Since the referendum on EU membership on June 23, the UK government has not undertaken any significant steps towards an exit from the Common Market. This is unsettling for the economy and the country as a whole. Prime Minister Theresa May hesitates to take steps towards the Brexit due to unique and unprecedented challenges.
It is unclear whether the Prime Minister alone can trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty (which starts the exit from the EU) or whether parliament has to be consulted as well. Lawyers will have to determine this via a judicial review. Another legal and constitutional challenge derives from the statement by both Scottish and Irish politicians that they want to connect the Brexit with a referendum on their own independence. Thus, it remains unclear which parts of the United Kingdom will actually exit the EU and who represents the country throughout the leaving process.
Not only the legal and political but also the economic situation is uncertain. For Northern Ireland, this means a special challenge. According to Paul Maskey, the M.P. for West Belfast, a number of businesses had originally considered to set up their headquarters in Belfast – due to post-Brexit insecurity, they scrapped those plans. Maskey also commented that the situation for EU nationals living and working in the UK has become problematic: He recalled the case of a Swedish citizen who was threatened to be fired due to the unclear economic outlook. These local examples surely illustrate the precarious situation faced by EU citizens throughout the UK.
Brexit has plunged a country into turmoil. Theresa May and especially her Foreign Secretary face a vicious circle: Triggering article 50 may break up the UK, not triggering article 50 will certainly bring further harm to an already strained economy. The future remains unpredictable and every person living and working in the UK is faced with the same uncertainty and no immediate hope for change.
Gastautor :Jan Freytag