Brexit

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Brexit (t/;[1] a portmanteau of "British" and "exit") is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). Following a referendum held on 23 June 2016 in which 51.9 percent of those voting supported leaving the EU, the Government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, starting a two-year process which was due to conclude with the UK's exit on 29 March 2019. That deadline has since been extended to 31 October 2019.[2][3]

Withdrawal from the EU has been advocated by both left-wing and right-wing Eurosceptics, while pro-Europeanists, who also span the political spectrum, have advocated continued membership and maintaining the customs union and single market. The UK joined the European Communities (EC) in 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath, with continued membership endorsed by a referendum in 1975. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EC was advocated mainly by the political left, with the Labour Party's 1983 election manifesto advocating full withdrawal. In 1987, the Single European Act, the first major revision of 1957's Treaty of Rome, formally established the single European market and European Political Cooperation.

From the 1990s, opposition to further European integration came mainly from the right. When in 1992 the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union (EU) and the single market and guaranteed the four basic freedoms (the free movement of goods, services, capital and people around the EU) was brought before Parliament, there were divisions within the Conservative Party, leading to a rebellion over the Treaty.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP), formed in 1993, grew strongly in the early 2010s and the influence of the cross-party People's Pledge campaign has also been described as influential in bringing about a referendum. The Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, pledged during the campaign for the 2015 general election to hold a new referendum—a promise which he fulfilled in 2016 following pressure from the Eurosceptic wing of his party. Cameron, who had campaigned to remain, resigned after the result and was succeeded by Theresa May, his former Home Secretary. She called a snap general election less than a year later but lost her overall majority. Her minority government was supported in key votes by the Democratic Unionist Party.

On 29 March 2017, the Government of the United Kingdom invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Theresa May announced the government's intention not to seek permanent membership of the European single market or the EU customs union after leaving the EU and promised to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and incorporate existing European Union law into UK domestic law. Negotiations with the EU officially started in June 2017. In November 2018, the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, negotiated between the UK Government and the EU, was published. The House of Commons voted against the agreement by a margin of 432 to 202 (the largest parliamentary defeat in history for a sitting UK government) on 15 January 2019, and again on 12 March with a margin of 391 to 242 against the agreement. On 14 March 2019, the House of Commons voted for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to ask the EU for such an extension of the period allowed for the negotiation. Members from across the House of Commons rejected the agreement, with the leadership of the Labour Party stating in the House of Commons that any deal must maintain a customs union and single market, and with a large percentage of Conservative Party members rejecting the Irish backstop as it was drafted in the EU withdrawal agreement.

The broad consensus among economists is that Brexit will likely reduce the UK's real per capita income in the medium term and long term, and that the Brexit referendum itself damaged the economy.[a] Studies on effects since the referendum show a reduction in GDP, trade and investment, as well as household losses from increased inflation. Brexit is likely to reduce immigration from European Economic Area (EEA) countries to the UK, and poses challenges for UK higher education and academic research. As of July 2019, the size of the "divorce bill"—the UK's inheritance of existing EU trade agreements—and relations with Ireland and other EU member states remains uncertain. The precise impact on the UK depends on whether the process will be a "hard" or "soft" Brexit, or whether there is a no-deal Brexit; whereby the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

Terminology and etymology

In the wake of the referendum of 23 June 2016, many new pieces of Brexit-related jargon have entered popular use.[17][18]

