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What is Brexit?
What is Brexit anyway? The UK has voted to leave the European Union Something no country has ever done before It’s the biggest and most complicated task since World War II But just what exactly is Brexit? And is it over yet? The answers are … complicated. The Brexit referendum vote was close 52% of Brits voted to leave the EU — the “Leavers” 48% voted to remain — the “Remainers” It has divided the nation And there’s a lot left to decide before the deadline of March 29, 2019 The negotiations between the UK and the EU have been fierce There’s the money The UK will have to pay a “divorce bill” of £30-£40 billion Plus there are the rights of 3.7 million EU citizens in the UK and the 800 thousand UK citizens in the EU to take care of And the small matters of Customs arrangements Trade terms Security and Northern Ireland border arrangements Complicating all this is that 16 of the 27 national leaders in the European Council need to agree on the deal The EU doesn’t want the UK to have the benefits of membership without the costs If it does, the deal risks undermining the EU’s existence And some believe we need the EU to be strong to resist the influence of authoritarian countries like China Brexit isn’t just a matter of being in or out of the EU It’s about the future relationship with the EU—and that creates a sliding scale … from soft to hard The closer it is to status quo, the “softer” the Brexit A “hard Brexit” would mean much more independence, and also more barriers to trade If no deal is reached, then trade would be under World Trade Organization rules Leaving with no deal is also called “crashing out”’ of the EU—the ultimate “hard Brexit”