Whether you are for it or against it, Brexit will be officially happening at 11pm tonight (31.01.20). This means the UK will be separate from the EU from this point forward, but the effects on everyday life will not become obvious due to a ‘transitional period’ which will last until the end of the year.
Here is everything you need to know about how this period of Brexit limbo, officially known by the Government as an “implementation period”, will work.
How long is the transition period?
This period will end in 11 months’ time, at the end of 2020. Boris Johnson has said he will not be expending the period, and doing so would cause much political embarrassment for the UK.
What will happen during the transition period?
Both UK and EU negotiators will be working hard to arrange as much of a future partnership as possible, so that it can be ready to be put in place on the date the transition period ends.
Much of the focus will be on solidifying a UK-EU free trade deal. This will be essential if the UK wants to be able to continue to trade with the EU with no tariffs, quotas or other barriers after the transition.
Aside from trade, many other aspects of the future UK-EU relationship will 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
The UK will also need to design and implement many new systems, such as how it will handle immigration once freedom of movement comes to an end.
Will freedom of movement continue to apply?
Yes. The transition period requires that the United Kingdom follows the same rules as an EU member state, so freedom of movement will be part of this.
Will it affect daily life in the UK?
There will not be a very noticeable effect of daily life, as the period serves to artificially extend the current conditions of life as part of the EU by continuing to see European law applied during the period, and the European Court of Justice still holding jurisdiction.
Citizens rights will remain the same as they were while the UK was part of the EU. However, the UK will no longer be represented in EU institutions and decision-making, so it will not have a direct say on what the club does during this period. But it will have to uphold the obligations of a member state for that period.
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