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The British Parliament decides that a further extension of the Date of Brexit is necessary because it first wants to examine the corresponding laws before deciding on the withdrawal agreement. The UK government is then asking the EU to postpone the date of Brexit to 31 January 2020. On the issue of the Irish border, there is a protocol on Northern Ireland (the “backstop”) which is attached to the agreement and establishes a position of withdrawal which will only come into force in the absence of effective alternative provisions before the expiry of the transition period. In this case, the UK will eclipse the EU`s common external tariff and Northern Ireland will stick to aspects of the internal market until such an event is carried out. Neither party can unilaterally withdraw from this customs union. The aim of this backstop agreement is to avoid a “hard” border in Ireland, where customs controls are needed.  The government has committed to vote on a resolution in both houses of Parliament before EPEP votes, where each parliament is asked to approve the withdrawal agreement. So far, the British Parliament had had two “wise votes” but had not approved the November 2018 withdrawal agreement, despite assurances from the EU in January 2019 that the backstop should not be permanent and other interpretations and clarifications in March 2019. The Strasbourg clarification package and the Attorney General`s opinion will be discussed in the Commons Briefing Paper 8525 The Strasbourg package, 13 March 2019. The British Parliament passes a law requiring the UK government to ask for a postponement of Brexit if there is no deal with the EU by 19 October 2019.
The EU and the UK reach a provisional agreement on citizens` rights and the financial regime of Brexit. The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 at midnight (23:00 GMT). A transitional period is now in effect until 31 December 2020. During this period, all EU laws and regulations continue to apply in the UK. For businesses and the public, virtually nothing will change. This will give everyone more time to prepare for the new agreements that the EU and the UK intend to conclude after 31 December 2020. The most important elements of the draft agreement are: If the withdrawal agreement is approved, an EU law (withdrawal agreement) will be introduced to implement the withdrawal agreement in UK law. In addition to the library`s briefing paper, the manual for judicious voting, this document contains an updated report on national constitutional requirements for ratification of the withdrawal agreement. Immediately after the announcement of a revised withdrawal agreement on October 17, 2019, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the DUP said they could not support the new agreement.  The EU is working hard and in good faith to reach an agreement.
The EU is also preparing for the consequences if the transition period ends without a formal and ratified agreement for our future partnership.