Americans should learn about Brexit and campaign against it
3 mins read

Americans should learn about Brexit and campaign against it

As the American political race is in full swing, other major political campaigns are happening across the pond.

In the United Kingdom, politicians and commoners alike are voicing their opinions about a referendum the public will vote on in June.

This referendum would end the UK’s membership in the European Union, making it completely independent from the other countries on the continent. British public opinion is currently evenly split, and the debate is bound to grow more tense as time progresses.

The best time for Americans to educate ourselves about both sides of the argument is now. Ultimately, Americans should support the British campaign to remain in the European Union.

Supporters of a “Brexit” say being a member of the EU undermines the country’s sovereignty. It would also allow the UK to make its own decisions regarding its budget—putting more money toward areas such as research, health and education—and immigration laws.

The country would gain an extra twelve billion pounds from the UK from not paying EU membership dues. The UK would remain in the United Nations, potentially gaining a more unique, powerful voice tailored more toward the needs of the British people rather than Europe as a collective whole.

While benefits may exist for some individual British needs, would a Brexit benefit the world as a whole? Many people worldwide say no.

Those in favor of remaining in the EU see the risks of leaving a comfortable position in one of the most successful political unions in the world. An EU membership allows access to a single economic market of 500 million people and free trade agreements with 60 non-EU countries.

The EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner, and a Brexit is bound to include more trade barriers and tariffs. The effects on the British job market and economy are only estimates, but Britons would lose employment laws and social protections the EU provides.

Leaving the EU would also question the very institutions of the EU and UK, especially regarding Great Britain’s relationship with Scotland. Overall, the pros of staying in the EU outweigh the cons.

Why should we as Americans care about the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union? The Obama Administration has expressed its opinion that the current arrangement makes both the UK and EU stronger.

America’s and many other countries’ relationships with the UK would change drastically with the approval of a Brexit, most likely sidelining and isolating it from major decisions. For Britain, the outcome of this vote is more crucial than its next general election.

While the drama of this year’s unusual presidential election seems to be center stage, we shouldn’t forget to stay aware of other global affairs. Issues happening thousands of miles away are becoming increasingly closer to home as the world becomes increasingly interconnected.

We’re simultaneously American citizens and global citizens. We need inform ourselves on current events not only to make good decisions for America and its allies, but to also become more tolerant, open-minded people.