Article 50
Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is a procedure in the treaty that sets out how member states can leave the Union, with a two-year timetable for leaving. Article 50 was triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of March 2017.
Backstop
A term referring to the government's proposal to keep Northern Ireland in some aspects of the European Union Customs Union and of the European Single Market to prevent a hard border in Ireland, so as not to compromise the Good Friday Agreement.
Blind / Blindfold Brexit
Coined in September 2018 to describe a scenario where the UK leaves the EU without clarity on the terms of a future trade deal.[19][20] EU and British negotiators would then have until 31 December 2020 to sign off on a future trade deal, during which time the UK would effectively remain a member of the EU, but with no voting rights.[21][22]
Brexit
Brexit (like its early variant, Brixit)[23] is a portmanteau of "British" and "exit". Grammatically, it has been called a complex nominal.[24] The first attestation in the Oxford English Dictionary is a Euractiv blog post by Peter Wilding on 15 May 2012.[25][26][27] It was coined by analogy with "Grexit", attested on 6 February 2012 to refer to a hypothetical withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone (and possibly also the EU altogether, although there was never a clear popular mandate for it).[28] At present, Brexit is impending under the EU Treaties and the UK Acts of Parliament, and the current negotiations pursuant thereto.[29][27]
Canada plus / Canada model
This is shorthand for a model where the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and signs a free trade agreement. This would allow the UK to control its own trade policy as opposed to jointly negotiating alongside the European Union, but would require rules of origin agreements to be reached for UK–EU trade. It is likely this would lead to trade being less "free" than joining the EFTA, and result in additional border controls being required, which is an issue of contention, particularly on the island of Ireland. The Canadian–European Union deal took seven years to negotiate, but Brexiteers argue it would take much less time between the UK and EU as the two participants already align on regulatory standards.[30]
Chequers Agreement
The short name given by the media to The framework for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the government's white paper drawn up at Chequers and published on 12 July 2018, which set out the sort of relationship the UK government wanted with the EU after Brexit.[31][32] The government published the updated draft on 22 November 2018.[33]
Clean break Brexit
This term, used particularly by the Brexit Party, is more generally known as a no-deal Brexit.[34]
Customs Union
A customs union is an agreement under which two or more countries agree not to impose taxes on imported goods from one another and to apply a common tariff on goods imported from countries not party to the agreement. For more information.
Divorce bill
It is expected that the UK will make a contribution toward financial commitments that it had approved while still a member of the EU, but are still outstanding. The amount owed is officially referred to as the financial settlement but has informally been referred to as an exit bill or divorce bill.[35] While serving as Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab said the UK will not pay the full financial settlement to the EU in a no-deal scenario but would instead pay a significantly lower amount to cover the UK's "strict legal obligations".[36] The UK Government's estimate of the financial settlement in March 2019 was £38 billion.[37] After normal member contributions payable to 31 October 2019 of £5 billion, a final settlement of £33 billion on 31 October is currently estimated.[38]
Hard and soft Brexit
"Hard Brexit" and "soft Brexit" are unofficial terms that are commonly used by news media[39] to describe the prospective relationship between the UK and the EU after withdrawal. A hard Brexit (also called a no-deal Brexit) usually refers to the UK leaving the EU and the European Single Market with few or no deals (trade or otherwise) in place, meaning that trade will be conducted under the World Trade Organization's rules, and services will no longer be provided by agencies of the European Union (such as aviation safety).[40] Soft Brexit encompasses any deal that involves retaining membership in the European Single Market and at least some free movement of people according to European Economic Area (EEA) rules.[41] Theresa May's "Chequers agreement" embraced some aspects of a "soft" Brexit.[42] Note that the EEA and the deal with Switzerland contain fully free movement of people, and that the EU has wanted that to be included in a deal with UK on fully free trade.
Hard border
Because of Brexit, a physical border could be erected between Northern Ireland, a constituent part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state. This raises concerns about the future of the Good Friday Agreement (or Belfast Agreement), a peace deal signed in 1998 which helped to end the Northern Ireland conflict (The Troubles).
