On June 23, 2016, an assemblage of British Conservative lawmakers and financial industry veterans were able to secure enough votes on a referendum, that 52 percent of Britons supported, for the country to exit the European Union. It has since been referred to as Brexit. Market reaction to the news brought an average 13.4 percent fall in the share prices of the top five British banks and slides of 12 to 14 percent in elite wealth managers Schroders (SDR.L), Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN.L) and St. James's Place (SJP.L).
Prior to the June 23, 2016 announcement, a referendum vote was held on the country's membership in the EU (then known as the European Economic Community -- EEC). The voting result was approximately 67% in favor of the country's continued membership of the EEC.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee has staked out a position that U.K. voters had chosen to take their country back just like Americans can do in November and blamed the press for getting his point wrong and ignoring the calls he got right. Trump stated in a June 27 Tweet from @realDonaldTrump: "The media is unrelenting. They will only go with and report a story in a negative light. I called Brexit (Hillary was wrong), watch November." (view Tweet
) And in other comments, Trump continued, "We have a President and we have somebody running for president, Hillary Clinton, honestly look at their record, they don't know what they're doing."
What led to this and what were the contributing factors
Campaigning in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum began unofficially on February 20. 2016 when Prime Minister David Cameron formally announced under the terms of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 that a referendum would be held on the issue of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. Essentially two camps formed: Leave Groups and Remain Groups.
In providing perspective on this matter, certain publications such as the UK's The Telegraph, drew contrasting pro and con rationales along various referendum themes, such as immigration, crime, trade, law, jobs, clout, finance, sovereignty and defense.
One can gain insight (and draw your own conclusions) into how the mindset of the U.K. voters was affected by looking at the positions in the campaigns of the Leave Groups (as opposed to Remain Groups). Pulled from each website or public web page are quoted excerpts of declarations and positions that gauge priority and passion for the issues and insight into how they led their campaigns.
Vote Leave (http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/
) - "We should negotiate a new UK-EU deal based on free trade and friendly cooperation. We end the supremacy of EU law. We regain control. We stop sending £350 million every week to Brussels and instead spend it on our priorities, like the NHS and science research... We regain our seats on international institutions like the World Trade Organisation so we are a more influential force for free trade and international cooperation."
) - "Imagine having £1,000 more to spend each year. By leaving the EU, each household could be better off by this amount - through cheaper food bills, no membership fees, with the cost of regulations lifted, too... Imagine not having our laws dictated to us by Brussels. Instead, MPs would become accountable to the public and we would once again be able to make and decide on our own laws... Imagine how we could then regain control of important issues such as our borders. We could welcome the right talent from all over the world - adding to the country’s already phenomenal cultural and economic strength (rather than having to accept all EU migrants regardless of skill level)."
Grassroots Out (http://grassrootsout.co.uk/
) - "Grassroots Out, or GO for short, is made up of politicians and supporters from across the political spectrum, with a single aim: to get the United Kingdom out of the European Union... GO, rather than setting up another 'leave' campaign, does the reverse. It brings together existing ‘leave’ campaigns and gets them to work as one in local areas. We are an organisation that unites people from all political parties, and none, into one effective anti-EU ground campaign, which is working towards winning the referendum, door by door, vote by vote. We will be rolling the GO campaign out across the country over the next few weeks and months."
Labour Leave (http://www.labourleave.org/
) - "The UK gives Brussels £50m every day, £350m every week, £19bn every year – nearly 20% of the EU’s budget... The UK Parliament is not allowed to decide how best to support key sectors like manufacturing, farming and fishing... UK exports to the EU have shrunk from 51% to 43%... Freeing our NHS, railways and public services from inefficient private contractors is under threat from the USA TTIP trade treaty... Agriculture is 1.6% of the EU economy, employs fewer than 5.5% of the population but the CAP swallows 40% of the EU budget... Animal welfare – page 7. CAP adds £7 a week to our food bills and causes poverty in Africa"
Left Leave (http://www.leftleave.org/
) - "The EU is in secret negotiations with the US to launch the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This will promote privatization and reduce corporate standards to the lowest level either side of the Atlantic. War on Want estimates the deal could cost 600,000 jobs... Decision-making in the EU is dominated by unelected bodies such as the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Those running them are contemptuous of democracy... It is a myth that the EU defends workers. Equal pay legislation came out of the struggle of the women sewing machinists at Ford Dagenham in 1968, not from the EU. Most health and safety legislation originates in the 1970s, a time of union strength. The national minimum wage was won by the labour movement—not given to us by the EU... The so-called freedom of movement of labour does not apply to non-EU citizens. For those from within the EU, four European Court of Justice rulings have outlawed trade union and government action to enforce equal rights for imported (“posted”) workers"
Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (http://www.tusc.org.uk/
) - "We stand in the tradition of the late Bob Crow, a co-founder of TUSC, who was well known for his support for international workers’ solidarity while opposing the EU as a body that was pushing anti-worker and pro-austerity policies... TUSC will oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions. Reject increases in council tax, rent, and service charge to compensate for government cuts. Vote against the privatization of council jobs and services"
Green Leaves (http://green-leaves.org/
) - "Unlike the UK parliament there is no democratic accountability for the key decision makers and little press investigation to maintain transparency... The EU is not an intergovernmental body or association. For many years it has been a corporate state body run by its executive, the EU Commission. There are many examples of poor environmental decision making by the unelected EU Commission... TTIP represents one of a series of treaties which allow for corporate rule over public services and sovereign parliaments. This website gives arguments why all Greens and left wingers oppose TTIP including its new powers to allow corporations to legally undermine nationally agreed environmental standards... This referendum is about being a citizen of a superstate which already imposes laws and policies on you and your Parliament without democratic recourse"
Liberal Leave (http://www.libdemvoice.org/liberal-leave-campaign-49779.html
) - "At the core of our principles lies the belief that power should be held as close as possible to individuals and their communities and that those who wield that power should be accountable to it... In the European Union, true power is held behind closed doors in the Council of Ministers, who make decisions away from the cameras and above the heads of voters"
Directory of Organizations
Council of the European Union
Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175
Phone: +32 22815650, Fax: +32 22814977
British Bankers' Association
105-108 Old Broad Street
London EC2N 1EX, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 20 7216 8800; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7216 8811
City of London Corporation
PO Box 270, London, EC2P 2EJ
Phone: +44 020 7606 3030
; contact form
Get Britain Out
Suite 52, 95 Wilton Road
London SW1V 1BZ, U.K.
Phone: +44 7860 762085
Britain's financial sector reels after Brexit bombshell (Reuters)
Campaigning in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 (Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaigning_in_the_United_Kingdom_European_Union_membership_referendum,_2016
I'm starting to think a 'Brexit' is a good idea and I never thought I'd ever say that, by Lianna Brinded (Business Insider ) http://www.businessinsider.com/reasons-why-uk-leaving-the-eu-brexit-is-a-good-idea-2015-10
Is Donald Trump hurting himself?, by Stephen Collinson (CNN Politics)
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What caused BREXIT or the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union?