The United Kingdom made history earlier this week, as they officially notified the European Union they are leaving the bloc.
To begin negotiating the global breakup, European Council President Donald Tusk is composing guidelines. When finished, Tusk will submit the drafted guidelines to the 27 members of the EU. Currently, the nine-page document outlines terms for EU withdrawal discussions, as well as a ‘divorce bill.’
Accordingly, the EU will work to verify official guidelines for the UK’s departure from the EU, as they do not permit the UK to leave the union before negotiating future diplomatic relations.
The guidelines state that the EU plans for the Union to “act as one” and prepares for 2-year long negotiations.
“It will be constructive throughout and will strive to find an agreement. This is in the best interest of both sides,” Tusk wrote in the draft. “The Union will work hard to achieve that outcome, but it will prepare itself to be able to handle the situation also if the negotiations were to fail.”
Initially, the European Council wanted to publish the guideline on its website immediately. However, two countries a part of the EU objected. The guidelines will contain general EU principles, as well as details about negotiation structure. These guidelines include the terms of the UK’s separation, planned talks about future trade partnerships, and what the new diplomatic relationship between the countries will look like.
Brexit (Britain’s exit) is allowable through Article 50, created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon. The article states that in order for a country to leave the EU, it must partake in negotiations — up to 2 years — to determine agreements and next steps.
Why is Brexit happening?
On June 23, 2016, the UK—consisting of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland—held a referendum. The voting concluded that the UK should leave the European Union, with 51.9 percent of the countries voting in favor.
After the voting occurred, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned from his position, allowing Theresa May into leadership. Although both officials did not want the UK to leave the EU, May did not publicize her opinions on the matter.
Before the Brexit negotiations, many UK civilians wanted Brexit to occur. The UK Independence Party pushed for the change for many years, stating that the EU was holding the countries back. They claim the EU officiated too many business rules and charged too many fees for little return.
So long as all EU members do not wish to extend negotiations, the UK will officially leave the EU on March 29, 2019.