The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Summary: What You Need to Know
After years of negotiations, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020. However, the most important part of the process was yet to come – the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU.
On December 24, 2020, the two sides finally came to a historic agreement, more than four years after the UK held a referendum on leaving the EU. The agreement covers several key areas, including trade, security, and citizens` rights. So, what does the Brexit withdrawal agreement summary look like? Here are the key takeaways.
The UK and EU agreed to a new trade deal that will govern their relationship going forward. The deal is said to be worth £660bn and it covers the trade of goods and services.
Under the agreement, the UK will be able to trade with the EU on a tariff-free basis. However, there will be new customs and regulatory checks on goods that cross the border between the UK and the EU. The deal also includes provisions for resolving disputes between the two sides, including the creation of an arbitration panel.
The Brexit withdrawal agreement summary also covers security issues, with the UK and EU agreeing to cooperate on matters such as terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. The UK will continue to participate in Europol and Eurojust, two EU agencies that coordinate law enforcement operations across the bloc.
3. Citizens` Rights
One of the most contentious issues during the Brexit negotiations was the status of EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa. Under the withdrawal agreement, both sides agreed to protect the rights of their citizens who have moved between the UK and the EU before the end of the transition period (December 31, 2020).
This means that EU citizens living in the UK at the end of the transition period will be able to stay and work in the country, as long as they apply for “settled status”. UK citizens living in the EU will have the same rights.
Fishing was another key issue in the Brexit negotiations. Under the withdrawal agreement, the UK and EU agreed to a “fisheries partnership” that will govern the two sides’ fishing activities in each other’s waters. The agreement will be reviewed every five years.
5. Northern Ireland
Finally, the Brexit withdrawal agreement summary includes provisions for Northern Ireland, which will remain part of the UK while also aligning with some rules of the EU’s single market. This is known as the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Protocol was designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state. However, it has proven controversial, with some UK politicians arguing that it creates a border down the Irish Sea and threatens the integrity of the UK.
In conclusion, the Brexit withdrawal agreement summary covers several key areas that will have a significant impact on the UK and the EU going forward. While the agreement has been hailed as a success by some, others have criticized it for not going far enough in certain areas. Nonetheless, the agreement marks the end of a long and complex negotiation process and sets the stage for a new era in the UK’s relationship with the EU.