The Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, commonly referred to as the Brexit deal, has been the subject of intense discussion and controversy since negotiations began in 2016. Now that the deal has been finalized, it`s important to understand what this agreement entails and how it will affect the UK going forward.
First and foremost, the Brexit deal ensures that the UK will officially leave the European Union on January 31, 2020. However, this doesn`t mean that all ties with the EU will be cut immediately. The UK will remain in a transition period until December 31, 2020, during which time it will continue to follow EU rules and regulations while negotiations for a future trade agreement take place.
One of the most contentious issues during negotiations was the “backstop” provision for the Irish border. This provision would have ensured that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is an EU member state). However, this provision was ultimately replaced with a new protocol that will require Northern Ireland to follow some EU rules and regulations in order to avoid a hard border.
Another key aspect of the Brexit deal is the financial settlement that the UK will owe to the EU. This settlement, which is estimated to be around £39 billion, covers the UK`s outstanding financial obligations to the EU.
In terms of trade, the Brexit deal establishes a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU. However, this agreement will only come into effect once the transition period has ended and a new trade agreement has been negotiated.
Overall, the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union represents a significant shift in the UK`s relationship with the EU. While there are still many details to be worked out, this agreement provides a framework for the UK to move forward as an independent nation.