On Wednesday 14th November, Theresa May put a draft EU withdrawal deal before her cabinet. News Editor Sophie Woodley gives her analysis of the fallout

Final Year English Literature Student ~ News Editor ~
Images by George Hodan

On Wednesday 14th November, Prime Minister Theresa May proposed her draft withdrawal deal with the EU before her cabinet.

Brexit negotiations have taken a front seat in the media in recent months, which has had everyone talking.

The 585 page draft, which considers how the UK will withdraw from the EU in March 2019, has caused turmoil in May’s government.

Since Wednesday 14th, more than 20 Tory MP’s have made themselves known in calling May to leave office. The number of public protests from Tory MPs who have rejected May’s drafted EU withdrawal, goes to show how double-edged the Brexit controversy is; with some of May’s MP’s backing her moves, and others utterly rejecting it, the divided and combative cabinet is clear.

Key members of May’s cabinet have also resigned. On the day where May introduced the withdrawal draft, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned. Along with Raab, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey, also resigned.

One MP who has claimed full support for May’s new draft deal is Environmental Secretary Michael Gove.

Recent developments throughout this week has involved ministers convening in Brussels on Monday 19th to discuss their political declaration, in planning their future with the UK. Theresa May and the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a business CBI conference on Monday. May discussed her plans to business leaders, resulting in CBI president John Allan calling for MP’s to back her draft deal.

On 16th November, Amber Rudd made a comeback to the cabinet, after resigning earlier this year in April. Rudd has taken McVey’s role, differing from her recent duty as Home Secretary.

Brexit is anticipated to have detrimental effects on a number of areas. To name just a few, this involves the UK’s economy, our access to European countries, trade, housing prices and the NHS.

However, Brexit will also have prominent consequences for UK students. In Redbrick’s latest edition, it was shown that Brexit may affect academic research, including that at the University of Birmingham.

There will also be repercussions for students who plan to study abroad. With tighter control on UK borders, Brexit will propose difficulties for those wanting to study in EU countries. It has been thought that students who want to study abroad may have to apply for a student visa. Students who are currently in their second year at university are the last to be given an Erasmus grant.

Redbrick spoke to students who are considering an Erasmus scheme. One student said: ‘Brexit will really hinder people trying to travel in Europe, make it more expensive, and a much longer process’.

Redbrick asked if the Erasmus grant changes their opinions on studying in the EU. One student said: ‘It’s not that I wouldn’t be doing it, but I would definitely be looking at the International scheme more, and by not having the Erasmus grant I don’t know if I’d be able to do the year abroad at all, because of money issues’.

Another way Brexit can be viewed from a student perspective is the voting disparity between younger and older generations. The distribution of EU Referendum votes by age and gender shows that it was the older generations voting in favour of Brexit. Statistics show that 61% of males aged 18-24 voted remain, whereas 38% of males aged 65+ voted remain. Similarly, 80% of women aged 18-24 voted remain, in contrast to women over 65, of whom only 35% voted remain.

Not only this, but current 18-19 year olds were not old enough to vote on the referendum. This particularly affects students wanting to study abroad, as they are living with the consequences of something they perhaps would not have voted for.

Redbrick spoke to a final year student who said: ‘I don’t feel the younger generation are being represented as much as the older generations, as the majority of those who voted leave, were the older generation.’

The deal is due to be signed off by the EU this Sunday, on 25th November. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has described this subsequent week to May’s draft as ‘crucial’, in terms of the ‘preparations’ that have taken place for the summit on Sunday.

Time will truly tell if May can save her country and government.