A brief glimpse of the United Kingdom's EU Referendum that took place on June 24, 2016. The people of the United Kingdom were voting whether they should remain as members of the European Union or to leave.
THE EU REFERENDUM
The reasons for and against
Those who favor leaving argue that the European Union has changed enormously over the last four decades with regard to the size and the reach of its bureaucracy, diminishing British influence and sovereignty.
Those who want to stay say that a medium-size island needs to be part of a larger bloc of like-minded countries to have real influence and security in the world, and that leaving would be economically costly.
What is the history?
The European Union began in 1951 as the European Coal and Steel Community, an effort by six nations to heal the fissures of World War II through duty-free trade. In 1957, the Treaty of Rome created the European Economic Community, or Common Market.
Britain tried to join later, but President Charles de Gaulle of France vetoed its application in 1963 and in 1967. Britain finally joined in 1973.
Is this vote final?
Yes, at least for the foreseeable future. If Britons vote to leave, there will be an initial two-year negotiation with the European Union about the terms of the divorce, which is unlikely to be amicable.
The negotiation will decide Britain’s relationship with the bloc. The major issues would surround trade. If Britain wants to remain in the European Union’s common market — the world’s largest trading bloc, with 500 million people — Brussels is expected to exact a steep price, in particular to discourage other countries from leaving.