Brexit, which is made up to two words -Britain and Exit- refers to Britain leaving the European Union. The UK which joined the European Union in 1973 (which was earlier European Economic Community), is scheduled to crash out of the bloc as on October 31, 2019 (at 23:00 GMT) and the UK will be the first EU member state that will leave the bloc (if Brexit gets exercised). On June 23, 2016 (Thursday), a public referendum was held to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. The referendum outcome stated that 52 per cent British citizens voted in favour of leave and 48 per cent voted to remain in the bloc.
The European Union is an economic and political union of 28 member countries, which allows all the member states free trade access within them and unrestricted travel of EU citizens to live and work in whichever state they want to.
However, Brexit has been delayed from its scheduled date of March 29, 2019, it was two years after the then Prime Minister Theresa May after a meeting of the European Council invoked Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50 as on March 29, 2017, and the Brexit date was postponed until October 31st, 2019. Article 50, earlier known as the Reform Treaty was created for EU members; whosoever decided to leave the bloc; it is a formal process to leave the bloc and start negotiations with remaining member states of the bloc.
The beginning of economic and political cooperation – A peaceful Europe (1945-1959)
The present European Union found its root in the period between 1945-1959 when the union was established with the prime aim to end the frequent and bloody wars between neighbouring countries of the Europe which ended with Second World War (World War II). In the year 1950, the European Coal and Steel manufacturers started to unite European countries economically and politically with an aim to establish long-lasting peace. The six founding members of the present EU were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and Netherlands. The Treaty of Rome, in the year 1957, recognized the European Economic Community which is also known as "Common Market".
What is the Withdrawal Agreement?
The Withdrawal agreement set out terms for the UK’s divorce process from the EU. It covered a range of things, which are:
- The rights of British citizens in the European Union and the EU citizens in Britain. 2) How much money Britain has to pay to the European Union? And last but not the least 3) The backstop for the Irish border.
The crucial point between the Union and Britain is the Irish backstop. At present, there is no border check on people and goods crossing the border of the Republic of Ireland and the Northern Ireland. The backstop is designed to ensure that free movement of goods and people between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains the same even after Britain leaves the EU bloc.
However, the newly elected British Prime Minister Johnson wanted the EU to remove the Irish backstop from the withdrawal deal and seek some of the alternative arrangements and technological solutions to the backstop issue. But lawmakers of EU have so far have not paid any heed to his demand and rebuffed this change to the Irish backstop.
Let's understand the customs union and a single market in brief
The customs union ensures that all EU member states have to levy same taxes on the goods coming in from outside, secondly; they do not levy taxes on each other’s goods, and last but not the least, the member states cannot strike their own trade deals.
The single market allows free movement of goods, services, people and capital between the EU 28 member countries, as well as with Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, as they are a member of the European Economic Area. Also, members of the EU single market comply with many common legislation and standards as well.
Britain is all set to leave the EU bloc as on October 31, 2019 (at 23:00 PM GMT). However, with heightened chances of a no-deal exit of the UK or a disorderly Brexit, British Parliamentarians from different political parties voted through a law forcing the Johnson’s government to seek a third Withdrawal extension.
A no-deal exit of the UK could affect the ordinary course of business for Corporations and individuals as well. As, if Sterling Pound shrinks in response to no-deal exit of the UK from the bloc, that could lead to the lower purchasing power of the Sterling against the basket of major currencies and could cause a recession like situation in the United Kingdom.
Also, in the short run, it will cause substantial delays at the ports, which could hit the price and availability of the foods. As approximately 30% of the UK's foods comes from the EU nations. Many analysts are also not ruling out for a potential shortage of medicines, although Britain has said that it prepared itself to deal with this.
Economic harm is imminent post a Brexit, but many Eurosceptic commented that it is really hard to predict the exact quantum of the impact that could happen post-Brexit and believe that any turmoil will not live-long and could be fixed in short span of time.
British citizens living in the EU member countries have to ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months on October 31, 2019 and will require an international driving license if they are using a car over there. However, European Health Insurance Card and pet passports will no longer be valid.
Housing Prices could plunge post Brexit- KPMG report
The latest survey report released by KPMG said that House prices in the United Kingdom could nosedive by as much as by 1/5th if PM Johnson go for a no-deal exit from the EU bloc. It reported that the biggest plunge in the House prices could be witnessed in London and Northern Ireland.
However, since withdrawal referendum took place three years ago, House prices growth has slumped, and prices lowered across South England in August for the first time since the financial crisis occurred in 2008-09.
Homebuyers are taking a wait and watch stance as many are waiting to get this Brexit mess fixed, KPMG reported. It further said that due to higher connectivity with the with the EU trade, house prices in London and Northern Ireland could fall sharply as much as by 7% to 7.5%.
However, the impact of a no-deal Brexit could be comparatively less in the properties located in the East Midlands and Wales where prices could fall by as much as 5.4 per cent in 2020.
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