Brexit: What happened on Tuesday? – BBC News


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The Supreme Court is hearing competing arguments about the legality of the prime minister’s suspension of Parliament.

The most senior judge in the UK, Lady Hale, says the case raises “a serious and difficult question of law”, as she and 10 other judges must decide whether advice Boris Johnson gave to the Queen about prorogation was lawful.

What does the future hold for the relationship between the UK and the EU following the UK’s departure from the EU?

On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, the United Kingdom’s long-standing departure from the European Union came into effect. This departure, commonly referred to as Brexit, has been a controversial and tumultuous process, spanning over four years since the referendum vote in 2016.

The departure was finally concluded as the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill received Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II. This bill outlines the details of the UK’s departure agreement with the EU and ensures smooth trade and security cooperation. The bill was passed in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords earlier this month, securing a majority support in both houses.

The departure agreement primarily addresses four key areas: trade, security, citizens’ rights, and Northern Ireland. The agreement ensures that there are no tariffs or quotas on goods traded between the UK and EU, which would have been the case under the World Trade Organisation’s rules had there been no deal. However, despite the free trade agreement, new customs checks have become necessary at the borders.

The agreement also guarantees continued cooperation between the UK and the EU on law enforcement, security and intelligence sharing. This cooperation will come via a new forum, the Partnership Council, which will oversee the implementation of the agreement.

Furthermore, the agreement recognizes the rights of both EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. They will maintain their entitlements to work, study, and access healthcare in their respective countries.

The contentious issue of Northern Ireland’s status under Brexit has been addressed in the agreement. The provision of the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods, which avoids a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, it could lead to the potential creation of a de facto border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The agreement has been a cause of both celebration and concern. While it paves the way for a new future for the UK, there are still concerns about the potential negative impact on trade, business, and the economy. The UK and EU will continue to have to navigate the aftermath of this historic departure and establish a new relationship going forward.

In conclusion, the events of Tuesday mark a historic moment in British history. After four years of political uncertainty and difficult negotiations, Brexit has now become a reality. The future remains uncertain, but the departure agreement provides some clarity and the promise of a new beginning for the UK.

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