Sunday, 12 March 2017

Brexit Explained

If, as expected, Theresa May triggers Article 50 this week and fires the gun for the two year countdown for Britain leaving the EU (Brexit is shorthand for British Exit), there are some terms that you will hear plenty of in the next week.

First up is Article 50 itself which is the formal notification of the UK's intention to leave the EU.

Next is The Single Market which is an association of countries trading with each other without restrictions or tariffs. The EU is the largest Single Market in the World and Britain's biggest trading partner with 45% of the UK's exports going to the EU.

Another common term will be Hard and Soft Brexit with a Hard Brexit being the UK refusing to compromise on issues like the free movement of people and trading with the EU as if it were any other country outside Europe and the EU treating Britain the same and apply tariffs making the import and export of goods and services more expensive.
A Soft Brexit is some form of membership of the European Union single market in return for a degree of free movement of people but no tariffs.

You are sure to hear about The Customs Union which is a group of countries that have agreed to charge the same import duties as each other and allow free trade between themselves with little or no customs checks and charges.

The European Economic Area (EEA) is the area that provides the free movement of people, services and capital within the European Single Market.

European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the judicial institution of the EU and settles disputes between parties and ensures that European law is interpreted and applied in the same way in every member state.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the global organisation that deals with rules of trade between nations and if Britain takes the Hard Brexit option as above, will negotiate between Britain and the EU members.

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