Coming to Europe with very little knowledge of its political stance, I was taken by surprise hearing about Brexit. Throughout the 8 weeks I learned a lot about how both the UK and the European Union will be affected if Brexit is carried through. Some of the main issues with Brexit include: Northern Ireland border control, trading, voting, etc. Brexit holds a lot of unknown results and consequences for UK and the European Union. I’ve learned that if Brexit is successful then chances of other European Union countries might consider leaving the EU as well. This leads to a bumpy future for the EU and its members. Personally, I think the UK will be successful after Brexit.
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The UK had already been secluding themselves from the rest of the EU countries using a different monetary system and even a different mindset. The EU understands the risks associated with a leaving member country and is discussing a transitioning period of time, until 2020 to allow the UK to settle into its independent state of economy. The UK wanting to continue trade with the EU freely after Brexit is a huge challenge. I cannot decide if I feel that this request is greedy or fair in order to keep trade and businesses dependent on one another stable.
The benefit of being an EU member is the openness of trade and even people. So for the UK to decide to end its association with the EU, but then still reap the benefits of being a member seems illogical. I don’t think Brexit will cause resentment between countries, just some challenges that need to be addressed and figured out. I definitely expect some failure with Brexit. This comes without saying since any big change like Brexit has odds of falling through in some way or another. I will definitely keep up to date on this challenge and the story of Brexit.
My experience is Brussels introduced me to the political challenges that countries face. Coincidently, President Trump happened to be in Brussels for the NATO Summit during the week of our Brussels trip. Being in a different country with the US President present was eye opening. Seeing headlines of riots breakout over Trump, who was in town for 2 days, and not even associated with Belgium, made me realize how divided politics is. I was fully aware of the division in the US over Trump but seeing it firsthand overseas in Belgium too was unreal.
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