As the United Kingdom prepares to withdraw from the European Union, negotiations have been taking place to determine the terms of their departure. On November 14, 2018, a draft Withdrawal Agreement was published outlining the terms of the UK’s exit.
Here is a summary of the key provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement:
1. Transition Period:
The UK is set to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, however, a transition period has been agreed upon which will last until December 31, 2020. During this time, the UK will remain a member of the EU and will continue to follow all EU laws and regulations.
2. The Irish border:
One of the most contentious issues in the negotiations has been the question of how to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland, which remains part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain part of the EU. The agreement states that there will be a backstop, or a legal guarantee, that there will be no hard border between the two countries.
3. Citizens’ rights:
The agreement ensures that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and UK citizens living in the EU, will be protected. Citizens will be able to continue living, working, and studying in their respective countries.
4. Financial settlement:
The UK has agreed to pay a financial settlement to the EU as part of its withdrawal. The amount is estimated to be between £35-39 billion.
5. Future relationship:
The agreement outlines a framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. The two sides will work towards establishing a free trade agreement and cooperation in areas such as security, defense, and foreign policy.
While the draft Withdrawal Agreement has been approved by the UK and the EU, it still needs to be approved by the UK parliament and the European Parliament. If approved, it will come into effect on March 29, 2019, when the UK officially leaves the EU.