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Penn Students Surprised Brexit 'Still a Thing'


Image from Freestocks.org / CC0

Although the original plan was proposed over two years ago, the UK's Brexit agreement was finalized this past week to be presented to Parliament and the EU in late November/early December.

UTB was left wondering — what do Penn students thing of this important development in the global political climate? After all, on a campus which was awash in a midterm voting rush just weeks ago, wouldn’t these students who claim to be politically active on American issues be aware of one the biggest economic events of the past decade?

And so, UTB asked students on Locust a simple question – What is your opinion on Brexit?

The first student who we approached seemed confused by the question itself. “What is that? Brexit? Is that a new type of breakfast bar? Is it vegan? Because I’m vegan.”

Even students who recognized the term seemed somewhat behind on more recent developments. One student, wearing a “Beto for 2020” shirt, seemed particularly out of touch. “Yeah, I totally thought that they’d taken care of that a while ago,” said the political science senior, Kyle Smith-Pearson. “Like, three or four years ago? Is it still going on?” 

Even some Penn professors share Smith-Pearson’s ignorance about the important 585-page document, which includes, among other things, a plan for the financial settlement with the EU and access to the single market. Economics professor Dr. Janine Smithson, a successful international businesswoman, told UTB she “thought [Prime Minister] May had given up on that business a while ago. Is she still on that? Damn, guess that means I’ll have to teach it in my class. Sounds like more work for me.”