What You Should Know About Upcoming Brexit

© REUTERS / Toby MelvilleA journalist poses with a copy of the Brexit Article 50 bill, introduced by the government to seek parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 26, 2017
A journalist poses with a copy of the Brexit Article 50 bill, introduced by the government to seek parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 26, 2017 - Sputnik International
Subscribe
US
India
Global
Today UK Prime Minister Theresa May expected to trigger Article 50 of the EU treaty to start Brexit talks, as the country prepares from the departure from the European Union.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On January 1, 1973, the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community. In 1992, the country signed the Maastricht Treaty and became a member of the European Union.

Brexit - Sputnik International
EU Drafts 27 Members' Declaration in Response to UK's Official Brexit Launch

From its first years in the bloc, the United Kingdom sought to maintain the maximum possible independence in important economic and political issues. Particularly, the country did not join the union’s major integration projects, including the Schengen Agreement (1995) of visa-free travel across common borders or common European currency, the euro (1999).

At the EU Summit in March 2012, London refused to sign the Stability and Growth Pact lobbied by Berlin and Paris that introduced tough fiscal discipline.

In 2011, during the economic crisis the public in Britain expressed increasing discontent with the country’s membership of the European Union. Conservative parliament member David Nuttall proposed a referendum on the country’s EU membership. A referendum petition was signed by over 100,000 British citizens.

On October 25, 2011, British members of parliament voted against holding a referendum with a majority vote (483 of 650). The vote was preceded by five hours of debate. In his opening remarks, then UK Prime Minister David Cameron asked parliament members to vote against holding the referendum and stressed that the timing was not right as Europe was in the middle of a crisis.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement at Downing street in London, Britain, March 22, 2017 following the attack in Westminster. - Sputnik International
Theresa May Pledges to Protect Rights of EU Citizens in Britain Following Brexit

In January 2013, Cameron announced in an election campaign speech that the United Kingdom could hold an EU exit referendum at the end of the decade if the Conservative Party headed by him won the 2015 election.

In the May 7, 2015 general elections, the Conservatives received 36.9 percent of the vote, against 30.4 percent for the Labour Party, ensuring an absolute majority in the House of Commons. Cameron formed a one-party government.

On May 28, 2015, the UK government submitted a bill to the parliament on Britain’s exit referendum from the European Union. The referendum question was "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" The referendum was scheduled for a date no later than December 31, 2017.

On November 10, 2015, Cameron announced the official start of a campaign for changes in the membership terms for the United Kingdom with the EU bloc. He sent a letter to the European Council with London’s demands for the European Union.

The demands were divided into four categories: reducing the immigrant flow from the bloc to the United Kingdom; increasing competitiveness; strengthening Britain’s sovereignty, specifically, withdrawal from the obligation to work toward an "ever closer union;" changes in the currency issues.

Cameron promised he would vote for Brexit in the referendum if said conditions were not satisfied.

© AP Photo / Martin MeissnerA carnival float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun and the writing 'Brexit' on it prior to the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.
A carnival float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun and the writing 'Brexit' on it prior to the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. - Sputnik International
1/10
A carnival float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun and the writing 'Brexit' on it prior to the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.
© AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthDemonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London
Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London - Sputnik International
2/10
Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London
© AFP 2022 / Daniel Leal-OlivasScottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she speaks to members of the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on October 24, 2016 after holding talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland on the government's Brexit plans. Sturgeon, leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party,
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she speaks to members of the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on October 24, 2016 after holding talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland on the government's Brexit plans. Sturgeon, leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party, - Sputnik International
3/10
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she speaks to members of the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on October 24, 2016 after holding talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland on the government's Brexit plans. Sturgeon, leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party,
© REUTERS / Toby MelvilleDemonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 23, 2016.
Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
4/10
Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 23, 2016.
© AFP 2022 / Christof StacheBritish Prime Minister David Cameron gives a statement after his visit at a meeting of the German conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party in Wildbad Kreuth, southern Germany, on January 7, 2016.
British Prime Minister David Cameron gives a statement after his visit at a meeting of the German conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party in Wildbad Kreuth, southern Germany, on January 7, 2016. - Sputnik International
5/10
British Prime Minister David Cameron gives a statement after his visit at a meeting of the German conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party in Wildbad Kreuth, southern Germany, on January 7, 2016.
© Sputnik / Alexey Filippov / Go to the photo bankUnited Kingdom European Union membership referendum
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum - Sputnik International
6/10
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
© Sputnik / Alexey Filippov / Go to the photo bankUnited Kingdom European Union membership referendum
Election workers in the United Kingdom counting ballots following the country's vote on EU membership, June 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
7/10
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
© SputnikA polling station in Edinburgh, Scotland.
A polling station in Edinburgh, Scotland. - Sputnik International
8/10
A polling station in Edinburgh, Scotland.
© REUTERS / Neil HallLeader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage holds his passport as he speaks at pro Brexit event in London, Britain June 3, 2016.
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage holds his passport as he speaks at pro Brexit event in London, Britain June 3, 2016. - Sputnik International
9/10
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage holds his passport as he speaks at pro Brexit event in London, Britain June 3, 2016.
© AFP 2022 / Daniel SorabjiAn arrangement of newspapers pictured in London on June 14, 2016 shows the front page of the Sun daily newspaper with a headline urging readers to vote 'Leave' in the June 23 EU referendum.
An arrangement of newspapers pictured in London on June 14, 2016 shows the front page of the Sun daily newspaper with a headline urging readers to vote 'Leave' in the June 23 EU referendum. - Sputnik International
10/10
An arrangement of newspapers pictured in London on June 14, 2016 shows the front page of the Sun daily newspaper with a headline urging readers to vote 'Leave' in the June 23 EU referendum.
1/10
A carnival float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun and the writing 'Brexit' on it prior to the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.
2/10
Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London
3/10
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she speaks to members of the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on October 24, 2016 after holding talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland on the government's Brexit plans. Sturgeon, leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party,
4/10
Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 23, 2016.
5/10
British Prime Minister David Cameron gives a statement after his visit at a meeting of the German conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party in Wildbad Kreuth, southern Germany, on January 7, 2016.
6/10
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
7/10
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
8/10
A polling station in Edinburgh, Scotland.
9/10
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage holds his passport as he speaks at pro Brexit event in London, Britain June 3, 2016.
10/10
An arrangement of newspapers pictured in London on June 14, 2016 shows the front page of the Sun daily newspaper with a headline urging readers to vote 'Leave' in the June 23 EU referendum.

