Brexit Explained -- Who, What, When, Where
Blimey, so much has happened in British politics in the last week.
Where are we at with Brexit?
Brexit negotiations reached a major milestone on Wednesday, with British Prime Minster Teresa May gaining the support of her cabinet ministers over what's been dubbed the 'divorce deal'. They met for five hours to discuss the contents of the deal document to leave the EU -- which is more than 500-pages long.
But May has only overcome the first of many obstacles. Now she faces the challenge of pushing the draft deal through the British parliament despite her minority Tory government. Her leadership could also be in jeopardy, where calls for a no confidence vote against her are gaining momentum, following the shock resignation of another two of her ministers on Thursday.
READ MORE: Theresa May Faces Mutiny Over Brexit Deal
If she manages to get it through parliament, the deal will then be sent to the European Union for another round of amendments and approvals, but it's no secret the EU isn't the biggest of Brexit fans, so this will also be a difficult step.
Regardless of all this, May has stood firm on the terms in her deal, declaring it in the best interests of the country and confirming that she is committed to honouring the 'Leave' majority vote from 2016.
Why Do Ministers Keep Resigning?
On Thursday, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work And Pensions Secretary Esther McVey both quit following the draft deal meeting.
Back in July, three ministers left their positions including former Brexit Secretary David Davis, his deputy Steve Baker and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson -- one of the biggest supporters of Brexit.
They've all resigned in protest of parts of May's proposed agreements, largely relating to their respective portfolios.
The danger here is that May's leadership could be in trouble.
One backbench Brexiteerr Jacob Rees-Mogg has submitted a no confidence letter to a man named Sir Graham Brady. Brady is the Chairman of the Tory's backbench committee. If 48 Tory MPs write letters to Brady, a leadership vote will be triggered.
Come on guys, you know how a leadership spill works!
The BBC reports 48 letters have not yet been received.
What Are The Terms In the Draft Brexit Deal?
The document is over 500 pages long, here are the main terms.
Transition Period: the UK will officially exit the European Union on March 29, 2019 meaning the UK will no longer be involved in any form of EU decision making. Under the draft agreement however, the UK will stay in the EU market and be subject to EU law until the end of 2020. This will give both sides time to determine a new trade relationship.
Irish Boarder: there will be no hard border (no literal border with customs checks and passport control) between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (part of the EU).
Customs Union: by the end of 2020, the EU and the UK will aim to have determined a new trade agreement. If that hasn't been worked out by then, the draft agreement commits both sides to a customs union that will remove tariffs, checks on product origins and quotas.
Freedom Of Movement: protections for the three million EU citizens in the UK have been set out in the draft deal. The provisions mean these people can live, work and study as they currently do. This means that no visas or other documentation will be needed for EU and UK citizens crossing between the UK and the bloc. Freedom of movement will also be guaranteed until the final exit deal is reached.
What Are The Possible Exit Options?
While a draft deal has been reached there are still four possible options for how the UK might leave the EU, depending on if the draft gets through British parliament and if the EU approves it.
Deal: both the UK and the EU are working to separate as amicably as possible even though it's been difficult for them to agree on the terms. Leaving with a deal means the UK will be able to separate with a plan in place and gives them the option of remaining close to the EU in certain areas like trade and allowing EU citizens to work in the UK. This is often called a 'soft' Brexit and this is what May has opted for.
No Deal: the 'no deal' option means a clean break with the EU. Workers rights and freedom of movement might not be guaranteed and products that are traded between the EU and the UK would be subject to customs checks and and taxes. This is often called a 'hard' Brexit.
Stay In The EU: The UK is set to leave the European Union in March 2019. There has been debate about whether the two-year legal process the UK has triggered to leave the bloc can be reversed, but European Council President Donald Tusk said he believes it can be halted.
Hold A Second Vote: The British Government has ruled out holding a second referendum on the matter regardless of many people calling for it. Just last month, over 700,000 people marched in London lobbying the government to initiate a second vote.
Featured Image: Getty Images.
Contact Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org