Confused about Brexit? Here's what you need to know

The British and European Union leaders have agreed on the conditions for Brexit. But it's not the end. Prime Minister Theresa May has to get the agreement approved by the British parliament, where she faces an almost certain defeat. He is not saying what he will do if his plan to get out of the bloc will be rejected, but this result will probably introduce a period of unprecedented political chaos. Here is a guide to what comes next – the most dangerous part of Brexit.

1. What is the deal?

It is the most important international agreement for Great Britain since the end of the Second World War. Negotiated in 17 months, the agreement establishes the terms of the separation that allows the United States to leave the EU on March 29 in an orderly manner – and brings with it a 21-month grace period to give everyone the Time to adapt. Next is a political statement that specifies that the two sides want close economic and commercial ties, although the details will take years to solve them.

2. What would you change under the agreement?

If the agreement is approved, nothing will change until January 2021, when a grace period ends. Even that could be extended for another year or two. Life in the UK will go on as before, with all the EU rules that apply – including the free movement of goods and people across borders – but the UK will no longer have a say when the rules are drawn up. It is not yet clear how life will change dramatically after the transition period. This is because the details of the future relationship have yet to be resolved. But at present, the free movement of people is bound to end and the United States will leave the EU single market. This means that trade becomes more complicated. EU citizens who were already in Britain before Brexit will be able to stay, and vice versa.

3. What happens next?

The agreement goes to Parliament on December 11th – unless the government decides to postpone or pull the vote. There is opposition from all sides: pro-Brexit extremists in the May conservative party, pro-EU conservatives, the Northern Irish party that is supporting the government and almost the entire Labor party of the opposition. The main objection is to ensure that May has offered to ensure that a new physical border does not emerge on the island of Ireland, which is divided between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland , which remains in the European Union. Critics argue that promises are likely to bind EU rules forever to EU rules. They argue that it shattered for the EU and betrayed the electorate's request to regain sovereignty, while it treated Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the country.

4. What happens if Parliament votes no?

Things would become murky. Labor would have pushed for general elections, but it is not clear whether the party would succeed. The resulting chaos would provide the best opportunity for legislators to try to trigger a second referendum in a repeat of the June 2016 vote to leave the EU. For now, there is not enough support in Parliament, but it could change. It could be ousted by its own party, it could call an election, or it could announce a series of measures for a "no-deal" Brexit and resubmit the agreement a second time. The government could decide to adopt a new approach to Brexit, in an attempt to obtain the majority for an agreement to the House of Commons. This would almost certainly mean trying to maintain closer links with the block. Investors bet on May and get the second vote, probably after an adverse reaction to the market.

5. What is a "no-deal" Brexit?

There is the possibility that, if the agreement is rejected, Britain would crash out of the bloc without an agreement on March 29th. This would leave the UK no legal agreement to facilitate trade and other transactions with its neighbors, growling cross-border trade and freezing markets. Bottlenecks could lead to shortages of everything from food to drugs and production components. But this scenario is probably becoming less likely as Parliament is increasingly assertive in trying to prevent it.

6. What will the EU do?

May could return to Brussels to try to extract what would probably be nothing but symbolic concessions. C & # 39; is a summit between December 13 and 14 where he could present his case to the leaders of the EU, but they were clear enough that they do not want to reopen the negotiation.

7. Could it be pushed out?

So far the efforts to oust it as party leader and therefore prime minister have failed, but there would have been a new impetus if he had lost the clash with Parliament. The rebels need 48 of the 315 conservative legislators to send letters asking for a vote, which will follow as soon as possible. A larger number of them – 158 – would therefore need to vote to replace it. This is different from a Parliament vote of no confidence in the government, which could pave the way for general elections.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emma Ross-Thomas in London at the address erossthomas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net ,; Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net, Leah Harrison Singer, Steve Geimann

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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