Hello and hi. As promised here is A BREXIT recap (part 2). I keep my promises. My word is my bond. Yup. Just in case you missed my oh so terribly interesting, yet snarky BREXIT recap part 1, you can read it here.
So, now for Part 2. Let’s do this…
In brief, ‘Brexit means Brexit’ we were told/reminded/convinced of. Duh. Of course the process of Brexit-ing (the UK leaving the EU) will take some time. A considerable amount of time. A very, very, long time. I think you get the point. Right now, we are looking to Brexit within the next 2 years…and that is being optimistic. So, the process? Meet Article 50.
What is Article 50?
In brief, Article 50 is a plan (or rather an instrument) for any country that wishes to exit the EU. I mean, no one even knows if and how it works- as no one has ever left the EU before. Essentially, we here in the UK are flying blind. Yes. Yes, yes we are. As mentioned, no other country has left the EU before and there was NO way to actually legally leave the EU before the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007. The Lisbon Treaty became law in 2009 and essentially was designed to make the EU more democratic, transparent and efficient. What a joke. Actually, it is not a joke at all-but rather, me being sarcastic and snarky in equal measure. But, I digress.
Specifically, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty gives ANY member of the EU, guidance and directions on how to quit/to leave the ‘EU club’. Article 50 outlines the procedure for said country to leave the EU, along with giving the country 2 years to negotiate an exit deal. And once it is set into motion, it can’t be stopped (except by unanimous consent of member states-and that is not going to happen). So, once it is triggered-it is: so long, farewell…welcome to the land of uncertainty…outside of the EU. Uggh.
So, to sum up:
Article 50 was created as a part of the Treaty of Lisbon (an agreement signed by all the EU states when it came into law in 2009. But BEFORE the treaty, there was no formal mechanism or methodology for a country to leave the EU. Is that not weird? I think it is.
So Article 50 is 5 paragraphs long. It spells out the rules. We all need rules. Yup. The rules say, that if any country decides to leave/quit the EU-they must FIRST notify the European Council and then subsequently negotiate its withdrawal with the EU-and that it will take 2 years to reach an agreement. 2 years! So technically, we are still Brexit-ing.
So, in order for the UK to formally leave the EU, it meant that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty had to be triggered. And it was. Our PM Theresa May triggered Article 50 on 29 March. Woot Woot-and as a result, the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on Friday, 29 March 2019. Yes, 2019. Remember, I said that this Brexit-ing process takes approx. 2 years? Please tell me you remember.
The Great Repeal Bill
So, now what? Well, the government will enact a Great Repeal Bill. Am getting a bit technical here and I hope you are not bored silly-but this stuff is important. So, carry on reading. Please and thanks.
In brief, the Great Repeal Bill will end the primacy (the fact of being pre-eminent or most important) of EU law in the UK. In other words-the Great Repeal Bill will end the supremacy of EU law within the UK. This is such a massive topic that it needs its own blog post (or several). And to put it another way (stay with me, now) the Great Repeal Bill is meant or rather, expected to incorporate all EU legislation into UK law-into one big lump. To conclude: see EU later!
Why will Brexit-ing take so (bloody) long?
Why? Why? Why? Well, for starters…it is complicated. You see, there are 43 years (or so) of treaties and agreements to unpick and wade through. Plus, to actually Brexit will be tough as no other country within the EU has done it previously. There will be loads of negotiations in terms of a post-Brexit trade deals-in relation to other European countries, as well to consider.
In addition, these are some other issues:
- The UK will no longer be within the EU single market-this might be a problem…
- The European Court of Justice-are we to still follow their guidance?
- What about unlimited EU immigration? Freedom of movement?
There are more issues for sure but essentially, the UK is seeking a “comprehensive free trade deal” giving the UK “the greatest possible access” to the single market-as announced by our PM, plus she wants a new customs union deal (a custom union=where countries agree NOT to impose tariffs on each others’ goods)-and the UK is currently under part of the EU customs union. There is more to be said on customs unions but…now is not the time nor place. Nope.
Of course, there are other important issues such as:
-What about EU citizens living in the UK-what happens to them now?
-What about UK citizens working in the EU?
-What about EU Nationals who want to work in the UK? Will they be allowed to?
The above mentioned issues are pretty pivotal in this whole Brexit thing-and there is a whole lot more issues too. But guess what? This post is already way longer than I expected, so chaps…stay tuned for Brexit recap (part 3) where I will address the aforementioned and a lot more too. But please remember that ‘Brexit means Brexit.’
Now, if you will excuse me…I need to go and eat my Easter chocolate. All of it. Yup. Thanks for understanding.