The United Kingdom's prospective withdrawal from the European Union is widely known as Brexit, a portmanteau of "Britain" and "exit”. As we approach the second anniversary of the referendum, held on 23 June 2016, we seem no closer to knowing what Brexit will mean for the people of Britain.
Prime Minister Theresa May, elected by the ruling Conservative Party in the wake of the referendum, has promised a bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and to incorporate existing EU laws into UK domestic law. In January 2017, she announced a 12-point plan of negotiating objectives and confirmed that the UK government would not seek continued membership in the single market.
The UK joined the European Communities (EC), a predecessor of the EU, in 1973, and confirmed its membership in a 1975 referendum by 67% of the votes. Historical opinion polls 1973–2015 tended to reveal majorities in favour of remaining in the EEC, EC or EU. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EEC was advocated mainly by some Labour Party and trade union figures.