Who Actually Wants Brexit, Anyway?

The divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union has to be one of the messiest in history.

There's been many public arguments, epic disagreements and a huge amount of criticisms when it comes to the exit deal.

Most recently, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May secured cabinet support for her 585-page draft Brexit deal.

The European Union has since removed the last major obstacle to sealing an agreement, after Spain said it had reached a deal with Britain over Gibraltar on the eve of an EU summit.

May now faces the challenge of getting it through parliament... with a minority government.

READ MORE: Ministers Back May's Brexit Deal After Marathon Five-Hour Meeting

With all the squabbling and the quarrelling, it's easy to wonder who actually wants Brexit at all?

To answer this, it's far easier to start with who doesn't want the divorce.

Who actually wants the Brexit deal? Image: Getty Images
Theresa May

The current British PM actually voted 'Remain' in the June 23 referendum that asked citizens of the UK if they wanted to leave the European bloc. She claims she is now in favour of leaving, saying it is what the people of the UK want.

Her key message has been, "Brexit means Brexit" and it was she who triggered the two year process of the UK transitioning out of the EU. She assumed the role of PM after David Cameron resigned.

READ MORE: Brexit Explained -- Who, What, When, Where

David Cameron

It was under the leadership of former PM David Cameron that the whole Brexit referendum was introduced. Regardless, Cameron urged the people of Britain to vote to remain in the European Union, a position that was defeated 52 percent to 48 percent.

The majority in London, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain. On June 24, 2016 Cameron announced that he would be stepping down as PM, saying the UK "needs fresh leadership".

David Cameron didn't want Brexit either. Image: Getty Images.
A Bunch Of Other Leaders

There were also a number of other leaders from the UK and the EU that strongly oppose Brexit. Scotland's PM Nicola Sturgeon said shortly after the vote that she was "absolutely determined" to keep Scotland in the EU, which raised all sorts of questions about a Scottish divorce from the UK, not from the European bloc.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed "great regret" at the leave majority, while the President of the European Council Donald Tusk said he expected the negotiations to begin "as soon as possible, however painful that process may be".

Nicole Sturgeon said she would fight to keep Scotland in the EU. Image: Getty Images.

At a summit with EU leaders in Austria, French President Emmanuel Macron slammed British leaders for wanting to leave bloc. Brexit was “the choice of the British people, a choice pushed by those who predicted easy solutions … they are liars, they left the next day so they didn’t have to manage it," he said.

London Protesters

London, along with Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union. In October 2018, more than 700,000 people marched in the streets of London demanding a second vote to over turn the decision to leave the EU. Protesters dressed in blue and yellow, the colours of the European Union flag, with signs proclaiming " Never Gonna Give EU Up" and " Bollocks To Brexit".

READ MORE: 'Bollocks To Brexit': 700,000 March In London For Second EU Vote

READ MORE: 1000 Dogs And Owners March Against Brexit In 'Wooferendum' Protest

The People Who Actually Want Brexit

Of course, there are a number of people who want the UK to leave the European Union and among two of the biggest players are Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was one of the most passionate voices behind the 'Leave' campaign. He announced his decision to go against the government in February 2016 saying “I will be advocating vote leave -- or whatever the team is called, I understand there are a lot of them -- because I want a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money and to take control. That is really what this is all about.”

Remember Boris and his bus? Image: Getty Images.

Some might remember the bright-red Brexit bus Johnson drove around during his campaign, with the phrase 'We send the EU 350 million pounds a week. Let's fund our NHS instead" splashed across the side. When the 'Leave' vote succeeded Johnson said the UK was on the brink of a "glorious opportunity".

But the honeymoon eventually came to end for Johnson when he resigned as Foreign Secretary in July this year. Johnson, a big fan of a 'hard-Brexit' approach, said May was leading the UK down to a "semi-Brexit" with the "status of a colony".

So Boris wants Brexit, but not the same Brexit Theresa May wants.

Nigel Farage

Former United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) leader Nigel Farage was another key figure-head in the 'Leave' campaign. Farage is well known for delivering scathing comments about the European Union during a speech to the European Parliament just days after the UK voted to leave. In the speech, he predicted the UK wouldn't be the only nation to leave the bloc.

"... when I came here 17 years ago, and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well I have to say, you're not laughing now are you?"  he said.

Since his role in the campaign, Farage resigned from his job as the Ukip leader, saying he wanted to get is life back after fighting to get his country back.

Nigel doesn't look too impressed, aye? Image: Getty Images.

Of course, there were 52 percent of people in the UK who voted to leave the European Union in the first place. As Theresa May pushes to get support for her draft deal to honour the will of about half of the UK population, there's a whole lot of push-back.

While the UK and the EU continue to manage their shambles of a divorce, it must be business as usual for the rest of us.

Featured Image: Getty Images. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au