Brexit Agreements: What You Need to Know
Brexit – the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union – has been a long and complex process. Since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, negotiators on both sides have been working to establish new agreements on trade, immigration, and other key issues.
Here’s what you need to know about the Brexit agreements that have been reached so far.
The first agreement that was reached was the Withdrawal Agreement. This agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU, including issues such as the financial settlement, citizens’ rights, and the Irish border.
The Withdrawal Agreement was first agreed in November 2018 but was rejected three times by the UK Parliament. It was eventually passed by Parliament in January 2020, and the UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement also included a transition period, which runs until 31 December 2020. During this period, the UK will continue to follow EU rules and regulations, and the UK and EU will continue to negotiate a future trade agreement.
Negotiations on a future trade agreement between the UK and EU have been ongoing throughout the transition period. The aim is to establish a new trading relationship that is as close as possible to the current arrangements.
If a trade agreement is not reached by the end of the transition period, the UK and EU will trade on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms. This would mean tariffs on goods and services, which could have a significant impact on businesses and consumers on both sides.
Northern Ireland Protocol
One of the most contentious issues in the Brexit negotiations has been the Irish border. The Northern Ireland Protocol was included in the Withdrawal Agreement to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is an EU member state).
Under the Protocol, Northern Ireland will continue to follow some EU rules and regulations, even though it is part of the UK. This will help to avoid the need for customs checks and other border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The negotiations on a future trade agreement between the UK and EU are ongoing, and it remains to be seen what the final outcome will be. However, the UK and EU have both said that they are committed to reaching a deal that will be in the interests of both sides.
The Brexit process has been long and complex, but the agreements that have been reached so far provide some certainty for businesses and citizens on both sides. As negotiations continue, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest developments to understand how they may affect you.