As the United Kingdom continues to navigate its exit from the European Union, two terms that have been frequently discussed are “meaningful vote” and “withdrawal agreement.” Both are important in the Brexit process, but what do they actually mean?
A “meaningful vote” refers to the vote that takes place in the UK Parliament on the negotiated Brexit deal between the UK and the EU. The vote is called meaningful because it determines whether or not the deal will be accepted or rejected. It is essentially the UK`s opportunity to approve or reject the terms of the agreement that have been negotiated by the government with the EU. The vote was initially planned for December 2018, but was delayed until January 2019 due to concerns that the deal would not pass.
The “withdrawal agreement” is the deal negotiated between the UK and the EU that outlines the terms of the UK`s departure from the EU. This agreement covers issues such as the transition period, the divorce bill, citizens` rights, and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The withdrawal agreement is seen as a crucial part of the Brexit process as it sets out the terms of the UK`s departure and paves the way for the future UK-EU relationship.
However, the withdrawal agreement has been a controversial issue in the UK, with many MPs from both the ruling Conservative party and opposition parties objecting to various aspects of the agreement. One of the biggest sticking points has been the backstop, which is a measure in the agreement that ensures that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. Some MPs have argued that the backstop could leave the UK tied to the EU indefinitely, while others have raised concerns about its impact on Northern Ireland`s relationship with the rest of the UK.
As a result of the opposition to the withdrawal agreement, the meaningful vote on the deal faced significant uncertainty before it finally took place on 15 January 2019, with the deal being overwhelmingly rejected by MPs. Following the vote, the UK government has been attempting to renegotiate aspects of the agreement in order to secure a deal that can be passed by Parliament.
In conclusion, the “meaningful vote” and “withdrawal agreement” are key terms in the Brexit process, with the former being the UK Parliament`s chance to approve or reject the latter. Both terms are inherently linked, with the withdrawal agreement being the subject of the meaningful vote. As the UK looks to finalise its departure from the EU, these terms will continue to be discussed and scrutinised by both politicians and the public alike.