By Maddie Simpson
So what will happen when we eventually leave the European Union? Parliament are currently awaiting a deal that will outline what will happen when we eventually withdraw. This could go one of five ways: No deal, Hard deal, Soft deal, Chequers deal or revoking Article 50.
A No deal Brexit will mean that we will leave the EU without a transitional period. A standard international trading law will still remain, meaning that Britain will still be able to trade with foreign countries. However, tariffs and border checks will be put in place leading to the installation of hard borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which could see sectarian violence re-emerge in the area.
Many economists believe a No deal Brexit could lead to potential economic downfall, high levels of poverty and food shortages, but at this stage this is merely conjecture, as we cannot possibly know what will happen until after we leave the EU. Supporters of No deal want to control our own borders and create our own foreign policy, but a no deal will not protect Britons living abroad.
A Hard Brexit is favoured by most Conservative MPs, chief amongst them is Jacob Rees-Mogg as well as all representatives of the Brexit party. This approach will create a definitive split from all EU powers, including the single market, custom union and European Court of Justice. They intend for the government to set their own rules, such as trade deals with other countries, which will be beneficial for the British economy because it will reduce foreign competition. Any Briton living abroad will have to apply for settled status. A Hard Brexit approach must be accepted by the EU before it can take place.
Supporters of a Soft Brexit approach want to align with the EU meaning that they stay in the single market and custom union, resembling something like Norway’s relationship with the EU. However, the big downside to this approach would mean that foreign trading still took place and Britain misses out on making its own trade deals. Many argue that this approach doesn’t lead to full British independence because Britain is still complying with EU legislation.
The Chequers deal was put forward by Teresa May. It was favoured by some of the government, with the exception of the then Brexit secretary and Foreign Secretary (David Davis and Boris Johnson respectively), who both resigned from their position’s days later. May was trying to appeal to everyone, by creating a legislation that allowed Britain to stay in contact with the European Union. She was happy to sign the common rule book when it came to trade and the single market, as well as wanting there to be more freedom when it came to trade with other countries. It should be noted that due to the manifestos released by the Conservatives and Labour, the Chequer’s plan is highly unlikely.
By avoiding the hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, she wanted to eventually impose free movement for people travelling throughout the UK. However, EU citizens could stay in the UK, but she wanted to end further free movement from foreign countries. Teresa May resigned as Prime Minister on 27th March, leaving Boris Johnson to take over her position.
Since Johnson has been in power, he has illegally postponed parliament to get a Queen’s speech but could also be argued as him and his government biding their time. Parliament came back for Johnson to propose his Brexit deal, which is more ‘hard Brexit’ than May’s proposal. This failed to pass in parliament, leading to another extension so they can vote on a deal which provides the relevant legislation needed.
Finally, we now have the option of remaining in the EU depending on who wins the Election on the 12th December. The Liberal Democrats have stated that should they be voted into power they will revoke article 50, whilst Labour will have a second referendum with the option to revoke article 50 or leave under a deal set out prior to the referendum. So, these are the options available to the UK should they decide to leave, or not.