The latest Brexit withdrawal agreement has been in the news recently, as the United Kingdom (UK) prepares to leave the European Union (EU) on January 31st, 2020.
The agreement has been a long time in the making, with multiple rounds of negotiations between the UK and EU since the Brexit referendum in 2016. The previous withdrawal agreement, negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May, failed to gain support in the UK Parliament and ultimately led to her resignation.
The latest agreement, negotiated by current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was approved by the EU in October 2019. It includes provisions for a transition period until December 2020, during which time the UK will continue to follow EU rules and regulations while negotiating a future trade relationship.
One of the key points of contention in the negotiations was the issue of the Irish border. The agreement includes a provision known as the “Northern Ireland protocol” which stipulates that Northern Ireland will remain aligned with the EU`s single market and customs union rules to prevent a hard border with Ireland. This has been a major sticking point in the negotiations, as it could potentially impact the integrity of the UK and lead to a possible vote on a united Ireland.
The agreement also includes provisions for the UK to pay a hefty divorce bill to the EU, estimated to be around £39 billion, and for EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU to have their rights protected.
However, the agreement is not without its critics. Many UK lawmakers are concerned about the potential economic impact of leaving the EU, particularly without a comprehensive trade deal in place. Others have raised concerns about the impact on workers` rights, environmental protections, and the future of the UK`s relationship with the EU.
Despite these concerns, the latest Brexit withdrawal agreement has been approved by the UK Parliament and the EU, and the UK is set to leave the EU on January 31st, 2020. The coming months and years will see the UK negotiate a new trade deal with the EU and potentially other countries, and it remains to be seen what impact Brexit will have on the UK`s economy and global standing.