The word “Brexit” comes from combining “Britain” and “exit.” It refers to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). The United Kingdom is a union between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales — and all but Northern Ireland are on the island of Great Britain. The EU is a group of 28 countries that allow people travel, work, and sell things as if they are part of one big country. These countries also share economic and political regulations, and many United Kingdom citizens wanted more independence. So on June 23, the UK held a referendum, and UK citizens voted to leave.
No other nation has left the EU. UK Prime Minister David Cameron still needs to formally start the legal process of leaving, a process that could take a long time. However, the Brexit is already beginning to affect the international economy.
Also, even though 52 percent of voters across the United Kingdom voted to leave, major parts of the UK did not support this decision. In fact, 62 percent of people in Scotland voted to stay part of the EU. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that Scotland is likely to hold its own referendum, where people will vote whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom.