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What is Brexit?

What is the Withdrawal Agreement?

The Withdrawal Agreement establishes the conditions for the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union and from the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). Its text was originally agreed by negotiators on 14 November 2018 and endorsed by the European Council (Article 50) on 25 November 2018. After the change of government in the United Kingdom, the negotiators of the parties revised the text of the Withdrawal Agreement, particularly in relation to the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. The negotiators reached a new agreement on 17 October 2019. That same day, the European Council (Article 50) ratified the new text. On 24 January 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom signed the Withdrawal Agreement. After the favourable vote from the European Parliament on 29 January 2020 and the Council Decision relating to the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement on 30 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement entered into force on 1 February 2020.

What is the transitional period?

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020. This period may be extended once for a period of one or two years, but this extension must be decided on by mutual agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom prior to 1 July 2020. This date has now passed without any extension being agreed.

During the transition period, EU law will continue to apply to and in the United Kingdom. The EU will treat the United Kingdom the same as a Member State, with the exception of its participation in EU institutions and in the governing structure.

Furthermore, during the transition period, the agreement to govern future relations between the two parties must be negotiated and concluded.