Brexit Negotiations Flounder: The Causes & Consequences

Dec 11, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May
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The Brexit agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union appears to be on the brink of defeat. Facing fierce opposition in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May decided to delay a vote on an agreement reached after nearly two years of negotiations. The plan would have kept Britain, for the most part, within the European Union's customs and trade system for the next two years.  Now, the country's economic and political future appear uncertain. We'll discuss what led to this situation, what might happen next, and how the uncertainty surrounding Brexit might have global repercussions.

GUESTS:

Elizabeth Carter -  Assistant professor of political science at UNH; her specialties include European politics and comparative politics. 

Megan Osterbur - Assistant professor of political science at New England College. 

Our guests on why Americans should be concerned about what's happening with Brexit:

Elizabeth Carter: Britain has historically been either our closes tally or one of our closest allies. So when Britain doesn’t have a seat at the table and a voice at the table, the influence of the United States in Europe is diminished.  We don’t exactly tell Britain what to do, but we do tend to see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, with very similar economic perspectives. And we tend to have somewhat similar foreign policy perspectives. So this is bad for the United States.

Very likely if Brexit occurs the pound will become weaker and that will affect our economy. A weaker British pound means that for Brits American goods are more expensive so they will be buying less of our products....It will not be great for American exporters

Megan OsterburCurrency markets also impact stock markets. And for those of us who pay close attention to the stock market, we’ve seen that it reacts strongly to changes in Brexit --  so for U.S. stock markets, American shares become more expensive for foreign investors. Gold prices are going to change, generally rise. And that’s going to dampen business growth for companies in the U.S. So, in addition to trade itself, individual businesses are going to suffer, and we’re going to see big drops or big changes in the stock market that will impact anyone with a 401K.  

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BREXIT READINGS: 

From the BBC: Everything you ever wanted to know about Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to save her agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the Europeal Union. 

Watch this BBC video of Prime Minister Theresa May announcing a halt to her Brexit deal before British Parliament. 

The Independent reports on how the Brexit vote nearly two years ago has affected the UK's economy.  

Some worry uncertainty surrounding Brexit could negatively impact the U.S. economy.