BREXIT: United Kingdom leaves the European Union. What next?

Photo Credit: The New York Times

More than 3 1/2 years after the landmark Brexit vote, the United Kingdom (UK) formally left the European Union (EU) on Friday, January 31, 2020. There were celebrations and tears across the country.

What actually happens now?

There will be a transition period that will run through 31 December 2020. During these 11 months, virtually nothing will change for businesses or for EU and British citizens. There will be free movement of people, goods and services between the EU and Britain.

The U.K. will also continue to pay toward the EU budget but British lawmakers will no longer sit in the European Parliament.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other UK lawmakers will have a difficult task at hand. Up until now, the country shared many rules with other members of the EU. Now, the U.K. will have to make its own new laws and deals with nations in and outside the EU. They will need to negotiate details of their future relationship with regards to trade (movement of goods and services), security and immigration (movement of people).

Will it be easy for lawmakers to come to a deal?

Negotiating a new relationship with the EU will be much harder than leaving it. It has taken more than 3 years, 2 government changes and a lot of deliberations to get here.

Important issues like customs checkpoints and tariffs/duties on goods traded between the EU and Britain will become one of the main points of contention.

Stay tuned for more details!

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