As the deadline for the United Kingdom`s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) looms nearer, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly likely. However, if the withdrawal agreement is passed, what can we expect?
Firstly, the UK will officially leave the EU at 11 pm GMT on Friday, January 31, 2020. This means that the transition period will begin the day after, on Saturday, February 1, and will last until December 31, 2020. During this time, the UK will continue to follow EU rules and regulations, including the single market and customs union, but will no longer have any representation in the EU institutions.
One of the key aspects of the withdrawal agreement is the Irish backstop, which is designed to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (an EU member state). If the agreement is passed, the backstop will come into effect, which means that Northern Ireland will remain aligned with some EU regulations until a trade deal has been agreed upon. This has been a contentious issue, with some arguing that it creates a border down the Irish Sea, while others believe it is necessary to maintain peace in Northern Ireland.
The withdrawal agreement also covers the financial settlement that the UK must pay to the EU. The UK has agreed to pay a divorce bill of around £33 billion, which covers outstanding financial commitments made while the UK was still a member of the EU. This includes contributions to EU budgets, pensions, and loans.
The agreement also protects the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, as well as UK citizens living in the EU. Those who have been living in the UK for more than five years will be able to apply for settled status, which will allow them to continue living and working in the UK. Likewise, UK citizens living in the EU will be able to continue doing so without restrictions.
Finally, the withdrawal agreement sets out a framework for a future trade deal between the UK and the EU. Negotiations on this deal will take place during the transition period and will likely go on for several years. The outcome of these negotiations will determine the future relationship between the UK and the EU, including issues such as trade, security, and immigration.
In conclusion, if the withdrawal agreement is passed, the UK will officially leave the EU on January 31, 2020, and will enter into a transition period until December 31, 2020. During this time, the UK will continue to follow EU rules and regulations, and negotiations on a future trade deal will take place. The Irish backstop will also come into effect, and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU will be protected. Overall, while the passing of the withdrawal agreement will not necessarily resolve all the issues surrounding Brexit, it will provide some clarity and certainty for the UK and the EU`s future relationship.