Fast Facts on Brexit

Fast Facts on Brexit

Just a little over nine months since Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union, the British government will begin the formal proceedings of leaving the EU by triggering article 50. Here’s everything you need to know about Brexit and how security may be complicated by the historic move.

Article 50

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which forms the constitutional basis of the EU, explains how a member of the EU can voluntarily leave the European Union. The specifics of the article include actions taken by the leaver, such as informing the European Council of its intention, negotiating a deal one its withdrawal and establishing legal grounds for a future relationship with the EU.

The UK’s vote to leave the EU was unprecedented, no other country in the union had voted to leave before making the future uncharted territory for the British government. Article 50 explains that one a country has given its notice of leaving the union; it has two years to negotiate new arrangements independently of the deals they had as a member of the EU. An extension can only be granted by unanimous agreement.

Britain’s Exit

Britain’s Exit, aptly nicknamed “Brexit,” will be trigged on Wednesday, March 29. On this day, the British government will deliver a letter to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister will then address the world.

The next day, Brexit secretary, David Davis, will publish the government’s “great repeal bill.” This will set out an end to the authority of EU law by converting all its provisions in British law once the UK leaves.

From there, the British government will have 2-years to independently negotiate deals with each of the remaining 27 countries in the EU as well as their ally counties. These deals will revolve around immigration, trade and security.

How is security involved?

As part of their removal from the EU, the UK will also be expected to pull out of Europol. Europol was founded in 1998 to combat organized crime, cybercrime and militant groups across borders. Cooperation between Europol and non-EU countries, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine took several years to negotiate and there are limits on what data can be shared. After Brexit, the UK will have to rely on their independent links with each country for dealings in security.

Besides Europol, Britain also has the ability to gather intelligence from the Schengen agreement and to a deal to exchange airline passenger data between EU security forces.

EU diplomats have refused to discuss Britain’s future defense and security cooperation until London triggers the formal exit proceedings, but senior British diplomat told reporters that the government would likely seek a “special relationship.”

Britain already has bilateral security agreements with fellow EU members France and Germany, as well as the long standing “Five Eyes,” an intelligence sharing pact between the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Perhaps one of the largest issues that won over voters was the ability to close the borders around the United Kingdom in an effort to increase security and keep out those who wish to do the country harm. Recent terrorist attacks around Europe helped to fuel the fire under those who believed leaving the EU was the best option, as they would have stronger control over those who came into the country.

On the other side of that coin, it makes it harder for residents inside the country to travel outside of the borders passport or visa free.

Posted on Mar 28, 2017

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