REPORT
By Abdulselam Durdak
Frankfurt letter, April 3

-Europe’s Brexit duels begin

Following the U.K. vote to leave the EU in the referendum last June 2016, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday, March 29 handed in the official notice triggering Britain's exit from the EU. This decision means that Britain's trade relations with the EU will have to be re-negotiated.

The economic impact of the Brexit process, which is anticipated to last for two years, is still not fully known, but it seems that both sides could end up with losses.

The Brexit has demolished the "indivisible unity" taboo of the European Union. The separation of the United Kingdom from the EU is expected to lead to negative political and economic consequences and tensions for both sides.

The United Kingdom wants to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, but some EU members, particularly Germany, oppose this.

The Brexit will ensure that the EU loses its third-most populous member state of more than 65 million inhabitants.

Alongside France and Germany, the United Kingdom is one of the three largest EU economies. In 2016, the United Kingdom was responsible for 16 percent of the EU’s economic output or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The United Kingdom’s foreign trade is slightly less dependent on intra-EU imports and exports than other EU member states. Nevertheless, in 2015, 54 percent of all imported goods to the U.K. came from other EU member states and 44 percent of the U.K.’s exports were destined for countries within the EU.

The British labor market has remained relatively stable so far. The current unemployment rate of between 15 to 74-year-olds is one of the lowest within the EU.

 

- The EU is close to losing 65 million citizens

Political concerns over economic uncertainty from the Brexit as well as questions on the future of the union are increasingly been raised.

Not only is the European Union one step closer to losing the third most populous member and 65 million EU citizens, but also due to the recent rise in populist and right-wing trends in the EU, Brussels may have to further deal with the threat of polarization.

03 Apr,2017

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