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So You Think You Know The EU?

by / 0 Comments / 28/02/2017

There isn’t a week that goes by without hearing the term Brexit. Since the referendum in 2016, the media have portrayed a moving concept of the EU in the news, going from a cry of liberation to the endless sorrow of leaving the big EU family. Today like in June 2016, nobody — Leavers and Remainers included — really knows what leaving the EU means for the future of the UK, its inhabitants — wherever they come from — and its businesses. But instead of debating the issue, it’s time to look at some of the real uncertainties about the negotiations to come. What are people worried about, and more importantly, what questions will need to be answered for the British public to go out with an advantageous deal?

Who Am I Without EU?

With almost three-quarters of the Millennial generation voting to Remain in the EU, it’s easy to see why the youth feels ignored by the vote. There’s also another element behind it: For most young voters, the Brexit referendum was the first vote of national importance, and this is something that is still difficult to grasp. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People has organised to tackle some of the doubts and questions of the youth about this life-changing decision. They met for the first time in January to address their common struggle with Brexit, regardless of their vote. The main concern for the young generation is not to contest the vote but to understand its consequences and how the negotiations between the UK and the EU will proceed. At the core of everything lies the identity crisis of the young generation: What does it mean to be British outside of the EU? This is a difficult question that might have to be answered by the next generation.  

What Will Happen To EU Regulations?

While everyone can agree that the claim about the EU costing £350 million a week for the UK is false, as it’s been confirmed immediately after the vote, there is no solid understanding of the current EU regulations in use in the UK. More importantly, it’s hard to tell whether the UK will keep some EU laws in future. Indeed, there are numerous commonly accepted regulations in the business world that have an EU origin, such as the right to cancel a contract within 14 days, or the responsibility for employers to keep a working week below 48 hours. The EU has also been doing a lot for the household in general, with a recent regulation to ensure that vacuum cleaners are kept energy-efficient, to keep costs down. Will the UK Government follow this cost-friendly movement even once we’re out of the EU? Only time will tell. The EU is also working on a visa project, the ETIAS, which will allow access for visitors outside of the EU and the Schengen zone for up to 90 days. There is currently no indication about future UK visitors, but it’s something that will need to be part of the negotiations.

More Than 3 Million Reasons You Should Care About The EU

If you haven’t come across the 3 million yet, it’s a support group created by and for the EU citizens in the UK. The current campaign, people are not bargaining chips, refers to the uncertainty of their situation. Indeed, 3 million EU citizens in the UK and almost a million British expats in the EU have come to their country of choice in good faith and made their home there. None of them were granted a vote in the referendum, and all face the risk of losing everything they have, from their home to their family. While the Brexit negotiations are barely on the table, some of the amendments suggested by the House of Lords are trying to address this situation and to avoid the deportation of millions. This also goes towards maintaining the treaty rights of the British expats who live in an EU country.

Post-Brexit Anxiety

You can forget everything you knew about burnout syndrome and depression: The new main factor of mental health issues is currently Brexit. The uncertainty of what is to be expected at the end of the negotiations with the EU combined with the lack of clarity from the Government, has caused several cases of debilitating anxiety. While Brexit might mean Brexit, at the moment, it is synonymous with fear, anger, and doubts. The people, who voted for or against the EU, are still waiting to find out what Brexit actually means.