100 days since the Brexit vote: What's happened and what do the stats say?
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It is 100 days since one of the most significant moments in Britain’s recent history. Three months ago, the British electorate chose to leave the European Union. So what has actually happened since Brexit was chosen, how has the country changed and what do the statistics have to say?
The politicsIt’s fair to say the polls have been pretty erratic since the vote and although the order of preference amongst the parties has hardly changed, ultimately the gap between the Conservatives and Labour has widened considerably. Theresa May succeeded David Cameron as Prime Minister just 20 days after the referendum, after her main opponent Andrea Leadsom stepped aside from the fleetingly brief Tory leadership contest. The succession was branded a “coronation” and undemocratic by opponents from Labour – but the electorate, or at least those polled, have appeared positive about Britain’s second female Prime Minister. Despite this apparent support for May, or at least her party, a YouGov poll has now found only one in six people (16%) thinks she is handling Brexit negotiations well. As for Labour, Brexit signalled a walk-out from their cabinet as leader Jeremy Corbyn was criticised for not being vocal enough in the referendum. The Labour leadership contest went on for months, but on September 24, Corbyn beat his opponent Owen Smith, with 61.8% of the vote. The result inflicted a dip in the polls for Labour though, who are now 15% behind the Conservatives. As for the other parties, many believed Ukip’s support would disappear after the vote questioning the role of a party whose key goal was to exit Britain from the EU, but this has not been the case. Nigel Farage’s departure as leader, after what he dubbed “independence day”, saw their approval dip below the Liberal Democrats briefly. However, Diane James succeeded Farage on September 16 and they are still ahead of the Lib Dems in the polls. What has happened with the Lib Dems then, you ask? Well, not a lot really. Tim Farron is still leader. That’s about it…
The regret?After the country had spoken, there were a lot of calls for another referendum, with some saying they had changed their minds in the aftermath of the decision.
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The poundEconomics has been the really dramatic data since the referendum. Yes, data can be dramatic. One tangible change that has occurred since the referendum is we have a new polymer five-pound note. However, when you look at the statistics these new water-proof fivers aren’t actually worth as much their old paper counterparts. The fall in the value of the pound occurred overnight as Britain voted to leave the EU. Holidaymakers heading abroad woke up to find their money had lost 10% of its value. However, although holiday-goers might have had to hold back on the ice creams, or put up with one without a chocolate flake, it was seen by others as a potentially big boost for Britain’s exports. The relatively lower cost of goods going out of England due to the lower value of the pound means it is cheaper for other countries to buy British produce.
The economyThe initial dip in the economy following the Brexit vote appeared to some to be catastrophic at first, with the FTSE 100, a stock index of the country’s 100 largest companies, falling 6% in the first four days. The FTSE’s value has recovered though – more than recovered even. With the help of a 0.25% cut to interest rates, the FTSE 100 reached its highest level of the year above pre-referendum levels, and is now not far off the same level. Now, to say that the value of the FTSE 100 directly reflects the health of the economy would be wide of the mark. However, the FTSE 250 – of 250 British companies – is generally seen to be a fairer reflection and it has had a similar trajectory. On the other hand, a recent report from credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s predicts economic growth will slow for “several years” after the vote. One hundred days then… Blimey, time flies.
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