On November 25, 2018, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached a historic agreement on the terms of the UK`s withdrawal from the EU, commonly known as the “Withdrawal Agreement.”
The agreement outlined the terms of the UK`s exit from the EU, including the financial settlement that the UK would pay to the EU, the rights of EU citizens living in the UK (and vice versa), and the arrangement for the Northern Ireland border.
One of the key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement was the “backstop” arrangement for the Northern Ireland border. This arrangement would come into effect if the UK and the EU were unable to negotiate a long-term solution for the border. It would see Northern Ireland remain in a customs union with the EU, while the rest of the UK would be free to pursue its own trade policy. This arrangement has been the subject of much controversy and debate in the UK.
The Withdrawal Agreement also set out a transition period, during which the UK would remain in the EU`s single market and customs union, but would not have any say in EU decision-making. This transition period was to last until the end of 2020, during which time the UK and EU would negotiate a long-term relationship.
However, the Withdrawal Agreement was not universally popular. In January 2019, the UK parliament voted against the agreement, leading to a period of uncertainty and political turmoil in the country. The question of how the UK will leave the EU remains unanswered, and the Withdrawal Agreement continues to be a hotly-debated topic.