UK Advises Government Officials Against Using Word 'Brexit'
14:49 GMT 30.12.2021 (Updated: 08:11 GMT 06.08.2022)
The United Kingdom parted ways with the European Union in 2020, with the departure commonly described with the word "Brexit".
The UK government has recommended that officials refrain from using the word "Brexit" when referring to the events of 31 December 2020, and instead stick to the date when possible.
"You can use the term ‘Brexit’ to provide historical context, but it’s better to use specific dates where possible", the style guide posted on the government's website reads. "For example, use: ‘31 December 2020’ rather than ‘Brexit’ or ‘when the UK left the EU’".
Aside from this, Whitehall advised against saying "transition period", also recommending using dates when describing the period after Brexit when London and Brussels were forging the framework of their future relations.
New language is being introduced amid a tense stage in negotiations between the UK and the bloc. Recently, the EU threatened to ditch the post-Brexit trade deal in the event Liz Truss - the successor to Lord David Frost in the position of UK chief negotiator - delivers on the threat to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol (NIP).
and the Republic of Ireland do not have a hard border, but under the post-Brexit NIP, all goods coming from the rest of the UK must be checked upon arrival to see if they comply with EU sanitary regulations.
Article 16 envisages the opportunity for either London or Brussels to take unilateral "safeguard" measures if one of the sides concludes that the deal is leading to serious practical problems or causing diversion of trade.
During the post-Brexit negotiations with the EU, the UK has frequently threatened to invoke the mechanism, prompting criticism from the bloc.
According to Truss' EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic, the NIP is essential for the post-Brexit relations between the UK and the European Union. He said that "without the protocol, the system collapses", adding that it has to be avoided "at all costs".