Background to Brexit: How to Leave the EU

2 min read

Disbelief from last month’s vote for Brexit lingers. Proponents of Britain’s continued EU membership want to revisit the decision. Some hope the British parliament will vote against implementing the referendum, or that the next prime minister will decide not to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. Others suggest Scotland could refuse to consent to Brexit. There is also an online petition urging a second referendum, and there are calls for a general election.

These ideas are understandable given the uncertainties if Britain were to leave the European Union, but attempts to block that process could fuel the resentment felt by a large part of the British population who believe current policies do not meet their needs.

Establishing political order in the UK is therefore a priority—the ship needs a rudder and a captain to plot a new course and navigate the rough waters ahead. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and former London Mayor Boris Johnson will not be his successor as many had expected. Instead, the next prime minister will be a woman, Home Secretary Theresa May, who has been elected head of the Conservative Party. She is expected to take over as prime minister on July 13, making her Britain’s second female prime minister since the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979.

With Europe’s leaders divided over how to negotiate Brexit, the labyrinthine process of disentangling Britain from the EU is daunting.