The definition and meaning of Brexit is Britain leaving the European Union. The term is created by combining the beginning of the word Britain plus Exit, and started becoming popular during the last General Election campaign when Conservative Party leader David Cameron promised a referendum regarding the UK’s EU membership if his party won.
BREXIT = BRitain + EXIT, in other words, Britain exiting from the European Union. Something that happened to many people’s surprise on Friday, 24th June, the morning after Britons voted in an EU in-or-out referendum. (The vote was on the 23rd, but we did not know the results until the 24th)
Brexiteers – people favouring leaving the EU – got 51.9% of the vote, compared to 48.1% who voted to remain.
The BREXIT camp was successful in its referendum campaign. 51.9% of the population – more than 17 million people – voted for BREXIT; for Britain to withdraw from the European Union.
Grexit and then Brexit Meaning
Etymologists – people who study the origins of words – say that the word Brexit was formed as an analogy of Grexit. When Greece had a serious financial crisis and desperately needed funds to stay afloat, there was a lot of talk about a Grexit, i.e. Greece exiting the EU.
In other words, Brexit was a term that followed Grexit, one referring to Britain and the other to Greece, withdrawing from the European Union.
BREXIN or BRIN?
Some people say that the opposite of BREXIT is BREXIN. However, linguists argue that the word does not make sense, because the BR comes from Britain, but where does EXIN come from?
Shouldn’t the opposite of Brexit be BRIN (BRitain + IN)?
It is probably a bit too late now anyway, given that the people have decided and BRIN or BREXIN people are no longer relevant. Unless, of course, we eventually have another referendum!
BREGRET – A new term
In June 2016, another related term has emerged – the verb to BREGRET. It is a combination of BRitain, Exit and reGRET.
All the pollsters got it wrong again. Most of them had forecast an easy win for STAY, with a margin of between 5% and 8%.
Many people who voted to leave the EU on Thursday, woke up on Friday morning and were shocked to see how the pound fell, stock markets in London and around the world declined, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, the Financial Times reported on several banks making plans to move operations out of London and into a EU city, broken pledges by the Leave camp regarding EU money for the NHS, and the downgrading to ‘negative’ of Britain’s credit rating.
These people regretted how they voted, and said they would have voted to remain had they known the consequences.
A person who BEGRETS is called a BREGETTER or BREGETTEER – the word has not been around for long enough to determine which one is the official term and whether it has a double or single ‘T’.
Below are two videos with both sides of the pro-EU and anti-EU arguments.
Soft versus Hard Brexit Consequences
Hard Brexit: this refers to the UK separating from the EU completely, regaining total control over immigration and losing unfettered access to the EU market.
Soft Brexit: refers to a type of semi-detached separation in which Britain still has free access to the EU market but cannot control how many EU citizens come, live and work in the UK.
Most businesses want the Soft option, saying that loss of access to the the EU market would be devastating for the UK economy.
As the majority of voters who chose to leave the EU were mainly concerned about regaining control of the country’s borders, a Soft Brexit would be extremely unpopular.
Video 1 – The Pro-Brexit Argument
This video explains in a very simplified way why some people support Brexit. The one at the bottom of the page looks at the arguments for staying in the EU.
Video 2 – The Pro-Brexin Argument
This video explains in a very simplified way why some people support Brexin – staying IN the European Union.