Brexit and Withdrawal Agreement: What You Need to Know

Brexit has been a hot topic for several years now, and despite the UK officially leaving the European Union back in January 2020, the issue still remains a highly debated topic. The Withdrawal Agreement, which was negotiated between the UK and EU, has come under scrutiny from both sides, causing tension and uncertainty around Brexit’s future.

Here’s what you need to know about Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement.

What is Brexit?

Brexit is a term used to describe the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. The referendum held on June 23, 2016, resulted in 52% of voters opting to leave the EU. After years of negotiations, the UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, entering a transition period that will end on December 31, 2020.

What is the Withdrawal Agreement?

The Withdrawal Agreement is an agreement between the UK and EU that sets out the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. The agreement covers several areas, including citizens’ rights, the Irish border, and the financial settlement.

The agreement was negotiated over several months and was finally agreed upon in October 2019. However, it faced several obstacles before it was finally ratified by both the UK and the EU in January 2020.

Key Points of the Withdrawal Agreement

Citizens’ Rights: One of the key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement is the protection of citizens` rights. The agreement guarantees the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. This includes the right to work, study, and access healthcare.

Irish Border: Another key element of the Withdrawal Agreement is the Irish border. The agreement aims to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is a member of the EU). This is achieved through the Northern Ireland Protocol, which establishes special arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Financial Settlement: The UK agreed to pay a financial settlement to the EU as part of the Withdrawal Agreement. The amount, which is estimated to be between £33 billion and £39 billion, covers the UK’s financial commitments to the EU, including contributions to the EU budget and pensions for EU officials.

Future of the Withdrawal Agreement

Despite the Withdrawal Agreement being ratified by both the UK and EU, it has come under scrutiny from both sides. Some UK politicians have called for the agreement to be renegotiated or scrapped altogether, while the EU has warned that any attempts to do so will lead to a breakdown in negotiations.

The future of the Withdrawal Agreement remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: Brexit is still a highly debated and divisive issue, and its impact will be felt for years to come.