The Meaning of Brexit: What It Is and How To Use It

Brexit was a controversial move that affected Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe. What is the meaning of Brexit for immigration and more?

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There is a lot of controversy surrounding the decision known as Brexit. This article will cover what the word Brexit means, what the Referendum and Article 50 Negotiations Period are, the arguments for and against Brexit, and Brexit’s impact on the United States

Keep reading to learn more about Brexit!

What Does the Word Brexit Mean?

According to Dictionary, the word Brexit is a portmanteau of the words “exit” and “British” that refers to the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union. It can also refer to the 2016 referendum in which this decision was made. A portmanteau is when two words are put together to make one.

The Brexit decision took place in 2016 but did not take effect until January 31, 2020. In late 2020, there was a provisional free-trade agreement enacted that still allowed trade between the UK and the EU. Some questions remained unanswered, such as what was happening with trade in services. This agreement prevented what is known as a “no-deal” Brexit.

In 2021, the UK parliament and European Parliament struck a deal called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). This allowed the UK and EU to trade goods quota-free and tariff-free, but it still requires customs checks, which can slow down commerce. The Brexit vote was largely supported by the conservative party in England.

What Are the Referendum and Article 50 Negotiations Period?

Investopedia explains that the referendum was the decision for Britain to leave the EU and no longer be EU members. It was a close call, but they chose to leave the EU with just 51.9% of the ballot as the referendum result. However, this support came from predominantly English voters, and fewer UK citizens from Scotland and Northern Ireland were in favor of exiting the EU. 

After the referendum, the process of exiting the EU began in June and July 2017, when Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was triggered. This allowed England to have two years of Brexit negotiations to decide how they would proceed in trading with the EU. The initial withdrawal agreement was defeated in Parliament.

In August 2019, controversy surrounded Prime Minister Boris Johnson requesting the Queen to suspend Parliament, which she approved. People viewed this as a way to stop MPs, or Members of Parliament, from blocking the exit from the EU. In September of the same year, the Supreme Court reversed the suspension of Parliament, wanting to leave the EU by October.

What Are Arguments Supporting and Opposing Brexit?

There are many complex reasons why a person might support EU membership and many reasons why someone might not. This includes its impact on the Euro’s value, relationships with countries like France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Irish border.

People who support leaving the European Union fear the European debt crisis and are skeptical of EU projects that may threaten the (alleged) sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Others also fear terrorism and immigration. Additionally, since the UK still uses the pound and the EU uses the Euro, they believe a Brexit could positively affect the pound.

Often, people who support leaving the European Union also have a sense of national pride for the United Kingdom and its politics that many opponents view as an anti-immigration stance. Since leaving the European Union will close borders that were once open, this implies a lack of openness to other cultures and people from other countries.

People who oppose Brexit believe that it is economically risky because many countries in the EU are some of Britain’s biggest export recipients, which could weaken the exchange rate and make Britain lose money. They believe in the societal and environmental benefits of what is called the European Union’s Four Freedoms, which include the free movement of people, capital, services, and goods across the borders of the European nations. 

What Is Brexit’s Impact on the United States?

Brexit will have a large impact on the United States because the country holds an investment in sectors in the United Kingdom. Since the year 2000, over 9% of global foreign profit from American corporations has been from the United Kingdom, and many American companies hire employees from the United Kingdom.

For a long time, Britain was a gateway into other European countries that were members of the European Union. However, the decision for Britain to leave the European Union will affect stock prices of United States companies that are aligned with the United Kingdom and can also affect affiliate earnings.

Additionally, there may be a liquidity issue with the amount of debt from the United Kingdom that is now not included in the cash reserves of European banks. The decline of securities that are backed by European assets may be further intensified with Britain’s decision to leave the EU. 


The word Brexit combines the words British and exit, and it refers to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. This is a controversial move for many reasons. While a large proportion of English and Welsh citizens voted to leave, a large proportion of Northern Irish and Scottish citizens did not.

People who support Brexit fear the European debt crisis and support national pride, while people who do not support Brexit believe that it will heavily affect trade in a negative way. 


  1. Brexit Definition & Meaning | 
  2. Brexit Definition (British Exit from the European Union) | Investopedia 
  3. What is Brexit? | The Government of the Netherlands