➢ Britain has officially left the European Union (EU) and has become the first country to leave the 28-
➢ The UK stopped being a member of the European Union (EU) after 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020.
➢ The EU is an economic and political union involving 28 European countries. It allows free trade,
which means goods can move between member countries without any checks or extra charges.
The EU also allows free movement of people, to live and work in whichever country they choose.
➢ The UK joined in 1973 (when it was known as the European Economic Community) and it will be
the first member state to withdraw.
Outcome of the Brexit deal:
➢ After the UK formally leaves the EU, there is still a lot to talk about and months of negotiation will
➢ While the UK has agreed the terms of its EU departure, both sides still need to decide what their
future relationship will look like.
➢ During the 11-month transition period, the UK will continue to follow all of the EU’s rules and its
trading relationship will remain the same.
➢ The transition period is meant to give both sides some breathing space while a new free trade
agreement is negotiated.
➢ This is needed because the UK will leave the single market and customs union at the end of the
transition. A free trade agreement allow goods to move around the EU without checks or extra
➢ If a new one cannot be agreed in time, then the UK faces the prospect of having to trade with no
deal in place. That would mean tariffs (taxes) on UK goods travelling to the EU and other trade
➢ Aside from trade, many other aspects of the future UK-EU relationship will also need to be decided.
1. Law enforcement, data sharing and security.
2. Aviation standards and safety.
3. Access to fishing waters.
4. Supplies of electricity and gas.
5. Licensing and regulation of medicines.
Reason for Brexit:
➢ So far, there seem to be three theories for what drove so many people to vote Brexit:
➢ Immigrants: Faced with rising immigration locals worried about their jobs and the erosion of the
English way of life wanted their government to clamp down on immigration. This was a revolt
against unrestricted immigration from poorer Eastern European states, Syrian refugees residing in
the EU and millions of Turks about to join the EU.
➢ Elites: Faced with decades of economic malaise, stagnant real wages and economic destitution in
former industrial heartlands ever since the rise of “Thaterchism” and the embrace of Neoliberal
policies by Tony Blair’s New Labour the non-Londoners have decided to revolt against the elite.
This isn’t just about being against the EU as it stands, and its free market and free movement of
➢ Bureaucracy: Faced with Brussel’s asphyxiating amount of red tape the English people decide to
“take back control” of their country’s bureaucracy.
➢ The three theories are obviously intertwined at times and contradictory at others, that’s why it
matters who is going to be negotiating the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU.
➢ The transition period and other aspects of the UK’s departure were agreed in a separate deal called
the withdrawal agreement.
➢ Most of that was negotiated by Theresa May’s government. But after Mr Johnson replaced her in
July 2019, he removed the most controversial part – the backstop.
➢ The backstop was designed to ensure there would be no border posts or barriers between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. If needed, it would have kept the UK in a close
trading relationship with the EU.
➢ Under Mr Johnson’s deal, a customs border will effectively be created between Northern Ireland
and Great Britain. Some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will be subject to
checks and will have to pay EU import taxes (known as tariffs).
➢ These would be refunded if goods remain in Northern Ireland (ie are not moved to the Republic of