Brexit has hit numerous snags since the 2016 referendum in which close to 52 per cent of the turnout voters greenlighted the move to depart the EU. Wondering how far UK is from leaving the EU? Perhaps you have never actually wrapped your head around the idea of Brexit in the first place.
If this sounds like you, this article is for you. We’ve put together 8 talking points to help you catch up in a breeze.
(1) Firstly, What’s Brexit?
Brexit is a portmanteau coined from two words which describe the act of the UK leaving the EU: British and Exit.
(2) Why Brexit the EU?
The United Kingdom has been part of the European Union (EU) since joining in 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, the country held a public vote on whether to leave or remain. The remain camp lost by 16.1 million votes to 17.4 million.
(3) It’s All in the Withdrawal Agreement
Since the June 2016 vote, there have been several rounds of negotiations between the two parties. More specifically, they’ve been negotiating over the actual terms or deal which spells out how the UK will leave the union.
The Brexit deal was agreed by the two camps in September 2018, which is now a 585-page document officially called the Withdrawal Agreement.
What Does it Say?
(4) £39 Billion – the Amount the UK Will Have to Part With Because of the Breakup
According to the Brexit deal, the British will have to cough up £39 billion as the payment for breaking the partnership. That’s a ballpark figure, and it might change as per future negotiations.
(5) Transition Period – What’s It and Why Does it Matter?
The transition period gives the EU and UK time to strike up favourable trade deals. This period will also provide businesses on both sides of the fence with ample time to adjust to Brexit changes.
Technically, the transition period is the time between when the actual Brexit takes place and December 31st, 2020. It remains in limbo until the parliament greenlights the actual Brexit deal.
(6) MPs have shot the deal down 3 times!
British MPs are not fond of the agreement. In fact, they have shot it down a whopping 3 times. The first time the deal was voted against a record 432 to 202 on 15 January 2019. It was also rejected on the 12th and 29th March.
(7) Brexit has been delayed
The 51.9 per cent win for the leave vote triggered a 2-year process for the country to leave the EU. The departure was due to happen on 29 March 2019, but so far it hasn’t come to fruition.
After the 12th March rejection, the exit deal was delayed to May 22.
Mrs Prime Minister has recently requested for a further extension, a move that the EU has approved. As it stands, the deadline for exit is 31 October 2019.
(8) Can UK Cancel Brexit?
That’s a resounding, yes. Should the UK want to stop Brexit, they have to tweak actual law, but both the opposition and government MPs are hesitant to do so.