“It’s not EU, it’s May.” That was a message that I saw written on a chalkboard outside of a pub as I walked back from class in London on March 29. The message was in reference to how on that same day, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, which effectively begins the formal process of Brexit. Brexit, the U.K.’s planned withdrawal from the European Union, has had a continued presence in international media coverage and daily presence on all U.K. media platforms. Despite the 2016 referendum vote occurring in June 2016, the formal process of leaving the EU will take up to two years, set to conclude in March 2019, according to BBC News.
The decision to vote Leave last June was reflected by several desires of those who voted for Brexit. The BBC News article further explained that those in favor of the U.K.’s departure stated that they felt the EU was repressing their economic, sovereign and democratic capabilities, and that they wanted to reclaim these powers. However, a significant factor that has received staunch criticism is the desire by Leave campaigners and voters to regain Britain’s full control of its borders, which would limit the number of people from other EU countries entering the U.K. to live or work. Brexit not only reveals how the U.K. views immigrants, but it also reflects our global culture’s perception of what immigration means for our job markets, as well as how immigrants affect our social climate and our notion of safety.