UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Great Britain leaves the European Union late in the evening of January 31 (on the night of February 1), three and a half years after the referendum on British EU membership.
Great Britain will cease to be a member state of the European Union immediately after 23:00 on January 31, London time.
The UK is actively preparing to exit the EU. The clock projected onto the Prime Minister’s residence on Downing Street will count down to the time remaining before Brexit.
A 50-pence coin dedicated to Britain’s exit from the EU will be issued.
Johnson himself plans to meet with cabinet ministers in northern England, where he will discuss “prosperity and new opportunities,” Downing Street said.
Later, an hour before the country’s official exit from the EU, he will address the nation. Johnson has already stated that Brexit will be “a great moment for our country, a moment of hope and new opportunities.”
In turn, the European side is not preparing any special events for this event. Brussels is expected to make a press statement on Brexit on Friday morning. Representatives of the EU at various levels have repeatedly said that they regret the decision of Great Britain to leave the European Union.
Flags of Great Britain, hanging near the building of the European Parliament, will be removed on January 31. It is expected that this will pass without any ceremony. One of the flags will later be placed in the EU History Museum in Brussels.
What will happen next
Now for the UK there is a transition period, which will last until December 31, 2020. Boris Johnson previously stated that he did not intend to extend it. This period is necessary so that the European Union and Great Britain can calmly conduct yet another difficult negotiations and coordinate their future relations.
In the transition period, the UK will remain in the European Customs Union and a single market, freedom of movement between the UK and the EU will remain. At the same time, the UK will lose membership in the European Parliament and the European Commission. That is, the UK will obey the rules and laws of the European Union, but it will not have voting rights in the bloc.
The main issue that the parties have to agree is a new trade agreement. If this does not happen, then trade between the EU and the UK will occur according to the rules of the WTO, which is disadvantageous to both London and Brussels.
The parties should also agree on rules for access to fishing areas, which is likely to become a difficult issue. An agreement will also have to be reached in the areas of jurisprudence, security, data transmission, drug licensing, aviation standards, and gas and electricity supplies.
History of Brexit
The Brexit referendum was held in the UK in June 2016, then 52% of the British voted to leave the EU, and 48% voted to stay.
The Brexit negotiation process took significantly longer than planned. From the moment of the referendum to the present, three prime ministers have been replaced in the UK: David Cameron, who opposed the EU exit and resigned immediately after the Brexit vote, Teresa May, who left her post after the British rejected her deal with the European Union several times parliament, and Boris Johnson, who promised to bring Brexit to the end and, apparently, fulfilled his promise.
The Brexit negotiation process between London and the EU began only in March 2017 after the government changed in the UK and received permission from Parliament to initiate the Brexit procedure.
The UK was expected to leave the EU two years after the start of negotiations, that is, on March 29, 2019, as prescribed by Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which regulates the issue of countries leaving the bloc.
The government of Theresa May and Brussels agreed on two documents – an agreement on UK withdrawal from the European Union and a political declaration on future relations between London and the EU – in November 2018, at the same time they were approved by the EU Council. It was also required that the British Parliament approve the documents, but he voted three times against the agreement. Most of the deputies were not satisfied with the clause on the “insurance plan” (“back-stop”) along the Irish border. It was aimed at maintaining the transparency of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in case the EU and Great Britain could not immediately reach an agreement on trade, but many MPs claimed that because of it the UK would become dependent on the European Union.
The Brexit deadlines were drawing to a close, and no agreement was reached, so it was decided to postpone Brexit to April 12, and then to October 31, 2019. Due to failures with the approval of documents, May left the post of Prime Minister of Great Britain in the summer of 2019.
It was replaced by Boris Johnson, who was able to coordinate the rejection of the Irish “insurance plan” with the EU, which at first refused to reconsider the deal at all. Johnson said that he would rather “die in the gutter” than he would ask the EU for a postponement, but he could not convince the British parliament to ratify the deal, and was forced to agree to postpone Brexit on January 31.
In December 2019, at the initiative of Johnson, early parliamentary elections were held in the UK. And this composition of parliament, in which Johnson became more supporters, finally approved the Brexit deal. Then it was signed by British Queen Elizabeth II, and ratified the EU Parliament on January 29.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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