Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Problems: Understanding the Issues
Brexit, the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), has been a topic of interest globally for several years now. The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020. However, the transition period will end on December 31, 2020, after which the UK will no longer be part of the EU. While the UK and the EU have agreed on the Withdrawal Agreement outlining the terms of the departure, there have been several problems that have arisen.
One of the major issues with the Withdrawal Agreement is the disagreement over the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Protocol is part of the Withdrawal Agreement and sets out how goods will be traded between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The EU has insisted that Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market for goods to maintain border-free trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member. However, the UK government has been opposed to this as it would create a regulatory and customs border in the Irish Sea.
Another problem with the Withdrawal Agreement is the issue of UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. The agreement guarantees the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU, but there have been concerns over how these rights will be enforced and protected after the transition period ends. The UK government has introduced the EU Settlement Scheme to allow EU citizens living in the UK to apply for settled status, but there have been concerns over how this will work in practice.
The financial settlement is another point of disagreement between the UK and EU. The UK has agreed to pay a financial settlement to the EU as part of the Withdrawal Agreement, but the exact amount has been a contentious issue. The UK has suggested that the amount should be lower than what the EU has requested, citing the fact that the UK will no longer have access to the EU’s single market after the transition period. The EU, on the other hand, has argued that the UK has a legal obligation to pay the full amount agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement.
Finally, there have been concerns over the governance and dispute resolution mechanisms in the Withdrawal Agreement. The agreement establishes a Joint Committee to oversee the agreement and resolve disputes. However, there have been concerns over the scope and powers of the committee, as well as the lack of an independent dispute resolution mechanism.
In conclusion, the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU has been fraught with problems, ranging from the Northern Ireland Protocol to the financial settlement and the governance and dispute resolution mechanisms. With the end of the transition period looming, it is crucial that these issues are resolved to ensure a smooth exit for the UK from the EU.