From November 2015, when Cameron presented the demands, the agencies of the European Council and the European Commission conducted intense negotiations with London to agree on the details of a possible deal.

On February 19, 2016, it was announced that after two days of debate, the EU leaders agreed on new terms for Britain to remain in the union. With these terms granted, the UK prime minister would vote to remain in the bloc in the upcoming referendum. The EU members approved a document that was to become effective on the day the British government notified the Council of the European Union secretary-general of the UK decision to stay, after the referendum.

European Union leaders pose for a family photo during a meeting on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, in Rome, Italy March 25, 2017 - Sputnik International
The Verge of Collapse: EU Provides 'No Clear Answers' to Mistakes It Admits

Among the agreements reached at the EU summit was protection for the UK welfare system for seven years without extension, and a four-year "probation period" during which newly arrived migrants would not be entitled to social benefits. Another important issue was to release the United Kingdom from the obligation to an "ever closer union" that requires integration of the countries in the European Union. The third key point was that Britain will never join the euro zone.

On June 23, 2016, the Britain held the referendum on the country’s exit from the EU bloc initiated by Cameron. Fifty-two percent voted to leave the bloc and 48 percent voted to remain. On June 24, 2016, Cameron announced his resignation following the referendum on the UK membership of the bloc. Cameron, who spoke out against Brexit, intended to keep his post regardless of the vote but changed his decision.

On July 13, 2016, Theresa May took charge of the UK government.

In August 2016, British media suggested that May could initiate an exit from the European Union (as described in Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon) without parliamentary debate and voting.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during a meeting of the lower house of parliament Bundestag on 2017 budget in Berlin, Germany, September 6, 2016. - Sputnik International
Merkel Calls on EU Members to Move in Same Direction, Different Speeds

The debates were requested by some opposition members in the House of Commons. They hoped to block by parliament vote the decision to leave the union made during the referendum.

The prime minister’s spokesperson said that consultations regarding the bill were not necessary.

May’s reluctance to bring EU exit legislative issues to a vote resulted in a political confrontation between the government and the parliament.

A group of politicians led by finance expert Gina Miller sued the government and claimed in the lawsuit that May’s cabinet had no right to launch Brexit without the clear consent of the parliament.

On November 3, 2016, the High Court of London ruled that the government required the parliament’s approval to initiate Brexit. The judge rejected the government’s argument that there was no need for a parliament vote because the majority of the public had already expressed its will in the June 23 referendum and had voted to leave. The government announced it would appeal the verdict.

On December 6, the government gave in to the insistent Labour Party and agreed to publish its exit plan before the launch of Brexit and urged the parliament not to create obstacles to the process. The cabinet of ministers was forced to compromise after it became clear that some 40 Conservative members of parliament intended to join the opposition parties and protest the government’s unwillingness to publish its Brexit plans details.

On January 17, 2017, May presented the Brexit plan in a special speech. According to the plan, Britain would not only leave the EU bloc but also the European single market and the EU Customs Union.

On January 24, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled that the government could not refer to Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon before the parliament approved the respective bill.

Brexit - Sputnik International
Leaders of 27 EU States Sign Rome Declaration on Bloc's Course After Brexit

The government complied with the court's ruling and, on January 26 submitted a bill on half a page to the parliament. The bill stated that the prime minister could notify Brussels of the UK intention to leave the bloc after the approval of the bill by the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the consent of Queen Elizabeth II.

On January 31, the House of Commons started a discussion on the bill, thus launching a process of the country’s exit from the European Union.

On February 2, the UK government published the so-called White Paper setting forth its plan to exit from the European Union. The document outlined London’s stance on cooperation in politics and the economy and covered the issues of immigration.

On February 8, the House of Commons approved the exit bill in the third reading. The third reading vote took place after a three-day discussion within committees when legislators supporting Britain’s EU membership tried to change the document in order to give the parliament more influence in Brexit. The majority of changes were rejected.

On March 14, the House of Lords approved the bill on the launch of Brexit in its original wording without amendments. Initially, the lords lobbied for two amendments. They requested that the government guarantee permanent resident status for EU citizens living in Britain and they wanted to legislate the prime minister’s promise to present the final agreements with the bloc to the parliament. Later, the lords decided to drop their requests.

On March 16, Queen Elizabeth II approved the exit bill and the document became effective.

On March 20, it was reported that May would begin the Brexit process on March 29.

It was estimated that Brexit would cost the United Kingdom 50-60 billion euros ($54-65 billion) that London would have to pay to the European Union under the existing agreements. The estimate includes Britain’s long-term obligations.

Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала