Thursday, 29 September 2016

Britain after Brexit

In spite of voting leave, many well informed advocates of Brexit would agree that the immediate economic effects of Britain’s leaving of the European Union would not be entirely positive. The less knowledgeable supporters of Britain’s leaving of the EU promote the notion that Brexit will control immigration. Pre and post the referendum, this idea has been giving a voice to racism in Britain.

It is hard to predict today what the future of Brexit will turn out to be in a decade or even five years time, but it is obvious that Britain’s planned exit of the EU is already provoking serious economic consequences. The most infamous, immediate and, arguably, the most important economic fatality of Brexit has been the value of the pound. Having sank to an alarming low against the American dollar and euro, in simple words, it seems as if us Britons have become poorer as a result of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The pound lost 11 per cent of its value in the short space of two trading days, which raises the question that should have been answered to many less knowledgeable voters before they voted leave: how will Brexit immediately affect our economy?

Having dropped in value by around 13%, the pound, which was worth $1.50 on 23 June, is now trading at around $1.30, which is a new low for this decade, seeing as the sterling has not been at levels this low since the 1980s. On 23 June the pound was worth €1,30, but now trades at about €1,19, another alarming low.

Conversely, as a result of Brexit, the percentage of race hate crimes has vastly increased. In the weeks before and after the vote to leave the European Union, race hate crimes increased by 42%. Reports of racism have been amassing in the media, and this is no surprise. Immigration was highlighted as a common reason for Brexit amongst voters, and with the vote to leave stealing the coveted victory, those who were against immigration for racist reasons were revelling in their success.

With the value of the pound falling and the amount of race hate crimes increasing, the future of Brexit is not seeming as bright as advertised. However, some argue that the pound was overvalued before and there are, in fact, some benefits that come with a devalued pound regarding British exports and its net worth. Though there is no way to justify racism, some people believe that Brexit simply means reports of racism are piling up in the media, not the incidents themselves. Today, many people link racism in Britain with Brexit, albeit the vote for leave triumphing or the ‘problem’ of immigration may not have been the motive for all of the racist acts that have been occurring as of late.


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