Indicative vote
Indicative votes are votes by members of parliament on a series of non-binding resolutions. They are a means of testing the will of the House of Commons on different options relating to one issue.[43] MPs have voted on eight different options for the next steps in the Brexit process on 27 March 2019; however, none of the proposals earned a majority in the indicative votes.[44] MPs also voted on four options on 1 April 2019 in the second round of indicative votes. Still, none of the proposals earned a majority.[45]
Leaver
Those supporting Brexit are sometimes referred to as "Leavers".[46][47] Alternatively the term "Brexiteers",[48][49] or "Brexiters" has been used to describe adherents of the Leave campaign.[50][51][52][53] Likewise, the pejorative term "Brextremist", a portmanteau of "Brexiter" and "Extremist" has been used by some outlets to describe Leavers of an overzealous, uncompromising disposition.[54][55][56]
Lexit
also Lexiter. A portmanteau of 'left-wing' and 'Brexit', referring to left-wing advocacy of EU withdrawal.[57][58][59][60]
Meaningful vote
A meaningful vote is a vote under section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, requiring the government to arrange for a motion proposing approval of the outcome of negotiations with the EU to be debated and voted on by the House of Commons before the European Parliament decides whether it consents to the withdrawal agreement being concluded on behalf of the EU in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union.[61]
Managed no-deal
"Managed no-deal Brexit"[62] or "managed no deal Brexit"[63] was increasingly used near the end of 2018, in respect of the complex series of political, legal and technical decisions needed if there is no withdrawal agreement treaty with the EU when the UK exits under the Article 50 withdrawal notice. The Institute for Government has advised that the concept is unrealistic.[64]
No-deal Brexit
This means the UK would leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.[65]
Norway model/ Norway plus
This is shorthand for a model where the United Kingdom leaves the European Union but becomes a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area, possibly with the addition of a customs union ("plus"). EFTA and EEA membership would allow the UK to remain in the single market but without having to be subject to the Common Fisheries Policy, Common Agricultural Policy, and the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The UK would be subject to the EFTA court, which largely shadows the ECJ, have to transfer a large amount of EU law into UK law, and have little say on shaping EU rules (some of which the UK will be compelled to take on). The UK would also have to allow freedom of movement between the EU and UK, which was seen as a key issue of contention in the referendum.[66]
People's Vote
People's Vote is an advocacy group launched in April 2018, who calls for a public vote on the final Brexit deal. The People's Vote march is part of a series of demonstrations against Brexit.
Remainer
Those in favour of the UK remaining in the EU are sometimes referred to as "Remainers".[67] The derogatory term "Remoaner" (a blend of "remainer" and "moan") is sometimes used by Brexiters to describe adherents of the Remain campaign.[68][50][52]
Second referendum
A second referendum (otherwise known as People's vote) has been proposed by a number of politicians and pressure groups. The Electoral Commission of UK has the responsibility for nominating lead campaign groups for each possible referendum outcome.[69]
Slow Brexit
The term ‘slow Brexit’ was first coined by British Prime Minister Theresa May on 25 March 2019 as she spoke to Parliament, warning MPs that Article 50 could be extended beyond 22 May, slowing down the Brexit process. A ‘slow Brexit’ implies a longer period of political uncertainty in which members of Parliament will debate the next steps of Britain's departure from the European Union.[70][71]
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Brexit
Alemannisch: Brexit
অসমীয়া: ব্ৰেক্সিট
Bân-lâm-gú: Brexit
भोजपुरी: ब्रेक्जिट
brezhoneg: Brexit
čeština: Brexit
dansk: Brexit
eesti: Brexit
Esperanto: Briteliro
فارسی: برکسیت
français: Brexit
Gaeilge: Breatimeacht
galego: Brexit
한국어: 브렉시트
հայերեն: Բրեքսիթ
hrvatski: Brexit
Ido: Brekiro
Bahasa Indonesia: Brexit
Interlingue: Brexit
Jawa: Brexit
Kiswahili: Brexit
Кыргызча: Брексит
Latina: Brexitus
lietuvių: Brexit
Lingua Franca Nova: Brexit
magyar: Brexit
Malagasy: Brexit
مصرى: بريكزيت
Bahasa Melayu: Brexit
Nederlands: Brexit
Nedersaksies: Brexit
norsk: Brexit
norsk nynorsk: Brexit
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Brexit
polski: Brexit
русиньскый: Brexit
Scots: Brexit
shqip: BREXIT
Simple English: Brexit
slovenščina: Brexit
српски / srpski: Брегзит
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Povlačenje Ujedinjenog Kraljevstva iz Evropske unije
suomi: Brexit
svenska: Brexit
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Brɛ̈kdhït
اردو: بریگزٹ
文言: 英歐解盟
ייִדיש: ברעקסיט
粵語: 英國脫歐
Zazaki: Brexit
žemaitėška: Brexit
中文: 英國脫歐