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It is officially June 2017, and that means one clear thing – it has been almost a year on since Britain voted via a referendum to leave the EU. However, despite this vote seeming a long time ago, leaving the EU has proved to be a long and arduous task, something that will only be made longer by the general election; but where are we currently up too with it? One of the latest worries is that of the government securing a ‘hard-Brexit’ that will leave us in a worse situation than we are currently in, however this is something still unsure due to the snap election in a couple of days’ time, and until then no further decisions can be made, although it does give the public a chance to choose the Brexit policies that are most likely to appeal to them when deciding who to vote for. Although last year more Tories backed remain rather than leave, they are all now strongly in agreement of Brexit, and Theresa May has argued her decision to call the snap general election to be so that she can strengthen her hand in negotiations with the EU. Labour was also a strong campaigner of remaining in the EU, however has said it will accept Britain leaving now, something it hopes will appeal to areas in the country where the population wanted to leave, although the Labour party is still divided on what the best way to act in is now. All Liberal Democrat MPs were pro Remain, and have continued this stance despite the result; a big campaign of theirs for the General Election being that they will fight against a dangerously hard Brexit. Smaller parties such as the Green Party continue to be in support of the EU, and similarly to the Lib-Dems they also want to avoid a hard Brexit, whilst in contrast UKIPs key aim is to ensure that the government doesn’t back step on Brexit, although UKIP can be viewed to be lacking in relevance now Britain is in the process of leaving the EU, this action being their main goal since the party was founded. When Article 50 was triggered earlier this year on March 29th, it was estimated Britain would not actually leave the EU for another two years whilst all the negotiations were made, meaning that the population is unlikely to see significant change for a long time after they first voted. Closer to Exeter though, Brexit is something that is a concern for European students who do not have British citizenship, because whilst the EU has meant it is easy for students across Europe to study in other countries, Britain being taken out of the EU could make this more difficult, and increase their tuition fees. In 2016/17 there have been 1, 710 students studying at Exeter whose Country of Domicile has been listed as being an EU country, excluding Britain, meaning Brexit directly affects a huge proportion of the University population, let alone all the outcomes for students with a British nationality.

 

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