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Money News

What’s Brexit? The Fight Over Great Britain’s Future in the EU

January 18, 2019

2 min read

Exit! Remain! Who’s actually leaving what? If you’re confused, don’t be.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what Brexit could mean for your portfolio, here’s a quick guide to understand what’s happening.

But first, here’s some Brexit background.

What’s the European Union?

The European Union (EU) was created after World War II. It’s purpose was to foster economic and political partnership. The hope?  Countries that trade together would be less likely to declare war on each other.

The EU became a “single market”—which means stuff can be shipped (like refrigerators and eggs) without paying tariffs and duties, and people are allowed to move around all the countries as though it was one gigantic country.

Think about the border between Oklahoma and Texas—the highway patrol may change, but there is no customs or border security and people can move from Norman to Austin whenever they want.

The EU has its own parliament in Brussels and puts its stamp on rules that affect the nations under its umbrella. These rules can affect prices on trade, environmental policy, and how people can travel from country to country.

Many countries in the EU have abandoned their currency and adopted the euro. Great Britain chose not to, and continues to use the pound sterling.

What’s the Brexit?

On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom voted on a referendum. The question? To stay in or leave the EU. The decision? The results surprised the world (and many people in the UK). Experts predicted that Great Britain would overwhelmingly vote to stay in the EU. But the experts were wrong.

Great Britain voted to leave the EU by a tiny margin.

But why? This is a complicated question. What many people saw in Great Britain as a positive (ease of travel and citizenship from country to country), others saw as a negative (increased immigration, globalization, loss of culture).

Not everyone in Great Britain liked taking orders from Brussels. Many who voted to leave the EU stated that they thought that UK decisions should be left to the UK and that it should have control over its own borders, and its own economy.

What does Brexit mean for your investments?

Brexits, exits, there will always be world events that make headlines and shake the markets.

Stash firmly believes in taking a long view and adding to your investments on a regular basis with Set Schedule.

Keep calm, and Stash on.

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By Lindsay Goldwert
Lindsay Goldwert is Senior Editor at Stash.

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