Withdrawal Agreement Bill Difference
The Withdrawal Agreement Bill Difference: What You Need to Know
The Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) is a crucial document that outlines the terms of the United Kingdom`s (UK) exit from the European Union (EU). It was first introduced in October 2019, but after several rounds of negotiation and political changes, a new version of the WAB was published in December 2019. So, what are the differences between the two versions of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and why do they matter?
One of the most significant changes to the WAB is related to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which aims to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (part of the EU). The original WAB gave the Northern Ireland Assembly the power to opt out of some of the protocol`s provisions over time, but this option was removed in the new version. Instead, the protocol will remain in force indefinitely unless the Assembly votes to end it after four years.
Another significant change to the WAB is related to citizens` rights. The original version of the bill stated that the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK would be protected, but the new version includes more detail on how these rights will be enforced. For example, EU citizens who wish to continue living in the UK after Brexit will need to apply for a new immigration status called “settled status.” This change ensures that the UK has a clear framework for protecting EU citizens` rights in the future.
Other changes to the WAB include a new provision that requires the UK government to seek parliamentary approval before extending the transition period beyond December 2020, as well as a provision that allows for a review of the UK`s future relationship with the EU after three years.
So, why do these differences matter? The WAB is a crucial document that will shape the UK`s future relationship with the EU. The changes made to the bill reflect the UK government`s desire to safeguard citizens` rights and avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. By clarifying the details of the Northern Ireland Protocol and outlining a clear framework for protecting EU citizens` rights, the new version of the WAB provides more certainty for businesses and individuals alike.
However, the WAB is still subject to political debate and negotiation, and its final form may differ from the current version. As such, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the Brexit process and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. By understanding the differences between the two versions of the WAB and their potential impact, you can make informed decisions about how to navigate the post-Brexit landscape.