What Even Is Brexit? And Why Should You Care As A U.S. Citizen

What Even Is Brexit? And Why Should You Care As A U.S. Citizen

Britain's dramatic divorce from Europe is more important than you might realize.
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As you know, whether it be through the news, or some random article your Uncle Joe posted or maybe a meme Mark from college shared, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016. You might ask, “what’s the big deal?” Well, I am going to explain this huge mess in the simplest terms I can think of and hopefully it’ll make sense to you. I’d also recommend watching John Oliver’s two videos on Brexit. The first one covers the election itself and the second one covers the negotiation process of a British exit. Honestly, if I never watched his videos, I would be as confused as you might be.

First I’ll start with a little bit of historical context, but I’ll try to keep it brief. According to Wikipedia's article, the EU is a political and economical union of twenty eight countries which are mostly located on the European continent. The union was created after World War II to sort of mitigate extreme nationalism (*cough* Nazism *cough*) that escalated into WWII. Being a part of the union provides plenty of benefits including limited border control, no tariffs, the ability of doctors, lawyers, dentists to work in any country in the EU, as well as plenty of other economically sound reasons.

However, despite these benefits, the United Kingdom voted to leave the Union for various reasons. One huge issue is immigration policies of the EU. A large anti- immigration movement has flared up in the U.K. bringing about a swathe of nationalistic and anti-foreigner thinking within the last decade. This mindset has also escalated after the rise of Isis and terrorism in London and across Europe. A lot of conservative media blames the attacks on Syrian refugees, as well as the Muslim population. In the EU, countries can’t deny immigration of EU members to their countries. Because of this, Britain has received a high amount of immigrants from Eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Romania. While this has had a positive effect on their economy, besides some issues with housing, Brexiters believe Britain needs to regain control of their borders.

As of June 19th, 2017, Britain has began negotiations of the U.K.’s exit, which has led to some tension and fear around the world of what this could mean for the country and what it’s effect will be on the world. The U.K. has a total of two years to complete the negotiations with the European Union. How well the negotiations go will be the deciding factor of the U.K. relationship with Europe going forward, whether it be a soft exit or a hard one. At the moment, the current Prime Minister, Theresa May doesn’t seem to take the Brexit as seriously as she should, and in her comments she appears vague and unconvincing. One quote that kind of made me go, “...what?” is “I’ve been clear that Brexit means Brexit.” Great. We get that. However, she did later explain that she wants to help Britain establish itself financially within trade and all that, which is what every Brexiter wants anyways. It’s important to also note that May wasn’t in support of Brexit until she ran for election after David Cameron, the previous Prime Minister resigned. She claims that she supports it because it’s what the British people want, which seems like something any politician would say if it gave them power.

So why should the U.S. care about Brexit? One huge thing to consider is how much we rely on the U.K. for trade. Currently, they have the fifth largest economy in the world and the U.S. does do a lot of business from our older brother across the pond. Large U.S. companies have business in the U.K. that will be dramatically affected by their divorce from the union and by association, their economy can affect ours because of our connections. This had become evident even after the Brexit results had came in and the drop of the stock market in the U.K. had affected companies like JP Morgan and Rolls Royce. A British recession would definitely affect our own economy drastically.

Having the U.K. as an ally had helped form a relationship with the EU. While Trump may slowly be cutting ties with everyone on his own, our ties with the EU--especially France and Germany, may become more fragile as the U.K. fractures it’s own relationships. Unless Trump decides to fix his foreign policy agenda, our ties with the EU will be stretched even thinner, hurting business and trade relationships in the process.

Brexit has already made nationalism in the U.S. more extreme as now anti-immigration people are seeing how the UK is seeking to close their borders by leaving the union and expect to see positive things from it. Trump has very much been riding the wave of pure nationalism from this movement to further his agenda. The issue with increased nationalism is that it might make us more susceptible to war. As I said earlier, the reason why the EU had been created in the first place was to mitigate the nationalism that had caused the Second World War.

Probably the only positive thing about all of this: while Britain's economy collapses and their pound plummets, it means London will be a lot cheaper to visit. So, while the U.S. still has their economy--knock on wood--we might as well fly on over, grab some fish and chips at a local pub and say “hi” to the Queen while the pound is worth two pence to the dollar. Not saying it will, but hey, I really want to see London’s eye for only two pounds if I can.

Cover Image Credit: WIKI

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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