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Pros and cons of Brexit

The UK formally left the EU on 31 December 2020. Here are the sticking points that were most important to the remain and leave camps during the Brexit process.

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Benefits of being in the EU: the debate

The Brexit process began when the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a 2016 referendum. Following the vote, there was four years of debate about the best scenario for a withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.

Here we present the main arguments for remain and leave before the UK left the EU on 31 December 2020.

Learn about the opportunities Brexit offers traders

Benefits of being in the EU: the debate

The Brexit process began when the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a 2016 referendum. Following the vote, there was four years of debate about the best scenario for a withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.

Here we present the main arguments for remain and leave before the UK left the EU on 31 December 2020.

Learn about the opportunities Brexit offers traders

Remain

Though unsuccessful in garnering enough votes in the referendum, the remain camp have continued to advocate for a close relationship with the EU in the form of a departure from the EU with a deal in place.

The arguments for remaining in the EU focus on the benefits of being part of a wider union, and the security and favourable trading relationship made possible through EU membership.

Key arguments for remain

Foreign affairs

As part of a community of 500 million people, Britain could have greater influence over international matters as a member of the EU.

Sovereignty

Britain has proved that it could opt out of some EU policies which it considers counterintuitive, such as adoption of the euro, the Schengen Agreement and enforced migrant quotas.

Security

A union better equips Britain to tackle threats to security, including terrorism and cross-border crime.

Money

European businesses invest billions of pounds in the UK every year, both in the public sector and private sector.

Trade

EU membership provides Britain access to the European single market, which is invaluable for trade and enables the easy movement of goods, services and people across member states.

Business

Free trade within the EU reduces barriers and enables companies to grow.

Jobs

Millions of British jobs are linked to Europe and could be put at risk. Some sectors such as nursing and manufacturing could experience a slump in skilled labour.

Consumer goods

The average person in Britain saves hundreds each year thanks to lower prices of goods and services facilitated by the EU.

Leave

While the leave campaign succeeded in the referendum, negotiating a deal with the EU proved difficult – though one was eventually agreed to by both negotiating teams.

Key arguments for why the UK should leave the EU included greater control over foreign affairs, greater national sovereignty and the potential for glitzy new trade deals with countries like the US.







Key arguments for leave

Foreign affairs

Continued EU membership would limit Britain’s international influence, ruling out an independent seat at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Sovereignty

Britain will have more control of its laws and regulations, without the risk of having counterintuitive European policies forcefully imposed.

Security

Some in the Leave camp believe that Britain’s domestic security could benefit from full border controls, which it would hope to gain outside the EU.

Money

EU membership fees - amounting to billions - could be repurposed and spent on issues that matter most to the British people, like funding for the NHS.

Trade

Membership of the EU keeps Britain from fully capitalising on trade with other major economies such as Japan, India and the US.

Business

The EU subjects Britain to slow and inflexible bureaucratic red tape, making it more prohibitive for smaller companies to do business.

Jobs

Improved global trade agreements and more selective immigration could have a positive effect on the British job market.

Consumer goods

EU VAT contributions and agricultural subsidies policies cost UK consumers hundreds of pounds each year.

Remain

Though unsuccessful in garnering enough votes in the referendum, the remain camp have continued to advocate for a close relationship with the EU in the form of a departure from the EU with a deal in place.

The arguments for remaining in the EU focus on the benefits of being part of a wider union, and the security and favourable trading relationship made possible through EU membership.

Key arguments for remain

Foreign affairs

As part of a community of 500 million people, Britain could have greater influence over international matters as a member of the EU.

Sovereignty

Britain proved that it could opt out of some EU policies which it considers counterintuitive, such as adoption of the euro, the Schengen Agreement and enforced migrant quotas.

Security

A union better equips Britain to tackle threats to security, including terrorism and cross-border crime.

Money

European businesses invest billions of pounds in the UK every year, both in the public sector and private sector.

Trade

EU membership provides Britain access to the European single market, which is invaluable for trade and enables the easy movement of goods, services and people across member states.

Business

Free trade within the EU reduces barriers and enables companies to grow.

Jobs

Millions of British jobs are linked to Europe and could be put at risk. Some sectors such as nursing and manufacturing could experience a slump in skilled labour.

Consumer goods

The average person in Britain saves hundreds each year thanks to lower prices of goods and services facilitated by the EU.

Leave

While the leave campaign succeeded in the referendum, negotiating a deal with the EU proved difficult – though one was eventually agreed to by both negotiating teams.

Key arguments for why the UK should leave the EU included greater control over foreign affairs, greater national sovereignty and the potential for glitzy new trade deals with countries like the US.







Key arguments for leave

Foreign affairs

Continued EU membership would limit Britain’s international influence, ruling out an independent seat at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Sovereignty

Britain will have more control of its laws and regulations, without the risk of having counterintuitive European policies forcefully imposed.

Security

Some in the Leave camp believe that Britain’s domestic security could benefit from full border controls, which it would hope to gain outside the EU.

Money

EU membership fees - amounting to billions - could be repurposed and spent on issues that matter most to the British people, like funding for the NHS.

Trade

Membership of the EU keeps Britain from fully capitalising on trade with other major economies such as Japan, India and the US.

Business

The EU subjects Britain to slow and inflexible bureaucratic red tape, making it more prohibitive for smaller companies to do business.

Jobs

Improved global trade agreements and more selective immigration could have a positive effect on the British job market.

Consumer goods

EU VAT contributions and agricultural subsidies policies cost UK consumers hundreds of pounds each year.

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