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Or as The Washington Post puts it: “Brexit consumed all.It dominated May’s headlines, debates, diplomacy, agenda.”After officially invoking the EU’s Article 50 in March 2017, May spent more than a year negotiating with her European counterparts for a withdrawal agreement, with a deal finally reached in late 2018.Farage has since cooled on the Norwegian model, and now favours no deal at all - which would result in the introduction of tariffs under World Trade Organization rules. Pro-Europeans argued that the UK’s status as one of the world’s biggest financial centres would be diminished if the City of London was no longer seen as a gateway to the EU for the likes of US banks.
On 23 June 2016, the British people settled a question that had rumbled under the surface of UK politics for a generation: should the country remain within the European Union - or leave, ending its 40-year membership to go it alone?
Or so it seemed when just under 52% of voters opted for Brexit.
In 2016, Britain paid in £13.1bn, but it also received £4.5bn worth of spending, said Full Fact, “so the UK’s net contribution was £8.5bn”.
What was harder to determine was whether the financial advantages of EU membership, such as free trade and inward investment, outweighed the upfront costs.
The subsequent leadership election saw controversial former foreign secretary Johnson storm to victory to become the new PM ahead of high-profile Tory candidates including Gove, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt.
Arguments presented during the referendum campaign covered politics, economics and national identity: Brexiteers argued that leaving the EU would result in an immediate cost saving, as the country would no longer contribute to the EU budget.
Cameron announced his resignation the following day.
What came next has gone down as one of the most tumultuous premierships in modern history, with May’s almost three years in power overshadowed by a single issue.
Business for New Europe said tax revenues would drop if companies carrying out large amounts of business with Europe - particularly banks - moved their headquarters back into the EU.
Fears that carmakers could scale back or even end production in the UK if vehicles could no longer be exported tax-free to Europe were underlined by BMW’s decision, in 2016, to remind its UK employees at Rolls-Royce and Mini of the “significant benefit” EU membership conferred.