By Rachel Rochford (’23)
Brexit, the name has been circulating for over three years now, but it often feels like the process has been stalled for just as long. On June 23 of 2016, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted on leaving the European Union – the vote went through with 52 percent in favor of leaving the European Union according to the BBC article “EU Referendum Results”. Not long after, Theresa May took the reins as Prime Minister from David Cameron, who resigned in March of 2017 as a result of the vote. This marked the beginning of what was supposed to be a two year period dedicated to figuring out the logistics of Brexit.
Time flew by faster than anyone wanted it to. Very suddenly, it was January of 2019. Theresa May was prepared with a plan to exit the EU. This plan however had many flaws and didn’t properly address some of the larger problems surrounding Brexit. Because of this, May’s Brexit deal pass a vote by The House of Commons (a British equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives) and the Brexit deadline was extended to October 31 of 2019. May tried three times to get her Brexit deal ratified by Parliament before she finally resigned in July of 2019.
Not long after, an election was held and Boris Johnson was chosen as the new Prime Minister. Johnson was very adamant about his ability to get a Brexit deal through before the October 31 deadline. Johnson even went so far as to say “We are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts” during his first speech as Prime Minister on July 25, 2019. This was not a one time promise, Johnson has said this many times since he was elected in July.
Despite Johnson’s promises, on Monday October 28, it was announced that the Brexit deadline was pushed back yet again. Johnson accepted this extension though he stated that this would be the last one. Many are skeptical though about Johnson’s ability to meet this new January 31 deadline. This is partially because of his failure to meet the October 31 deadline and partially because of how long Brexit has taken. The vote was held in 2016 and to many, it feels as though the process hasn’t come very far – almost as if it were still 2016.