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What Will a Post-Brexit United Kingdom and Europe Look Like?

On March 29, the United Kingdom triggered Article 50, formally initiating proceedings to exit the European Union (EU).

British Prime Minister Theresa May had widely telegraphed the move. So it’s no surprise that global financial markets greeted the news with indifference.

Still, the implications for the world’s fifth-largest economy will be substantial. Post-Brexit Britain’s economy and character are likely to change significantly in the coming decade.

You can say the same for the political project that is the European Union.

The European Union’s Odd Man Out

Despite its founding membership in the European Union, the United Kingdom has always marched to the beat of its own drummer.

The United Kingdom never adopted the euro. In everyday conversation, the British refer to “the U.K. and Europe” reminding themselves and others of their special status. The Schengen Agreement, which guaranteed freedom of movement among European Union members, never applied to the United Kingdom. While you could travel 2,000 miles from Tallinn, Estonia, to Lisbon, Portugal, without a passport, you always needed one to get from Paris to London.

Much like Norway and Switzerland, both of whom stayed out if the European Union, the United Kingdom always preferred to play by its own rules.

Post-Brexit Britain: The Y2K of Economic Forecasts

Before the Brexit vote, then-Chancellor George Osborne made some scary predictions about Brexit’s immediate implications.

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