The Conservatives have won a majority in the UK’s general election. What could that result mean for Brexit?The Brexit date – when the UK leaves the EU – is currently set for 31 January 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed a deal with the EU, but it still needs to go through Parliament. The default position – if no deal is passed – is that the UK would leave without one.
What is Boris Johnson’s deal with the EU?
Where do the parties stand on Brexit?
Conservative majority – deal passed?
With a large Conservative majority in the House of Commons, it should be relatively straightforward to pass Mr Johnson’s deal. It’s thought likely that the government will re-introduce the Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the piece of law that lays the framework for Brexit happening – next week.The aim would be to get the bill completed in time for Brexit to happen on 31 January. Brexit day would only be the end of the first stage in a very complicated process.
What happens after Brexit?If the UK leaves the EU on 31 January, that is just step one in a very complicated process.What does ‘Get Brexit done’ mean?The first priority will be to negotiate a trade deal with the EU. The UK wants as much access as possible for its goods and services to the EU. But the Conservatives have made clear that the UK must leave the customs union and single market and end the overall jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.Time is short. The EU could take weeks to agree a formal negotiating mandate – all the remaining 27 member states and the European parliament have to be in agreement. That means formal talks might only begin in March.These negotiations need to produce a final agreement by the end of June. That is the point at which the UK has to decide whether or not to extend the transition period (by one or two years). But Mr Johnson has ruled out any form of extension. If no trade deal has been agreed by the end of June, then the UK faces the prospect of leaving without one at the end of December 2020.If an agreement has been reached it also has to be ratified before coming into force and that is a process which could take several months.No trade deal of this size and complexity has ever been agreed between the EU and an external country anywhere near as quickly as the timeframe planned here.Mr Johnson has argued that as the UK is completely aligned to EU rules, the negotiation should be straightforward. But critics have pointed out that the UK wishes to have the freedom to diverge from EU rules so it can do deals with other countries – and that will make negotiations more difficult. It’s not just a trade deal that needs to be sorted out. The UK must agree how it is going to co-operate with the EU on security and law enforcement. The UK is set to leave the European Arrest Warrant scheme and will have to agree a replacement. It must also agree deals in a number of other areas where co-operation is needed.
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