The British referendum on the membership of the European Union on 23 June 2016 came as a shock. The Brexiteers won with 51.9% against the Remainers (48%). The vote to leave the EU is a leap into the unknown and the consequences are unpredictable. The UK has had its credit rating downgraded since Brexit. What will be the economic impact of Brexit? It has opened an era of uncertainty, lowered the pound and increased inflation to 2.3% in June 2018 hitting consumer spending and reducing the purchasing power of British households. So far unemployment in the UK remains at its lowest at 4.2% in July 2018 because of the flexibility of the labour market but many businesses are worried and are reluctant to invest in the UK. Will it weaken the UK and challenge the status of the City of London as the world’s financial centre? Brexit will affect every sector of the economy and every part of the country. Leaving the single market will have serious consequences on the British economy. It will also have a huge impact on the European economy leading to relocation of companies to Frankfurt, Dublin, Luxemburg and Madrid. It will affect the trading relationship between the UK and the EU and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and British people living in the EU. What Brexit actually means will dominate British politics for the next few years. Will Brexit really happen and will the UK leave the EU on 29 March 2019 as planned? Will there be a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit or will there be another referendum on UK membership of the EU? Should the UK join the European Economic Area like Norway or should there be a Canada free trade agreement? The EU Summit in October 2018 will be a turning point in negotiations between the UK and the EU27 countries.
Associate Professor in British History
University of Amiens
Place: "Edificio Polivalente", University of Alicante
Time: 9h-11h30, on 24th and 25th October 2018