The withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union has been widely discussed in recent years. Since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016, negotiations over the terms of this withdrawal have been ongoing. Here are some key points to understand about the EU withdrawal agreement:
1. Transition period: The agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020. During this period, the UK will continue to follow EU rules and regulations while negotiations continue on the future relationship between the two parties. This transition period has since been extended to December 31, 2021.
2. Divorce bill: The UK has agreed to pay a financial settlement to the EU to cover its outstanding commitments and liabilities. The exact amount has been estimated to be around £39 billion.
3. Citizens` rights: The agreement outlines the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. These rights include the ability to continue living and working in their respective locations and retaining access to certain benefits.
4. Northern Ireland: A major issue during the negotiations has been how to handle the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state. The agreement provides for a « backstop » arrangement that would keep Northern Ireland aligned with some EU rules if a new trade deal between the UK and EU cannot be reached.
5. Future trade: The agreement provides a framework for future trade negotiations between the UK and the EU. The two parties will aim to negotiate a free trade agreement, but the details of this agreement will not be finalized until after the transition period has ended.
It is important to note that the withdrawal agreement is not the final deal between the UK and the EU. Rather, it is a framework for negotiations on the future relationship between these two entities. As negotiations continue, keep an eye on how these key points are addressed and how they may impact the UK and the EU moving forward.