LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: An anti-Brexit protester demonstrates outside the House of Parliament on March 11, 2019 in London, England. Talks between the UK and the EU resume today before MPs in Parliament vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal tomorrow. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Photo:  (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Photo:  (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

What is Brexit? What you need to know about the UK and the European Union vote

It’s one thing when a bunch of politicians yammer on about an issue facing a country, but when David Beckham steps up to the mic to take a position, it’s time to start listening.

The soccer star spoke out on Tuesday about the biggest issue facing his home country of England – whether to remain in the European Union, or to back out and be just the United Kingdom.


On Tuesday, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that if British voters choose to leave the EU the decision will be 'irreversible.’

Here’s a quick look at what Brexit is and why the results of the vote are  important.

What does Brexit mean?

Nothing, really. It is a combination of “Britain” and “exit” – or Brexit. What Britain would be exiting is the European Union.

What’s the European Union?

The European Union is an economic and political partnership of 28 countries. Each of the countries   are independent but they share trade agreements.  The European Union, or EU, operates a single market which allows free movement of goods, capital and services.

The 28 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

What is the argument for staying?

A big argument in favor of leaving the EU is that the country would save 350 million British Pounds a week, according to one source. Another major argument is that it would allow the UK to be in charge of her own borders (read: immigration). 

What is the argument for going?

A big argument  is the country would save 350 million British Pounds a week, according to one source. Another major argument is that it would allow the UK to be in charge of her own borders (read: immigration). 

Under the current EU rules, if someone has the right to live in one of the EU countries, they can live in any or all of the EU countries.

What does the Queen want?

Some reports suggest that Queen Elizabeth II is in favor of leaving the EU. However, we will likely never know what she really thinks about it as she remains non-political  in public. 

Who wants the country to leave the EU?

Sir Michael Caine, Dame Joan Collins, Downtown Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Elizabeth Hurley are all in favor of Brexit.

Which celebs want to stay?

J.K. Rowling, Elton John, Simon Cowell, Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch say they like the EU just  fine.

What happens if they leave?

Any number of things can happen if the UK becomes the first country to leave the EU. 

Surely, there will be trade issues – Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has said trade agreements with Britain under the EU will not be the same if the UK leaves. There are jobs and other economic issues to consider. 

Also, Scotland, one of four nations that make up the United Kingdom, says they will have their own referendum for independence so they can then pursue their own membership with the EU.

When will we know?

The referendum is Thursday. We should know by Friday morning. Hard to call in advance since the vote seems, at least in polling, to be almost evenly split. 

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