Here is an easy-to-understand guide to Brexit – beginning with the basics, then a look at the negotiations, followed by a selection of answers to questions we’ve been sent. The UK has voted to leave the European Union. It is scheduled to depart at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019. British referendum 2016 UK and EU have provisionally agreed on the three “divorce” issues of how much the UK owes the EU, what happens to the Northern Ireland border and what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.
It refers to a period of time after 29 March, 2019, to 31 December, 2020, to get everything in place and allow businesses and others to prepare for the moment when the new post-Brexit rules between the UK and the EU begin. It also allows more time for the details of the new relationship to be fully hammered out. Free movement will continue during the transition period as the EU wanted. Do we know how things will work in the long-term? Negotiations about future relations between the UK and the EU are just beginning. Both sides hope they can agree within six months on the outline of future relations on things like trade, travel and security. If all goes to plan this deal could then be given the go ahead by both sides in time for 29 March 2019.
The UK government and the main UK opposition party both say Brexit will happen. There are some groups campaigning for Brexit to be halted, but the focus among the UK’s elected politicians has been on what relationship the UK has with the EU after Brexit, rather than whether Brexit will happen at all. Nothing is ever certain, but as things stand Britain is leaving the European Union. It is a word that used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in the same way as a possible Greek exit from the euro was dubbed Grexit in the past.
Why is Britain leaving the European Union? Thursday 23 June, 2016, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. What was the breakdown across the UK? England voted for Brexit, by 53. Wales also voted for Brexit, with Leave getting 52. Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.
See the results in more detail. What changed in government after the referendum? Britain got a new Prime Minister – Theresa May. The former home secretary took over from David Cameron, who announced he was resigning on the day he lost the referendum.
She became PM without facing a full Conservative leadership contest after her key rivals from what had been the Leave side pulled out. Where does Theresa May stand on Brexit? Theresa May was against Brexit during the referendum campaign but is now in favour of it because she says it is what the British people want. Her key message has been that “Brexit means Brexit” and she triggered the two year process of leaving the EU on 29 March, 2017. How did the snap 2017 election change things? She said she wanted to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations with European leaders. She said Labour, the SNP and other opposition parties – and members of the House of Lords – would try to block and frustrate her strategy.
What has happened to the UK economy since the Brexit vote? Predictions of immediate doom were wrong, with the UK economy estimated to have grown 1. 2016, second only to Germany’s 1. The UK economy continued to grow at almost the same rate in 2017.
Annual house price increases have fallen from 9. June 2016 but were still at an inflation-beating 5. The UK and EU negotiating teams met face-to-face for one week each month, with a few extra sessions also thrown in ahead of EU summits. Their first tasks were trying to get an agreement on the rights of UK and EU expat citizens after Brexit, reaching a figure for the amount of money the UK will need to pay on leaving, the so-called “divorce bill”, and what happens to the Northern Ireland border. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.
How does the European Union work? Article 50 is a plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU to do so. It was created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon – an agreement signed up to by all EU states which became law in 2009. Before that treaty, there was no formal mechanism for a country to leave the EU. When is the UK due to leave the EU? For the UK to leave the EU it had to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives the two sides two years to agree the terms of the split. Theresa May triggered this process on 29 March, meaning the UK is scheduled to leave at 11pm UK time on Friday, 29 March 2019.