The UK is formally leaving the European Union (EU) today Friday, 31 January. But it will immediately enter an 11-month transition period.
During the transition the UK will continue to obey EU rules and pay money to the EU. Most things will stay the same but there will be some changes which includes:
- UK MEPs lose their seats
Familiar faces such as Nigel Farage and Ann Widdecombe are among the UK’s 73 MEPs who will automatically lose their seats in the European Parliament.
- No more EU summits
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to be specially invited if he wants to join other leaders at EU Council summits in the future. British ministers will also no longer attend regular EU meetings that decide things such as fishing limits.
- We will be hearing a lot about trade
The UK will be able to start talking to countries around the world about setting new rules for buying and selling goods and services. It has not been allowed to hold formal trade negotiations with countries like the US and Australia while it remained an EU member. Brexit supporters argue that having the freedom to set its own trade policy will boost the UK’s economy.
- The UK’s passports will change colour
Blue passports will be making a return, more than 30 years after they were replaced by the current burgundy design. Announcing the change in 2017, then Immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis, praised the return to the “iconic” blue-and-gold design first used in 1921.
The new colour will be phased in over a number of months, with all new passports issued in blue by the middle of the year. Existing burgundy passports will continue to be valid
- Brexit coins
About three million commemorative 50p Brexit coins bearing the date “31 January” and the inscription: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”, will enter circulation on Friday.
The coin has received a mixed reaction, with some Remain supporters saying they will refuse to accept it. The government had planned to introduce a similar coin on 31 October, the date Brexit was previously meant to happen.
However, those coins had to be melted down and recycled after the deadline was extended.
- The UK’s Brexit department shuts down
The team that handled the UK-EU negotiations and no-deal preparations will disband on Brexit day.
- Germany won’t extradite its citizens to the UK
It won’t be possible for some suspected criminals to be brought back to the UK if they flee to Germany. Germany’s constitution does not allow its citizens to be extradited, unless it’s to another EU country. (Culled BBC)