Referendum held on 23rd in June 2016 decided the United Kingdom decided to leave from the European Union(EU). This decision will undoubtedly have big impacts on many dimension in the UK and other European countries.
Britain is one of main countries and London is one of centre cities amongst European countries. That is why, if Britain really withdraws the EU, there are huge economic and political impacts on the country and other countries.
As for the economy, in London there are many companies headquartered in other countries. However, if Britain leaves the EU, those big companies also would leave the country because it would become not attractive with them anymore. Transnational corporations and huge banks have branches in London and other cities in Britain because they regard the country as the centre of the EU and a foothold to advance toward other European countries.
Especially, I will focus on impacts on Japanese companies that have branches in the UK. They also will have negative influences because of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
The reason why Japanese companies have branches in the UK is that they can develop a new market inside of the country and other European countries. If the UK is a member of the EU, companies can take advantages of it following the regulations of the EU. However, because of the withdrawal, they cannot take that advantages anymore. Especially, banks that have branches in the UK could make other branches in other European countries as long as they have authorized in the UK, which is really advantageous for banks trying to have many branches around Europe. After all, if the UK really left the EU, many Japanese countries would try to escape from the country, which also makes some disadvantages for the UK.
If lots of companies pull out the country, huge amount of the unemployed would be produced. What is worse, by the withdrawal, British economy might temporally decline. There are two reasons why it is. One is because of losing tons of capital. After for Britain leaving the EU, a city where those companies and banks will move into might be Frankfurt, Germany because the place is the second centre of the European finance as London. The other is that Britain’s trading will be stagnant. Countries of EU account for between 40 to 55% of exports from Britain. (Full Fact, 2016) That is why, if Britain leaves from the EU, the country should pay tariffs, which will make it more difficult for Britain to trade stuff with other European countries.
Additionally, political changes will occur. The United Kingdom is, as its name suggested, consisted of multi-countries, England, Scotland, wales and Northern Ireland. The withdrawal of Britain from the EU will trigger campaigns that those countries are independent from the United Kingdom. Particularly, Scotland is going to try to leave from the EU because the country has been trying to do that for a long time.
As mentioned by some people, it can be said that Britain is going to be nationalistic. This tendency might be appeared more often than ever because of globalization. In the globalized world, two types of power are produced; to accept the globalization and to refuse it. In this referendum, there were a little bit more people wanted to leave than people did not want to. One of the reasons why they wanted to leave was not immigrants itself but the feeling of fear to unexpected existences such as immigrants. Globalization partly means to make the borderless world, but ironically, because of removing borders, people need it more.
In this last 20 years, our world has been shrunken. In other words, the physical distance amongst people and nations is not actually changed. However, the distance amongst people’s thought have been undoubtedly shortened. Because of developing various kinds of technology especially the Internet, people can easily connect with people in different regions, which is resulted in making people in different places have the same thoughts. By the result of this referendum, people in other European countries might have the same thought to be exclusive, which will drive countries more nationalistic. If this came true, the EU based on a lot of sacrifice such as the two world wars would collapse.
The referendum was over with the result to leave from the EU, which politically and economically affects the country. It is said that the withdrawal is because of immigrants. However, it can be said the reason is not immigrants itself but the feeling of exclusiveness and also Britain might be nationalistic. Although the EU was established by an idea to unify European countries as one country because of two tragic war, if other countries in the EU are affected by the result of this referendum, many countries would be independent from it.
By Rita Furutani
・Full Fact, Sam Ashworth-Hayes “Do half the UK’s exports go to Europe?” (09th Nov 2015) https://fullfact.org/europe/do-half-uks-exports-go-europe/ (accessed 25thth November)
・ Nadja, A, Kluwer Mediation Blog, “Brexit and EU mediation” (18th July 2016) http://kluwermediationblog.com/2016/07/18/brexit-and-london-as-a-mediation-venue/ (accessed 27thth November)
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