On 29th March 2019, in exactly one year, the UK will officially leave the EU. What started in June 2016 will come to a climax in the coming year, as the final arrangements regarding untangling the UK from the various European institutions will be fully disclosed.
Theresa May kicked off the countdown by beginning her own tour across the UK to stir up more support for the Brexit process. After the issues surrounding the Leave campaign’s dubious slogan during the referendum, the Prime Minister assured that there will be more money for hospitals and schools following our formal departure.
While the Brexit ‘divorce’ bill has been settled, the nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU is yet to be finalised. Of course, if this hasn’t been sorted, it’s not a catastrophe. As the negotiators have agreed to a 21 month transition period following the 29th March. This means that any current commitments we have to the EU will remain to allow a smoother departure, rather than a complete collapse of the regulations that keep the country ticking over.
As this is a blog post, there is an opinion incoming.
While I’m still a supporter of remaining in the EU, I have to give some credit to the Brexit negotiators who have, so far, managed to navigate to an agreement with the EU in regards to some matters. Sadly, that’s as far as my positivity goes. While much of the Leave argument was based on the worry that we send too much money to the EU and get little out, ‘we’ have agreed to pay a hefty sum to the EU, which will cover our portion of the EU budget for years to come.
And while Theresa May is still optimistic about Brexit, the same can’t be said over this lingering issue of the Northern Ireland border. We’re still no closer to solving the potential crisis that could happen if no border deal is struck. Do the negotiators just hope it’s going to sort itself out? I myself can’t be sure what the best solution is. Nowhere else in the world is there as great complexity as the future of the Northern Irish border.
So, what can we expect in the coming year? Well, hopefully the finalised deal, which will be put before Parliament. While I’d appreciate a say in the final deal myself, I can’t say I have much faith in the British public following the last referendum result.