The Withdrawal Agreement is an important document that outlines the UK`s exit from the European Union (EU). This agreement was negotiated by the UK government and the EU and was signed on 24 January 2020. The agreement came into force on 31 January 2020, at the end of the transition period.
The Withdrawal Agreement covers a range of issues, including citizens` rights, the UK`s financial settlement with the EU, and the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Here is a breakdown of some of the key parts of the agreement.
The Withdrawal Agreement guarantees the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. This includes the right to live, work, and study in their respective countries. The agreement also covers social security rights, such as healthcare and pensions.
The UK agreed to pay a financial settlement to the EU as part of the Withdrawal Agreement. This covers the UK`s outstanding financial commitments to the EU, including contributions to the EU budget and payments for EU programs. The final amount of the settlement was agreed at £39 billion.
The Withdrawal Agreement includes a protocol on Northern Ireland, which is designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This includes a special status for Northern Ireland, which will remain in the EU single market for goods and customs union. This means that checks on goods will be conducted at ports and airports, rather than at the border.
The Withdrawal Agreement included a transition period, which ran from 31 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. During this period, the UK continued to follow EU rules and remained part of the EU single market and customs union. This provided businesses and individuals with time to adjust to the new arrangements.
The Withdrawal Agreement also set out the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. This includes negotiations on a free trade agreement, as well as cooperation on issues such as security and foreign policy.
Overall, the Withdrawal Agreement is a complex document that covers a range of issues related to the UK`s exit from the EU. While it has been ratified by the UK and the EU, there are still ongoing negotiations on the future relationship between the two parties. The Agreement provides a framework for these negotiations and sets out important principles that will shape the future of the UK`s relationship with the EU.