2018 | 24 | 2 | 71-84
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Brexit: Benefits and Costs for the United Kingdom – Reflections for Observers in Europe

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The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU structures creates a new chapter in the history of the European integration. For the first time, after several decades of steady and secure functioning of the EU, a split occurs. Lofty ideas about creation of strong, coherent, wealthier and safer Europe lose in the competition with economic indicators and the national interest of the United Kingdom. Brexit is an expression of the negative evaluation of the EU functioning by the British society. This opinion is grounded in difficulties of the EU with solving current economic, social and political problems of contemporary Europe, as well as in decreased cooperation among member states. The following most important reasons for Brexit should be mentioned: the uncontrolled inflow of immigrants, increased terror threat, loss of economic independence and national identity. It is also worth noticing the successful actions of right-wing politicians who used the situation to build their own vision of the state. Consequences of Brexit shall affect both the United Kingdom and the EU member states but also non-EU countries. They shall have political, economic and social dimensions. However, at the current stage of the negotiations, it is difficult to predict all effects of the decisions taken. According to analysts, the UK shall incur financial losses, competitiveness of economy will decline, GDP will go down, political relations with neighbour states will deteriorate. Brexit shall affect particularly these states which are close trade partners of the United Kingdom. Loss of the UK as one of the economic pillars of the EU shall influence the economic situation of the entire European Union. Brexit is also a crack in the EU image as an organization cherishing the values of solidarity and humanism. Individual interests of particular member states can be a contagious example.
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