Cheerful farewell

Bon Voyage, Britain!

british bus-getty pictures
Some would like to see Britain exit the European Union
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If Britain leaves the European Union, it could suffer serious consequences, such as a sharp decline in the economy, capital flight and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

  • Facts


    • Britain would become a relatively small player in the global economy, with less than 3 percent of the gross world product, if it left the European Union.
    • No country has voted against E.U. bills more frequently in recent years than Great Britain.
    • British finance ministry officials estimate that a Brexit would lead to a 3.6-percent decline in Britain’s GDP.
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Brussels is tired of hearing the B word. A memo recently sent to the European Commission’s communication staff members urged them to avoid using the term Brexit.

The memo listed alternative terms that could cast discussions about the British referendum on June 23 in a friendlier light. It recommended using the term “British situation.”

The term suggests a stressful relationship but not a separation, like saying: “Okay, but let’s still be friends.”

But there is little evidence of friendship between the European Union and Britain these days. The tone is abrasive on both sides of the English Channel, and becomes more so with each day that Britain’s legendary bookmakers predict a majority voting to leave the European Union. Meanwhile, in Brussels, officials say post-Brexit negotiations would be “brutal.”

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