Brexit is a word made up to describe the “British Exit“ from the European Union (EU). In a vote on June 23, 2016, a little more than half of the people of the United Kingdom (UK) chose to leave the EU.
When a country leaves the EU, it loses the advantages it had as a member. The country has two years to reach new agreements. For the UK, that deadline (time limit) is coming up on March 29, 2019.
Prime Minister Theresa May says that the deal is 95% done. But even if her plan is completed, Parliament may not agree to it. Many people in Ms. May’s own party don’t like her deal. Some people in the Labor Party, which opposes Ms. May, say they will oppose her plan.
One of the hardest parts of the agreement is how to keep the border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland open. This is the one place where the UK’s land touches the EU.
Leaving the EU is not simple. The countries must make new agreements in all areas. Here are just a few examples: What rules will affect people from the UK who live in the EU? What about people from the EU in the UK? How will planes, trains, and boats from the UK be treated? What kinds of taxes will the UK and the EU charge each other?
Many people worry about having no deal at all. This would be hard on everyone, but much worse for the UK. Some people in the UK have started to buy and save food. They are afraid food will cost much more without a deal.
Recently, Ms. May and EU leaders have talked about moving the deadline back. That could allow them up to two more years to reach an agreement.
UK businesses are trying to plan for Brexit. Already several companies have moved their businesses to Europe. Some companies worry that they won’t be able to get supplies from Europe or that they might have to pay higher taxes. A group of UK businesses recently warned that if there is no deal by December, they will use special emergency plans. That could mean more businesses leaving the UK.
On Saturday, around 700,000 people protested in London, asking for a second Brexit vote. People who want a second vote believe that the result would be different this time. The first Brexit vote was very close. Now, after all of the worries about the Brexit deal, they think the UK’s voters will choose to stay in the EU.
Ms. May has said that she will not hold a second vote. But as more people oppose her plan and the pressure to reach a deal increases, the UK may find that it needs to rethink some of its ideas about Brexit.
View Larger Map