Brexit in Short

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Let’s go back in time…

2016: A public vote (referendum) was held on June 23rdin 2016 to decide whether or not the UK should leave the European Union. The referendum brought a shocking 30 million people to the voting polls. To the great surprise of many, the choice to leave won by 52% to 48%. However, the majority of both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.

 

2017: Theresa May (Leader of the Conservative party at the time) puts Article 50 in motion during March 2017. Article 50 is a formal five-point plan created by the EU in 2009 to be used and followed if a country should choose to leave the Union. Having never been used since its creation, it is therefore rather outdated. Negotiations under this legal process are meant to be completed within two years.

 

2019: Brexit is to take place on March 29th of 2019, following the guidelines set by Article 50. This did not take place, as the rejection of two of Teresa May’s Brexit deals pushed the deadline from March 29thto the 31stof October. After losing all support from her fellow MPs (Members of Parliament), Teresa May resigned from her role as Prime Minister in July 2019, resulting in Boris Johnson taking over and becoming the new leader of the Conservative party by a majority’s vote.

Boris Johnson promised to take the UK out of the European Union by October 31st. However, negotiations between the UK and the EU have not ended and the revised Brexit deal is not approved. This short-coming has pushed the EU to agree to another deadline extension until January 31stof 2020. Nevertheless, the public is not impressed by this. Some experts state that ten years seems a more likely time scale before the UK and EU can come to an agreement. Michael Dougan, a Law Professor and EU expert, reminded the BBC that “The Swiss signed their first framework agreement with the EU back in 1972 and they are still negotiating”.

 

What’s Next?

A general election (the election of MPs in the House of Commons) will be held December 12thof 2019. This will allow for a new group of MPs to sit in the House of Commons, a group that will bring a new set of eyes to the Brexit deal that is currently being negotiated, in order to come to an agreement before the deadline of January 31st2020. The Conservative party is most likely to win as of now, although they will need to take seats from the Labour party in the north of England to get a majority win. This is where they hold not only the highest percentage of votes out of the parties, but also the highest percentage of votes overall.

 

If we leave, what will happen?

One important part of the Brexit deal at the moment is Customs. When the UK leaves the EU Customs Union, items and resources coming into the UK from European countries will be taxed by tariffs, just as goods coming from countries like the US and Australia currently are. The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will also have a customs border, although it will not be as heavily monitored.

Leaving the EU with a No-Deal Brexit could cost people up to £45 a month in Data Roaming when using your 4G outside of the UK, on top of your Data Plan. Latest changes by the European Parliament have stated that, for now, UK Nationals will not be needing Visas for short stays (including holidays and business trips) in European countries should Brexit happen. However, unlike before, UK Nationals will not be able to move to European countries as freely as they could wish.

 

There are many more changes not mentioned in this article that would be put in place should the UK leave the EU, and later articles on Brexit will be sure to concern these. ‘Brexit in Short’ will continue beyond this first edition in order to cover future events and further reports on the UK’s political climate.

 

 

Sources

BBC News. “Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU”. October 29th, 2019. Accessed November 19th, 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

BBC News. “Brexit: What is in Boris Johnson’s new deal with the EU?”. October 21st, 2019. Accessed November 20th, 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50083026

BBC News. “Mobile roaming: What will happen to charges after Brexit?”. September 16th, 2019. Accessed November 21st, 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45064268

Ollerenshaw, Tracey. BBC Newsbeat. “Article 50: The simplest explanation you’ll find”. October 16th, 2016. Accessed November 19th, 2019. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36634702/article-50-the-simplest-explanation-youll-find

Lastninute.com. “Will Brexit affect my holiday in 2019 and 2020?”. n.d. Accessed November 21st, 2019. https://www.lastminute.com/help/travel-advice/brexit.html

Parliament.uk. “General Elections”. n.d. Accessed November 20th, 2019. https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/general/

The Sun. “Why did Teresa May resign as Prime Minister and how will it affect the Brexit Deal?”. July 23rd, 2019. Accessed November 20th, 2019. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9032660/why-theresa-may-quit-prime-minister-brexit/

Whitfield, Kate. “General election 2019 POLLS: How Tories, Brexit Party and Labour could fare in an election”. September 6th, 2019. Accessed November 20th, 2019. https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1173387/general-election-2019-polls-tories-brexit-party-labour-snap-election