Understanding the Basics of Brexit: Here’s what has happened so far?

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Brexit: All you need to know the UK leaving EU

Brexit is Britain+Exit which refers to the UK leaving the EU. The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union (EU) at 23:00 GMT on 31st October 2019. We all have a slight idea of Brexit and but there has been so many twists and turns many people are not aware of. We are providing a full scoop covering the basics of Brexit.

What is the European Union?

European Union is a group of 28 counties based on politics and economics. Countries within the European Union have the liberty of free trade and movement of people to live or work.  UK Joined EU in 1973 (then it was known as the European Economic Community). UK will be the first country to withdraw from the EU if they proceed as planned on 31st October.

Why the UK wants to leave?

 A referendum (public vote) was held on Thursday 23 June 2016, to decide whether the United Kingdom should leave or remain in the European Union. 51.89 % of voters voted to leave the EU while the rest of them voted to remain in the EU.  More than 30 million people took part in the referendum,  where 17.4 million people voted for Brexit and 16.1 million people voted against the Brexit.

The United Kingdom consists of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland.  Majority of people from Scotland and Northen Ireland voted against the Brexit while the majority of England and Wales voted in favour of Brexit.

Why hasn’t Brexit Happened?

Brexit was due to happen in March 2019. Earlier, then Prime Minister of UK Theresa May triggered Article 50- the formal process to leave and kicked off negotiations.  The Brexit date has been delayed twice since then. The United Kingdom and the European Union agreed on a deal in November 2018 but MPs rejected it thrice.

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What is a Brexit Deal?

Brexit deal is binding withdrawal agreement (which sets the terms of the divorce process) and a non-binding political declaration (kind of relationship the UK and EU will have an in-coming future).

The withdrawal agreement covered these things:

–          The backstop of the Border of Northern Ireland

–          Amount of money which will be paid to the EU by the UK (estimated £39bn)

–          The rights of British citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.

Why MPs rejected the Brexit deal?

Many of the MPs in Parliament of Conservative and DUP MPs were stuck on backstop issue.  Currently, there are no checks on people or goods, physical barriers, border posts between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The backstop is designed to ensure that this continues even after the Brexit.

The backstop will come into effect if a comprehensive free trade deal between the EU and the UK is not quickly agreed.  This would keep the UK effectively inside the customs of European Union but Northern Ireland has also confirmed on few rules of the single market.

Critics have shown the fear that getting a different status for Northern Ireland could threaten the existence of the United Kingdom and there is a fear that backstop might become a permanent thing.  The supporters of backstop say that it is necessary that peace is maintained in Northern Ireland.

Read More: Why there is an economic Slowdown in India? Understanding the main reasons

Can the UK leave the EU without any deal?

One of the early advocates of Brexit and present Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson wants the EU to remove the backstop and have “alternatives arrangements” and technological solutions instead in the deal.  EU has so far refused the proposal of Boris Johnson.

However, the Prime Minister of UK has said, “UK will leave the EU even though there is no deal between them.  No deal will mean that the UK will leave the EU without a single market and customs union overnight.”

What are the Single Market and Customs Union?

The single market allows movement of people, goods, services, and money between all the 28 members of the European Union including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein who are the members of European Economic Area.  For example- A UK Company can easily sell its products and services in Portugal as well as Portsmouth and bring back the capital or cash easily.

The customs union is about the members of the EU charging the same amount of taxes on goods which is imported from outside. There will be no charge taxes on the goods of countries within the EU. But the countries in the EU cannot strike their own trade deal.

Will No-Deal Brexit cause any disruption?

If the UK leaves the EU on 31st October without a deal then EU will start checks on British Goods which could lead to delays at ports. Few people fear that this could lead to disrupting supply routes and traffic bottlenecks which will damage the economy.  However, PM Boris Johnson has tried to calm down those fears by announcing an extra £2.1bn of funding to prepare if it is no-deal while Brexit.

What Happens Next?

If there are no further developments then the UK will leave the EU without a deal.  However, MPs have said that they will try to stop the UK leaving without a deal.

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