So I was about to FaceTime my best friend in England yesterday when she anxiously told me she was watching the news and waiting on the results of the referendum. And being a politics idiot, I honestly didn’t have a clue what she was talking about…till I refreshed my FB feed.
UK is leaving the European Union. What?
What would that mean for the UK? What would that mean for the EU? The US? China? Me?
As a plummeted through my questions, I tried to read everything I can find on Brexit (Or, the popular # British exit from EU). Reading Harper Bazaar’s latest article, I managed to summarize three things:
- The UK prime minister David Cameron called the referendum so that people will shut up about leaving the EU, even though that meant putting his reputation and position at stake. Now, he has announced to resign.
- The leaving decision won by a slight 52%, mostly contributed from the older generation
- Though the UK won’t be leaving right this second, the decision is bound to shake the world economically, socially and of course politically. It’s probably the largest political change since the break down of USSR.
To me, I really have very limit understanding or interest in politics. However, I do understand that this impact will affect our generation, the millennials tremendously compared to the older generation.
The first obstacle I thought of was travel. Being a Hong Kong passport holder, I can travel to England and stay without work or school for 90 days. Furthermore, I also have the benefit of traveling to most EU countries without a visa. Would that be bound to change? For my best friend, who is British, will she be restricted of the benefits of traveling within Europe? And how about the 7.5 million foreign born immigrants, of which 2.24 million are from other EU countries? (2011)
Secondly, education. London, the international hub of fashion is the center for major fashion institutes including London College of Fashion, Royal College of Art and the most renowned Central Saint Martins of UAL. As an incoming summer student of CSM, I have the hopes of learning the most out of this summer program and pursing another degree program in London upon graduation. With this drastic change, will restrictions upon international students also increase? After the elimination of work rights for non-EU students in 2015, international students in the UK are already forced to fly home upon graduation unless of course, you marry a local and discard your original citizenship. Will there still be hopes in international fashion education despite all?
Perhaps I am being overly negative, but I worry.
Overall, as an ‘outsider’, I believe the real impact would not be tangible till at least a few years. So, I guess we can all wait on it.
I just got off the phone with my best friend and she shares my worry. But what can we do?