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Cons of Brexit

After years of preparation for the EU accession, Romania has seen its dream come true in 2007 and
since then it continues on this path . Unfortunately, the United Kingdom faces an existential question
nowadays: to be or not to be “European”. The majority has decided that it would be better not to. This
situation should not be revolting or intriguing. It has its origins in the past. London has always kept some
kind of a distance from Brussels’s authority. The main issues about Brexit relate to trade relations,
regulation and budget, foreign policy and security, domestic policies, welfare and immigration.

When the European Union’s predecessor, the European Economic Community, was created in 1957, it
linked just six countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The UK
joined the EEC in 1973, but the suspicion of political union with the rest of Europe remained strong
among britains. As a result of that, the British people have demanded some out-puts: they didn’t join
the single currency, the border free Schengen area and obtained a reduced budget contribution.

Given high tariffs at the time, the EEC brought substantial gains. Today, the EU has 28 members
and is the world’s largest market, but tariffs generally are much lower. Brexit will sure weaken
the relationship with the EU and could have unpleasant effects for every member. Beside these
possible disfunctions, a country that has lived hard times under the communist regime risks to
become isolated from the international scenario once again. Romania did and still does consider
the EU an important economic and political power which can contribute to improve its current
and future situation. One of the consequences will be losing barrier-free access to the Single
Market, which has more than 500 million consumers. Trading actions will suffer and will
determine the investors to pull out of major industries. Also, in terms of trade, a downturn in
the economy of UK from a Brexit could also dent Romanian exports, especially in machines and
transport equipment, which comprise 46 per cent of total exports to the country. The UK is the
fifth-largest destination for Romanian exports, accounting for slightly more than 4 per cent of
overall exports, evaluated at some 2.3 billion euro per year.

Another con aspect for Brexit is that immigrants, from the countries that UK is now ready to separate
from, put a third more into the economy with tax revenue than they took out in benefits, such
as health and education. Around 3.5 million British jobs are directly linked to British membership
of the European Union’s single market. The reason for this is that a very high proportion of
immigrants do work and a much lower proportion are unemployed, compared to British people.
The official statistics show around 180,000 Romanians legally working in the UK, most of them in
construction, hotels and restaurants.

All in all, the EU is far from perfect, but a Brexit would be a disaster for the unity of the UK and for the
other countries too in a small percent. As 28 democracies and as the world’s biggest market, the
EU is strong in in its complete version and it has played a major role in climate, world trade and
development.