International

Deal or No Deal: The State of Brexit Negotiations

Will the UK Parliament Reject Theresa May’s Brexit Deal?

By: Dejon Virgo

The future of the UK economy is uncertain as Brexit negotiations continue. (Photo Credit: Washington Post)

The United Kingdom Parliament is facing a big vote on December 11th, 2018 on whether or not to approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Brexit is the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). The single market union allows the free movement of trade, goods, and people throughout all 28 EU member countries.

In 2016, UK citizens voted 52-48 to leave the EU. On March 29th, 2017 the country triggered Article 50 in the Lisbon Treaty. This gives the union and the UK two years to negotiate an exit deal.

Prime Minister May has been getting a lot of criticism over her handling of the Brexit negotiations. Some members of her party, the Conservative Party, think that she is not honoring the spirit of the Brexit vote.

They say this because her deal still keeps many ties between the EU and UK. Her party MP’s in the House of Commons do not believe the deal fully breaks off the country from the EU.

May argues that her deal is the best and only option because the EU has refused to give the UK a better deal.  

According to The Guardian, The EU wants to make Brexit look very messy because they want to stop other members from thinking about leaving the EU. The negotiations are mostly about if the UK will have a soft or hard Brexit.

A soft Brexit will see the UK still in the single market and following EU trading rules. A hard Brexit will see the UK out of the single market and trading with the EU based on the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

If there is a deal with the EU, the UK will have a soft Brexit while a no deal option will give the UK a hard Brexit.

One problem with a no deal Brexit is that WTO rules will force the EU and UK to impose tariffs on goods flowing between the two.

Another problem is the citizenship status of UK citizens living and working in EU countries, and EU citizens living and working in the UK.

According to the BBC, the issue of most concern is the relationship between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland is it’s own country but Northern Ireland is part of the UK.

If there is no deal for Brexit there will be a hard border between the two countries on the island. This will bring back tensions- unionists wanted Northern Ireland to stay in the UK while nationalists wanted Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic Of Ireland.

The situation boiled into a violent and bitter conflict at the border between the countries. The UK and Northern Island put the violence to rest with the Good Friday agreement. This stopped the policing of the border and allowed for people to travel between both countries.

The EU proposes a backstop plan which basically keeps Northern Ireland in the EU customs union and single market and prevents a hard border. May’s government has rejected the deal because it will move Northern Ireland closer to Ireland.

UK citizens are worried that this backstop deal will be a step towards Northern Ireland leaving the UK.

May wants to see the whole UK leave the EU at once but the EU is not happy with that and neither is the Ireland government. The backstop was supposed to stop the development of a hard border until there was a better deal.

All of this is what the UK and EU want to prevent- it is important for May to achieve a soft Brexit deal. Some of her Conservative Party members have serious doubt that she has reached such a negotiation. The upcoming House of Commons vote will reveal to people if there will be a Brexit deal or a no deal brexit.

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