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What's Going On: Brexit

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Every week Samuel and Lorenzo take on the challenge to explain to the students of Runnymede College what is really going on in the strange and wonderful world of politics.

Ah, Brexit. The seemingly never-ending stream of deals, disagreements and extensions that never fails to confuse us all. It’s easy to get lost in this constant flow of news: Boris, Theresa, Jeremy...seriously, how can we keep track? So what is going on with Brexit?

July 23rd, 2016. The UK has to choose between two different options: Remain in the European Union, or leave the European Union. What happens next surprises the world. The vote to leave wins by a slim majority. Shortly afterwards, Ms May triggers Article 50, a document that starts a two year countdown to the UK leaving the EU. She then tries to strike a deal with the EU, one that would help the UK leave in the softest way possible, but few support her constant and frustrated attempts to pass it. Fed up and alone, she leaves Downing Street (the residence of the prime minister). Now it’s down to the conservatives to choose a new leader... and they choose 55-year-old Boris Johnson, a more aggressive conservative (Donald Trump is a fan). He says he will definitely leave the EU, “do or die”.

And so we reach the present day. October 31st is the date when Boris Johnson promises to leave the EU, with or without a deal (a no-deal Brexit would mean that the UK would suffer greatly, and would make it difficult for it to trade with other countries, which was what Theresa May was trying to stop).

What happens in the next few months could affect a lot of people, in England and in many other countries too. Politics can be like dominoes, because, whenever something like this happens to one country, it can affect others, leading to ever larger consequences. Ireland, for instance, could lose one of its biggest trading partners, and Spain could lose up to 70,000 jobs and a powerful tourism industry. Germany is so scared for the future that it even has its own Brexit cabinet.

However as we watch this uncertain future play out, I will try to lend a hand and help anyone that struggles to understand these topics, and hopefully give them a valuable insight into today’s world.

Read our column, because sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the news.

Lorenzo N, Year 9

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Very thrilling and informed article.

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