So Brexit is Happening, Here’s Why Americans Should Care–
Thursday’s British referendum concerning whether the UK should stay in the European or leave saw the leave side win with 52% to stay’s 48%. As a result, Britain will be the first nation-state in history to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, an agreement which will enable it to exit the European Union in a move dubbed Brexit. Although Britain and Europe are across the ocean, today’s globalized world will undoubtedly see this political move making an impact on American citizens; while it may still be too early to determine the full extent of the effect Brexit will have on the United States, some definite consequences of Brexit have already surfaced.
The Washington Post has reported that not only will mortgage rates plunge for Americans, but “political and economic upheaval that sends investors running for the exits… [will catalyze] a sell-off in global markets that tests the stability of the international financial system.” With the UK leaving the EU, the markets are suffering; the NASDAQ composite went down 4.12 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average also dropped about 3.6 percent. While there’s a chance that this economic volatility may blow over soon, if the rest of Europe follows the UK in a move one Twitter user termed “Grexit. Departugal. Italeave. Fruckoff. Czechout. Oustria, Finish. Slovakout. Latervia. Bygeium,” the situation will definitely only go downhill from here.
Despite this, the most concerning possibility is that the unexpected referendum results in Britain may mean that modern citizens are not above allowing fear-mongering, nationalism and anger to influence their political decisions. With the presidential elections quickly approaching and a close race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton becoming apparent, the same kind of attitude displayed in Brexit could make Trump the 45th president of the United States. Despite the differences between the UK referendum and the US presidential vote, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp pointed out the parallels between the “reactionary nationalism in Britain and the reactionary nationalism” of Trump’s campaign. Trump displayed this when asked about Brexit, stating that “people want to take their country back. They want to take their borders back. They want to take their monetary back. They want to take a lot of things back… they don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country.” These are values Trump has championed throughout the race, values that have increased his appeal to disgruntled Americans and sparked endless debate between his loyal supporters and those who are already planning to move to Canada in the event that Trump is elected.
The controversial politician himself has publicly hailed Brexit as a declaration of independence, tweeting on the 24th that residents of Scotland “took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!” Unfortunately for Trump, 62% of Scots actually voted against leaving the EU. The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, expects a second, Scotland-only referendum, stating that it is “democratically unacceptable” for Scotland to be forced out of the EU against its citizens’ wishes. If successful, this referendum will result in Scotland separating from the rest of the UK, creating yet another new border and increasing the hassle travelers may potentially face.
The news isn’t all bad, though: after Brexit, it’ll cost Americans less to travel to Europe in general as both the Euro and pound have fallen in comparison to the dollar, and airfares are also expected to drop with fewer Europeans and British traveling to America. For those wanting to go across the pond and visit that part of the world, now would be an excellent time to purchase any necessary currency and book trips. After all, there’s a chance it will never again be as simple to travel through Europe as it is now within the European Union.
This article was written by Jade Carraway, a writer for dusk magazine.