The United Kingdom is currently in the midst of a huge debate leading up to a vote this week over something called "Brexit."
But don't worry! We're about to drop some ~knowledge~.
Established in the aftermath of World War II, the group that would someday become the European Union was founded on friendship! And economic cooperation! And coal!
Britain joined the EEC in 1973 and it was pretty neat! They even had a referendum* back in 1975 where people were like, "Oh hello, Europe. Yes, we'll join up in this thing, sounds smashing.**"
Fast-forward to 1999. The European Union has expanded to 13 countries and 11 members of the common market have moved to a single currency: the euro.
But not Britain! Instead, the United Kingdom opted to remain outside the so-called eurozone, sticking with the pound as its currency, and maintaining its own monetary policy.
Since the euro was established, the EU has grown by another 13 countries, with 19 of the 28 part of the eurozone.
Loudest among the Euroskeptics lately has been Nigel Farage, the leader of the nationalist United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
That pressure came into play during last year's general election, when Cameron promised if the Conservatives won there’d be a referendum to decide if the U.K. would stay in the EU.
At first it seemed like a win for Cameron, who in January used the potential exit from the EU, or "Brexit" as it's been nicknamed, to extract concessions on how the U.K. fits into the union.
But that hasn't prevented UKIP and others from organizing around the Brexit.
UKIP, on the other hand, is running its own campaign. Both the party and Vote Leave are stressing the EU's immigration policy as a big reason to leave — a move that their opponents are calling fearmongering.
At the same time, the polls as of last week weren't looking good for the "Britain Stronger in Europe" forces, including arch-enemies Cameron and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The vote is on June 23 and, as is the norm with British politics, as the day gets closer things are getting weird.
But they also turned tragic last week with the death of British MP Jo Cox, an pro-immigration and anti-Brexit advocate, who was killed in her constituency. This caused campaigning to halt for two days.
As the campaign enters its final few days the polls seem to be turning slightly back in Remain's favor.
Meanwhile, City of London bankers are torn over whether leaving the EU would be a freeing from regulation or a recipe for financial disaster.
The U.S. on the other hand is convinced that a Brexit would be not great. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said last week that he sees "only negative economic outcomes” if the "Leave" vote prevails.
But as we all know, Divination is a rubbish subject. So we'll just have to wait and see how the U.K. votes and figure out what it all means afterwards.
Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Hayes Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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