The #Brexit hashtag created a buzz online because only a few do really understand the situation. To go into depth about the situation, read this.
Britain voted Thursday to leave the European Union, a decision that surprised many and one whose consequences still aren’t totally clear. We don’t know quite yet what this will mean for the future of Britain’s economy, its policies, and its relations with other European countries.
There have been many twists and turns in British politics that have led to this particular moment. But you don’t necessarily need to have followed those to understand why the British want to leave the European Union, and why the EU matters in the first place.
That’s what this cartoon is all about: how the EU came to be, and how Britain came to decide not to be part of it. And this will help make sense of the biggest, looming question: What happens next?
Why does the European Union exist, anyway?
Europe is a collection of countries that used to fight a lot. For example, in World War II countries within Europe fought against one another, and it greatly hurt the continent.
So after WWII, many countries felt it was important to integrate European countries — starting with the coal and steel industries and then expanding to a broader set of trade issues.
Countries often make rules about things coming into their countries. For example, if you wanted to make a car in France and ship it to Britain, you would have to pay a tariff to Britain to do so.
Or let’s say you’re French and you wanted to live and work in Britain. You would have to go through a long immigration process to legally do so.