laws and regulations that the EU, including ones that underpin big decisions, like the Equality Law. These will have to be drawn up again, without the EU’s input, relying on the government in power. The kind of things you could see affected are LGBT rights, employment laws, women’s rights, immigration laws, marriage laws and how we support asylum seekers. Brexit supporters have argued that they wouldn’t undo the work that’s already been done in the fight for equality, but others are worried that without the EU safety net, there are no guarantees on what could happen.
So that’s what next – some things we can see right away, but most are caught up in the Article 50 negotiations. The impact of leaving the EU will be headline news for days, weeks, and years. The most powerful thing you can do is to keep up to date, and understand the impacts they will have on your life.
Because whatever happens, there will be more choices ahead, and as we’ve seen every person can make a difference. And if you’re wondering what under-24s voted – they mainly chose remain.