BREXIT

[op-ed snap] Brexit on fast-track: On passage of deal in UK Parliament

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Way ahead for Brexit

Context

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was passed in the British Parliament. It is now certain that the country would exit the European Union (EU) on or before the current deadline.

Boris Johnson – Brexit

  • Mr. Johnson first reached a new agreement with the EU and then called fresh elections. 
  • With his party’s resounding win in the parliamentary election and a surge in the number of Brexiteers among Conservative lawmakers, the passage of the Bill in the House of Commons was a mere formality. 
  • The deal got the support of 358 lawmakers against 234. 

Agreement

  • Contents of the deal – It deals with issues such as citizens’ rights, the settlement amount the U.K. has agreed to pay the EU and an arrangement to avoid physical barriers between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland.
  • The accord will be put on a vote in the House of Commons once more, and then the House of Lords will vote on it. 
  • Once the EU lawmakers ratify it, the U.K. will formally exit the union.

Still not the end

  • A formal exit doesn’t mean that the tedious Brexit process is over. 
  • Even after January 31, the U.K. will continue to remain in the EU single market and customs union, at least for 11 months – trade will continue as usual. 
  • Challenge – to reach another agreement with the EU on the country’s future relationship with the bloc. 
  • There are also legislative and political challenges ahead even if the current deal goes through the EU hurdle. 
  • Legislations – His government has to pass a series of new legislation replacing the existing EU laws. 
  • Ireland – He should also be mindful of the impact his deal may have on the delicate peace in Northern Ireland. The deal seeks to erect a customs border between Great Britain and the island of Ireland. This has irked the unionists and strengthened the nationalists in Northern Ireland. 

Conclusion

The uncertainty over Brexit is now over. But the uncertainty on how Brexit will happen still remains. Johnson should be mindful of the speed-breakers. If not, the economic and political costs of Brexit could be huge.

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