The agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) has been a topic of great discussion since the UK voted to leave the EU on June 23, 2016. The agreement outlines the terms of the UK`s departure from the EU and sets the stage for future relations between the two entities.
The agreement, known as the Withdrawal Agreement, was first negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May and was ratified by both the UK and the EU in January 2020. The agreement took effect on February 1, 2020, and marked the beginning of the transition period, which is set to end on December 31, 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement covers several key areas, including citizens` rights, the financial settlement, and the ongoing relationship between the UK and the EU. Under the agreement, EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU will retain their rights to live and work in their respective countries. The financial settlement, which has been a contentious issue throughout Brexit negotiations, sees the UK pay its outstanding financial obligations to the EU, estimated to be around £39 billion.
One of the most significant aspects of the agreement is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which ensures that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state. The protocol creates a unique regulatory regime for Northern Ireland, which will remain aligned with the EU`s single market rules on goods, allowing for free movement of goods across the Irish border.
The UK and the EU are currently in the process of negotiating a future relationship agreement, which will come into effect on January 1, 2021. The future relationship agreement will govern the UK`s relationship with the EU in areas such as trade, security cooperation, and data sharing.
In conclusion, the agreement between the UK and the EU is an essential document that outlines the terms of the UK`s departure from the EU and sets the stage for future relations between the two entities. While it has been a contentious issue throughout Brexit negotiations, the agreement represents a significant milestone in the UK`s relationship with the EU and provides a foundation for future cooperation. As negotiations continue, it will be crucial for both parties to work towards a mutually beneficial future relationship that promotes trade, security, and cooperation.