Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Despite the promises emblazoned on the Brexit bus – saying we’d have £350m a week for the NHS after Brexit – we still don’t know how much extra we’d have to spend on the NHS, or on anything else for that matter.
Most economic forecasts suggest a slowdown after Brexit – but a lot could depend on what type of deal we come away with.
There are other unknowns – the UK would be paying less towards the EU but may have to spend more to pay for things that the EU used to handle.
So it’s still up to the government how much extra the NHS gets, regardless of leaving the EU or any economic slowdown.
In fact the £350m figure was criticised by the UK Statistics Authority as “a clear misuse of official statistics”.

We know that we don’t have to vote again – the government has said “no” to a second referendum.
But we don’t know whether that might change at some point – if the government changes, for example, so it doesn’t mean we definitely won’t vote again.
The Labour Party has said it’s against holding another referendum (although there are some Labour MPs who disagree with that position.)

No, they won’t.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid says EU citizens will have to answer three “simple” questions online if they want to continue living in the UK after Brexit.
The scheme will operate online and via a smartphone app and they’ll be asked to prove their ID, whether they have criminal convictions and whether they live in the UK.
EU citizens and family members who have been in the UK for five years by the end of 2020 will be able to apply for “settled status”, meaning they are free to go on living and working in the UK indefinitely.
Those who have arrived by December 31, 2020, but do not have five years’ residence, can seek to stay until they have, at which point they can seek settled status.
Applications will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children and be free for EU nationals who already have residency or indefinite leave to remain.

Like soft Brexit, it means different things to different people.
A hard Brexit could be no agreement on future relations, no divorce bill payment, no freedom of movement, leaving the single market and customs union and switching – at least initially – to World Trade Organization rules.
Or no agreement whatsoever.
Basically hard Brexit would mean a much clearer break with the EU than many people in the government want.

The UK is set to leave the EU on Brexit day, 29 March 2019 – which is quite soon really.
So, there’ll be a transitional period after that, until 31 December 2020, to allow business and others to prepare for the new post-Brexit relationship. It gives the UK some time to pass new laws, negotiate trade deals and put regulations in place, ready for 1 January 2021.
What happens if the UK isn’t ready by then (and there is an awful lot to do)? That still has to be negotiated, and could become a big issue further down the line.
During the transition, the UK will still be signed up to EU laws, but won’t have any formal say in deciding new ones.
That is, however, unless the withdrawal deal collapses. In which case, everything is off the table. Both sides say nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. That’s two years after it triggered Article 50 – the clause binding EU members, unless, that is, it’s deferred under the rules set out in Article 50 or cancelled through some as-yet-unclear process.
More info here.

Perhaps. As it stands, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is basically invisible… people and goods can cross freely.
But leaving the customs union could lead to a hard border, unless a solution can be found to avoid one.
A hard border means checkpoints, controls, officials etc and neither side wants to see that imposed on the Irish border.
And it’s not just about customs checks. To avoid a hard border you also need the same rules and regulations on both sides on things like food safety and animal welfare.
However, no-one has yet come up with a solution both the UK and EU are happy with. They both agree there should be a backstop option avoiding a hard border in the final Brexit treaty.
But as that would mean Northern Ireland effectively remaining in the customs union, it’s not clear how it would work out.
And the UK doesn’t agree with the EU’s proposal so far as they fear it could it could mean checks between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron called a referendum, after a general election 2015 promise to give voters the chance to decide their future after 40 years as members of Europe.
Some argue that he called it thinking if the Remain vote won, he could stop losing votes to UKIP at elections and bring Brexit MPs in his party under control.
Note “former” prime minister.
Beyond that, there’s no catch-all reason why people voted to leave.
Reasons ranged from wanting to end free movement of people, reduce immigration, stop the UK being subject to EU law and see more money going to the NHS.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron called a referendum, after a general election 2015 promise to give voters the chance to decide their future after 40 years as members of Europe.
Some argue that he called it thinking if the Remain vote won, he could stop losing votes to UKIP at elections and bring Brexit MPs in his party under control.
Note “former” prime minister.
Beyond that, there’s no catch-all reason why people voted to leave.
Reasons ranged from wanting to end free movement of people, reduce immigration, stop the UK being subject to EU law and see more money going to the NHS.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron called a referendum, after a general election 2015 promise to give voters the chance to decide their future after 40 years as members of Europe.
Some argue that he called it thinking if the Remain vote won, he could stop losing votes to UKIP at elections and bring Brexit MPs in his party under control.
Note “former” prime minister.
Beyond that, there’s no catch-all reason why people voted to leave.
Reasons ranged from wanting to end free movement of people, reduce immigration, stop the UK being subject to EU law and see more money going to the NHS.

Theresa May said in January 2017 “No deal is better than a bad deal”. But at the time, few people thought “No deal” was a realistic outcome. Surely both sides could reach an agreement in two years of talks.
But more than 18 months on, there are still important issues where no agreement has been reached. No deal means the UK would fall back on its membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which governs international trade.

UK exports to the EU would be subject to the same customs checks and taxes the EU puts on countries like the US. Some so-called “hard Brexiteers” say No deal is nothing to worry about, that it would create a truly independent nation able to strike its own beneficial trade deals around the world.
But opponents say it would be catastrophic for British business and have warned about chaos at the borders, higher food prices and shortages in the shops.

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