The UK Withdrawal Agreement 2019: What You Need to Know
The UK Withdrawal Agreement 2019 is an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union that outlines the terms of the UK`s exit from the EU. The agreement was signed on 24 January 2020 and came into force on 1 February 2020, after the UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020.
The withdrawal agreement covers a number of key areas, including the financial settlement, citizens` rights, and the Northern Ireland Protocol. Here`s a closer look at some of the most important aspects of the agreement.
Under the withdrawal agreement, the UK is required to make a financial settlement with the EU. This includes payments to cover the UK`s share of existing EU budgets, as well as contributions to EU programs that the UK has agreed to continue participating in during a transition period. The total amount of the financial settlement is estimated to be around £39 billion.
The withdrawal agreement also protects the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. Citizens who are already living in the other party`s territory at the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) will be able to continue to live and work there. They will also be able to access healthcare, pensions, and other social security benefits. Family members of EU citizens living in the UK will also be able to join them after the transition period.
Northern Ireland Protocol
The Northern Ireland Protocol is a key part of the withdrawal agreement that deals with the issue of the UK`s land border with the Republic of Ireland. Under the protocol, Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK customs territory, but will also continue to follow some EU rules and regulations to ensure an open border with Ireland. This has been a contentious issue throughout the Brexit negotiations, and the Northern Ireland Protocol has been a key factor in resolving it.
Other Key Provisions
The withdrawal agreement also covers a number of other important areas, including:
– A transition period that will last until the end of 2020 (which could be extended by up to two years) to allow time for negotiations on a new trade agreement between the UK and the EU.
– Arrangements for cooperation on law enforcement and security.
– A commitment to maintain high standards on workers` rights, environmental protections, and other areas.
The UK Withdrawal Agreement 2019 is a complex document that covers many different areas. However, the key takeaway is that it provides a framework for the UK`s exit from the EU that aims to protect the rights of citizens, ensure a smooth transition period, and provide a basis for continued cooperation between the UK and the EU in important areas such as law enforcement, security, and trade.