Frederique Beck Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
On the 31st of December of this year, Britain will officially have left the European Union after four years of Brexit. But it is good to know how we got here. How did Brexit come to be? What forms of Brexit are there? And what have the British chosen to do?
In June 2016 the Brexit referendum told the world that the UK would leave the EU with 52% voted to leave the EU while 48% voted to stay.
The only question now was: “how would this be done?”
The British had multiple forms of Brexit that could be done; No deal, Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit, and, later in the campaign, The Chequers deal.
These different forms of Brexit all would have very different effects on the nation and from 2016 to 2020 it was unsure which Brexit would be best for the nation.
Most of the general public from all over the world was unsure that there were different types of Brexit and have been confused by the situation.
Now that we are in 2020 it’s time to look back on the type of Brexits that were possible, what the UK wants out of Brexit. And where they are now in the process.
Now for a better understanding of what each of these Brexits mean, here are explanations of each Brexit that the British faced and the final Brexit that was agreed upon; Boris Johnson’s deal.
No deal Brexit is where the UK parliament leaves the EU with no deals set in place.
If unregulated and no preparations are made the UK may simply crash out of the EU due to a large economic crash. There have been preparations made to prevent a total economic crash but an economic dip is inevitable in this situation.
This deal requires no transition period and the British will have evaporated from EU laws and taxes.
A standard international trading agreement will be put in place and the British will now be able to make trading deals with new countries. This trading agreement would have major drawbacks, however, and will cause the EU to treat the British as foreigners as they would now be out of the European Single Market.
Products for export and import will now have to be regulated through tariffs and border checks which would cause delays. Minor taxation increases on trading would be increased. These delays and taxes, which the UK did not have to deal with before, could cause the loss of certain food and item brands for the British and higher prices. These effects are upsetting to all British as they still wish to maintain those connections to the market, especially with Europe being their largest trading partner.
In their separation for the European Single Market they would also now be separating from the European Court of Justice, which is something that the British want. This separation will allow the British to create their own laws and policies on certain situations such as immigration.
The No Deal arrangement would call for a hard border between The Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This could cause violence between the two halves once more and fighting may ensue over where the border is. This hard border would also violate the Good Friday Agreement which is an international agreement..
Hard Brexit is mostly supported by conservative MPs (Member of Parliament) and is the complete split from the EU. At the moment, the UK is still part of many EU aspects such as the courts of justice, the single market and the customs union. The harder the brexit, the more of these the UK will split from.
Hard brexit allows the UK to create their own laws, regulations, policies and trade agreements with other nations. They will have full control over their own government and will no longer have to abide by EU systems or EU Labour, Environmental, Social, Agricultural, Fisheries or Competition regulations.
They will have to create new trading agreements with the EU but will likely have less imported after they officially separate. Internal trade in the UK will go up as British businesses will benefit, but, while local businesses thrive, UK businesses which rely on outside sources and materials will suffer.
This is due to tariffs being placed and new taxes being added to importations to the UK. An example of this may be a local orange brand may increase in sales while a car manufacturer will decrease in profits due to car parts being imported from the EU.
Hard brexit would cause moving abroad to become more difficult for the Brits.
Soft brexit is supported by other MPs, Labour, SNP(Scottish National Party) and Lib Dems (Liberal Democrats) and is a partnership with the EU. The softer the Brexit, the less things change for the UK.
With a softer Brexit, the UK could stay in branches of the EU such as the single market which allows for smooth trade. No tariffs would be placed and the shipping would not be delayed or taxed extra.
Internal trade would decrease and external trade would increase, so that orange brand may suffer a bit but more cars would be produced by the car manufacturer. If the UK stays in the single market with the EU they may miss out in new trading deals with other countries which is not something that the British want.
There would be no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which is something the EU and the UK want. With a soft border there is no need for violence and only checks would regulate cars and shipping.
Moving abroad would still be as easy, depending on how soft Brexit is.
The Chequers deal is a mix of both hard and soft brexit suggested and created by former prime minister Theresa May.
The Chequers deal calls for an agreement with the EU and UK over a facilitated customs union where both parties agree to a common rule book of trade. This agreement would keep the UK close to the single market and everything would stay quite similar in that regard, meaning no tariffs or extra checks. Trade would remain just as easy and this also means that there would be no need for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland due to them using the same trading laws as before. This common rule book allows for the UK to strike its own trading deals as well with forgien nations and countries.
The UK would leave the common agricultural policy and common fishing policy, effectively gaining control of UK waters and fishing laws.
The British would then also be allowed to leave the European Court of Justice and they would be able to gain control over their own laws. A joint committee would then be responsible for settling issues between the UK and EU.
The free movement policy would be removed meaning the UK gains control over immigration policies. A mobility framework would be set in place which allows the movement of EU citizens and UK citizens to move easily between the two.
This deal was very soon rejected by both British parliament and the EU as it did not satisfy the conservatives MPs or the non conservative MPs, while the EU stated that they have created a deal that picks out the best part of being in the EU and leaving all other laws.
Now what is the deal that has been approved by both the EU and parliament?
Boris Johnson’s deal is very close to The Chequers Deal and it has been passed by parliament with a majority of 99 votes, 330 voting in favour while 231 members voted against on 31 January, 2019.
This deal takes Great Britain out of the EU but keeps Northern Ireland in the EU single market for four years. For these four years two borders will be placed on Northern Ireland, a sea border between Great Britain with checks and regulations of goods and a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would be done away from the border to minimize tension. During the transition period it is expected that the location of checks and how long it would take will be figured out. It is strictly noted that no checks will be done at the actual border so as to not cause tension.
Northern Ireland will abide by EU agricultural and industrial laws during this year period. Northern Ireland would not have to abide by all EU rules and regulations apart from the basics such as workers’ rights, environmental standard and social conditions.
After the four years Northern Ireland would have to choose between the existing two borders or creating a hard border between the north and the south.
A trading deal has not yet been arranged with the EU and will have to be figured out by the end of 2020, which is Boris Johnson’s, but if needed there is a possible extension time of 2 years for the UK to settle this.
Now that Boris Johnson’s deal has been passed by the EU and parliament, what was it that the UK actually wanted?
The British over this time period wanted to separate from EU laws and policies to take control over their own court of justice. They wished to stay in the single market and the free travel costumes but wish to leave everything else. While still in the single market, however, they wished to be able to strike new deals with other countries.
They have now gone with the Boris Johnson deal they have till the end of the year to confirm things with Ireland and to also create a trading deal with the EU. At most they have an extra two years if they don’t reach an agreement by the thirty-first of december, 2020.
The UK wishes for a deal much like the Plus Canada deal which kept Canada as a separate country, allowing for a separate court of justice, but allowed for them to enter the single market and free movement. This trading agreement, however, took 7 years to complete and the UK only has till the end of 2020 with a possible 2 year extension period. That is not nearly enough time to come up with such a plan. It will be very difficult to form a perfect trading deal in that time.
If a trading agreement is not reached by the end of this period then it is still possible that the UK faces a no deal from the EU.