Brexit: What You Need To Know About The UK Leaving The EU

What is it Brexit?

Brexit, in its basic term, is a portmanteau of the word “British” and “exit” which refer to the UK leaving the EU.

The European Union describes an economic and political union involving 28 European countries. It allows benefits such as free trade – which means free entry and exit of goods between member countries without checks or extra charges; and free movement of people to live and work in whichever member country of their choice.

The UK joined in 1973 (when it was known as the European Economic Community) and it will be the first member state to withdraw.

In June 2016, a referendum was held. 17.4 million people opted for Brexit which accounted for 52% of votes.

When Is Brexit?

On January 31 2020, the UK left the EU and entered an 11-month transition period.

This period gives the UK time to negotiate trade deals with the EU.

The UK effectively remains in the EU’s customs union and single market and continues to obey EU rules.

However, it is no longer part of the political institutions.

Brexit Timeline.
Source: BBC News

What Needs To Be Known?

The Brexit transition period ends at 11pm on 31 December 2020, with the government ruling out any form of extension of the transition period.

If no trade deal is reached with the EU, taxes such as tariffs will also need to be charged and collected.

The government has iterated that once the transition period ends, there will be import checks at the UK border, and traders in the EU and UK will have extra paperwork.

All traders will have to fill out customs declarations and be liable to customs checks on goods for cross-channel trade from January 2021.

You’ll find a guide to key Brexit terms to help you understand better here.

How Brexit Affects Other Things

Aside from trade, many other aspects of the future UK-EU relationship will also need to be decided. For example:

  • Law enforcement, data sharing, and security
  • Aviation standards and safety
  • Access to fishing waters
  • Supplies of electricity and gas
  • Licensing and regulation of medicines

Although it is believed that the UK will thrive despite any of these possible issues, there are other things to consider.

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