Coronavirus: Support for economies by European and other states

What economic support have governments given to businesses and individuals to tackle the impact of the coronavirus? This paper looks at the policies put in place by the EU, governments in Europe, the US and other developed countries.…

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Brexit Glossary

This Commons Library research briefing contains a list of commonly-used terms and acronyms that have needed clarification since the United Kingdom voted in the June 2016 EU referendum.…

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Withdrawal Agreement Bill: The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

What does the Withdrawal Agreement Bill say about what will happen to Northern Ireland post-Brexit? How will it translate into UK law the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement that replaced the ‘backstop’? …

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The October 2019 EU UK Withdrawal Agreement

Boris Johnson’s Government have negotiated a new ‘deal’ with the European Union. It is formed of a Political Declaration and a Withdrawal Agreement. This paper focuses on the Withdrawal Agreement and how it compares to the one negotiated by Theresa May’s Government in November 2018.

The main differences are in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland or the ‘backstop’ as it is commonly known. It contains very different arrangements, the UK will no longer be in a single customs territory or union with the EU. The UK will no longer be legally bound to continue with level playing field commitments at the end of the transition period.

Northern Ireland will still be in the UK’s customs territory and VAT area, however, the region will align with the EU’s rules in these areas. Northern Ireland will remain mostly aligned to the EU’s regulations for goods. Four years after the end of the transition period Northern Ireland’s democratic institutions will vote on whether they wish to continue the arrangements in the Protocol.…

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Northern Ireland, Citizenship and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

The definition of ‘EEA citizen’ in the rules for the Home Office’s settled status scheme has recently changed. What are the consequences? How do these changes affect the people of Northern Ireland? Why are some people unhappy with these changes? What does British nationality law say about people born in Northern Ireland? How do these nationality laws interact with the birthright provision of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement? What does the European Convention on Human Rights say about identity and immigration? What do the people of Northern Ireland say when they are asked about their nationality? This paper looks at the complex issues behind all these questions.…

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The Common Travel Area and the special status of Irish nationals in UK law

The Common Travel Area is a special travel zone between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It dates back to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. This briefing focuses on how the CTA operates between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.…

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The UK’s EU Withdrawal Agreement

This briefing looks in detail at the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and UK and finalised on 14 November 2018. It was endorsed by EU Member State leaders at a special European Council summit on 25 November and the UK Prime Minister promoted it in the UK Parliament and around the country. The Agreement was debated at length in Parliament on several occasions and has been voted on three times. But the House of Commons has not endorsed it. A second extension of Article 50 took exit day to 31 October 2019, but once again the UK is faced with the possibility of leaving the EU without an agreement if this agreement or another one is not ratified by the UK and the EU. …

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The EU27: Internal Politics and Views on Brexit

The other 27 EU Member States have maintained a largely united front in the Brexit negotiations and in maintaining that the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement should not be re-opened. This paper examines the views of each of the EU27 on Brexit and any contingency planning for a possible no-deal Brexit. It also provides background on their internal politics and trade and economic statistics.…

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Brexit: Proposals for the future UK-EU relationship

The House of Commons has voted on various options for the future UK-EU relationship in the hope that an agreed UK position may help to break the impasse following the Commons’ rejection of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. The Government says it may hold a further Commons vote on future relationship options. What options have been proposed? …

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The ‘Strasbourg package’

On 11 March 2019 the UK government and the EU agreed a series of ‘interpretations’ and ‘clarifications’ of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration they negotiated in November 2018. What is in the published documents? What are their effects? To what extent do they provide legally binding guarantees? How did they change the Attorney General’s legal opinion of the Withdrawal Agreement?

What was the result of the second ‘meaningful vote’ held in the House of Commons on the updated ‘package’, and what happens next?…

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