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Brexit is the process in which the United Kingdom is, as of 2020, exiting the European Union (shortened to "EU"), a group of European countries. Including the UK, the EU had 28 "member states" in 2019.
"Brexit is an abbreviation for 'British exit'," according to Investopedia. BBC News called "Brexit" "the political word of 2016." The same BBC News article also stated that Peter Wilding, who was pro-remain in 2016, was credited with inventing the word.
The United Kingdom became part of the European Union in 1973 and as of May 2019 the United Kingdom remains in the European Union. However, a referendum which took place on June 23, 2016, showed that the majority of United Kingdom residents wanted to leave the EU. The vote was close, with slightly under 52% (17.4 million votes) supporting the leave and a little over 48% (16.1 million) supporting remain. The turnout was about 72%.
Following the referendum, the United Kingdom began the process of leaving the European Union; prime minister David Cameron (Conservative Party) resigned. In March 2017, the Brexit process officially got underway; however, Theresa May's agreement on withdrawal from the EU was defeated by a large margin in the House of Commons in early 2019. The process of leaving the EU was delayed. In May 2019, Theresa May, the British prime minister (Conservative Party), said that she was planning to resign.
A party called the "Brexit Party" was founded in November 2018. In May 2019, the UK voted in the EU Parliamentary Election; the Brexit Party received about 32% of the vote (more than any other UK party) and 29 seats as representation in EU Parliament. The next strongest performer was the pro-remain party LibDems, who received 18.5% of the vote and 16 seats. The UK's two largest parties, Conservative and Labour, received 8.7% and 14.1% respectively. On the other hand, as a complete contrast to this result, in the earlier UK local elections at the beginning of May, the Conservative Party had the most (3,564) councillors, followed by Labour's 2,021 councillors, and the LibDems had 1,351 councillors as a result of the election.
In June 2019, the Brexit Party lost Peterborough's by-election by just 2% to the Labour Party. Turnout was 48.3% and the Labour Party received about 10,500 votes against the Brexit Party's 9,800 votes.
The party performed poorly in the parliamentary election and continued to receive low scores in polls following that election.
On the basis that the UK is leaving the European Union, it was planned that the EU parliament would be adjusted to include only 706 seats, down from the current 751, with some of the UK's current 73 seats being given to various other countries. For example, France would receive 5 new seats (to increase its total to 79), Spain 5 (to 59), Netherlands 3 (to 29), and Ireland two (to 13). No country (besides Britain, of course) is expected to lose seats as a result of the allocation.