On January 31 at 11 p.m., Britain will leave the European Union (E.U.). After voting to leave the union in 2016, Great Britain is finally making the move.
A European Clash
In 1973, Britain joined the European Communities (E.C.), a trade agreement between a few countries in Europe. Then, in 1975, the E.C. developed into the Common Market. The trading bloc grew, adding new European countries.
Treaties (agreements) were signed by the governments, handing more political power to the group. With the new treaties in place, the ECC became the European Union (E.U.) Many thought this was a price worth paying to be part of a large trading group. But not everyone.
Over time, more people began to think the E.U. was asking for too much control over each member country. After 20 years of campaigning, pressure forced British Prime Minister David Cameron to offer an In/Out vote on whether to stay in the E.U.
The vote result was 52% to leave and 48% to remain.
Because Prime Minister Cameron had campaigned to remain in the E.U., he felt he should not be the person to take Britain out. Theresa May became the new prime minister.
The country was divided between those who won the vote and those who wanted to ignore the vote and carry on as before. Prime Minister May was couldn’t pass any laws in Parliament, and without support, could not govern. Boris Johnson replaced her and finally lead the country out of the E.U.
What Comes Next?
Britain officially leaves the European Union on January 31, but this does not mean the relationship is over. During the next year, Britain will negotiate with E.U. leaders to make a trade deal.