Brexit: Jargon-busting guide to the key terms

Confused by all the Brexit jargon in the information? Here’s a glossary to demystify generally used EU-related terms.

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Your guide to Brexit jargon

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12 key terms

No deal

  • A no-deal Brexit would imply the UK leaving the European Union and reducing ties instantly, with no settlement in place.
  • If MPs don’t approve a deal, the UK will depart with no deal on 31 October.
  • The UK would comply with World Trade Organization guidelines to commerce with the EU and different international locations, whereas making an attempt to negotiate free-trade offers.

WTO guidelines

  • If international locations do not have free-trade agreements, they normally commerce with one another beneath guidelines set by the World Trade Organization.
  • Each nation units tariffs – or taxes – on items coming into. For instance, automobiles passing from non-EU international locations to the EU are charged 10% of their worth. But tariffs on some agricultural merchandise are a lot larger – dairy averages greater than 35%.
  • If the UK chooses to put no tariffs on items from the EU, it should additionally haven’t any tariffs on items from each WTO member.

Reality Check: What does a ‘WTO Brexit’ imply? (August 2018)

Transition interval

  • The transition interval is meant to enable time for the UK and EU to agree their future relationship.
  • The UK would haven’t any say in the making of recent EU legal guidelines throughout the transition however would have to comply with all EU guidelines, together with freedom of motion.
  • Under Theresa May’s deal the interval would have lasted 21 months from 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 and may very well be prolonged by up to two years if each the UK and the EU wished.

Article 50

  • Part of an EU treaty that units out how member international locations can depart, with a two-year timetable for leaving.
  • Article 50 was triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May at the finish of March 2017 and means the UK will depart the EU at the finish of March 2019.
  • The UK is allowed to cease the Article 50 course of utterly – but when it needs solely to prolong it, all the different EU international locations should agree.

Another referendum

  • Some campaigners – who name their proposal the People’s Vote – need to have one other referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
  • Opponents of one other vote say there isn’t any want for it as the 2016 referendum made it clear that folks wished to depart the EU.

How might one other Brexit referendum work? (December 2018)

Single market

  • A system that permits items, companies, individuals and capital (cash) to transfer between all 28 EU member states, in addition to Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
  • Countries in the single market apply many frequent guidelines and requirements.
  • A UK firm can promote its product (items) in Portugal as simply as it could possibly in Portsmouth, convey again the money (capital), supply upkeep (companies) and despatch a restore crew (individuals).

Brexit Basics: The single market defined (December 2018)

Customs union

  • A commerce settlement beneath which two or extra international locations don’t put tariffs (taxes) on items coming in from different international locations in the union.
  • The international locations additionally resolve to set the similar tariff on items coming into from outdoors the union.
  • The EU customs union consists of EU member states and a few small non-EU members and forbids members from negotiating commerce agreements individually from the EU. Instead commerce agreements are negotiated collectively.

Brexits Basics: The customs union defined (November 2018)

Free-trade settlement

  • A deal between international locations to cut back, however not essentially get rid of, commerce boundaries.
  • These boundaries embody import or export taxes (tariffs), quotas or licences that restrict imports, and differing laws on issues similar to security or hygiene or labelling.
  • The intention is improve commerce in items but additionally companies.

Brexit Basics: Free commerce agreements defined (November 2018)

Withdrawal settlement

  • Theresa May agreed a cope with the EU on the terms of the UK’s departure. It included how a lot cash the UK should pay to the EU as a settlement, particulars of the transition interval, and residents’ rights.
  • It additionally coated the so-called “backstop”, which ensures that no exhausting border exists between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit even when there isn’t any deal on the future relationship in place by the finish of the transition interval.
  • So-called ‘significant votes’ have been held on Theresa May’s deal 3 times. On all three events, MPs rejected the deal.

The withdrawal settlement – what all of it means (November 2018)


  • Currently, there aren’t any border posts, bodily boundaries or checks on individuals or items crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • The backstop is a measure in the withdrawal settlement, between Theresa May and the EU, which is designed to make sure that continues after the UK leaves the EU. It comes into impact provided that the deal deciding the future relationship between the UK and EU just isn’t agreed by the finish of the transition interval (31 December 2020).
  • Until the deal on the future relationship is finished, the backstop would hold the UK successfully inside the EU’s customs union however with Northern Ireland additionally conforming to some guidelines of the single market. Critics say a distinct standing for Northern Ireland might threaten the existence of the United Kingdom and concern that the backstop might develop into everlasting.

Brexit Basics: What is the backstop?

Free motion

  • One of the 4 freedoms related to the single market is free motion of individuals.
  • This lets EU residents journey, dwell, research and work in any member nation.
  • There may be no discrimination in entry to public companies and advantages.

Divorce invoice

  • The cash the UK agrees to pay to the EU as a part of a Brexit deal.
  • Under Theresa May’s deal it was broadly anticipated to whole about £39bn, to be paid over quite a few years.
  • It was primarily based on UK’s share of EU budgets up to 2020 in addition to persevering with liabilities similar to EU civil servants’ pensions.

More on Brexit:

Brexit: All you want to know

Brexit timeline: Leaving the EU

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