The Most Prominent Points In The British Exit Agreement From The European Union
The BRICEST agreement, which guarantees Britain's orderly withdrawal from the European Union, is in 585 pages and sets out a transitional period to adapt to the separation between the two parties, which have ties of more than 40 years.
The main points of the agreement are as follows:
On 30 March 2019, the United Kingdom will be removed from the European Union, but will not leave it altogether if the disengagement agreement is approved.
This agreement provides for a transitional period ending on 31 December 2020, during which the British will apply and benefit from the laws of the European Union.
Britain will also have to continue to pay its financial contribution to the Union but without being represented in its institutions or participating in its decisions.
The two sides agreed that this transitional period could be extended once and with the agreement of each of them, for a period that could reach one or two years and up to 2022 at the latest.
The agreement provides for a "safety net" (Pakstop English) to prevent the return of physical borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to protect agreements signed in 1998 that ended the bloody unrest in the province.
A solution that could eventually be used after the transition period and only if a better compromise is not found by mid-2020 between London and Brussels.
The controversial mechanism calls for the establishment of a "single customs zone" involving the European Union and the United Kingdom where no quotas or customs duties apply to industrial and agricultural goods.
This should allow for the avoidance of a return of "hard borders" between the island and the British province, while ensuring that no border appears in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which would have happened if only Northern Ireland had been attached to this "customs zone".
But Northern Ireland will have a special status as it will remain committed to a limited number of single-market rules "essential to avoiding hard borders" in Ireland. This applies primarily to health standards for veterinary surveillance.
If this "safety net" is applied, a common decision should be taken to cancel it.
The agreement states that "European citizens living in the United Kingdom and British citizens of the European Union before the end of the transitional period can continue to live in their countries of residence" (where they lived for at least five years), as promised by the European chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
EU citizens and Britain (3.2 million Europeans in the UK and 1.2 million Britons in other EU countries) can continue to live, work or study, receive social assistance and bring in their families.
Financial settlement The
UK has pledged to honor its commitments under the current multi-year budget (2014-2020) and also covers the transition period. It will benefit from the return of European structural funds and the Common Agricultural Policy.
The text does not specify any numbers for this invoice or how to calculate them. The British government estimates the amount is between forty and 45 billion euros - a figure not confirmed by the European Union - but the amount would be even greater if the transition period is extended after 2020.
Supervision of the Agreement
The Agreement provides for the establishment of a committee in which the parties shall be equally represented to settle disputes relating to the interpretation of the Agreement. The Committee will consider any dispute between the parties. And in turn can transfer the case to an arbitral tribunal whose decision is binding if the dispute continues.
The European Court of Justice will be empowered to consider any dispute related to the interpretation of the law of the Union.
The agreement provides that European fishermen will retain access to British territorial waters and that the British will remain subject to European fishing quotas during the transition period.
But the agreement provides for an agreement to be reached by mid-2020 at the latest to settle this highly sensitive issue.