What Happened: A legally binding agreement to enable the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union was approved by the bloc's leaders in Brussels on Nov. 25, the BBC reported. The deal still needs to be approved by the UK parliament.
Why it Matters: The United Kingdom is set to formally leave the European Union on March 29 and both sides have scrambled to come to an arrangement. For the deal to move forward, however, the House of Commons must vote in favor on Dec. 12. Without a deal, London and Brussels would likely establish temporary agreements to minimize disruptions while they continued to negotiate. The immediate economic impact of such a scenario would be weathered by the United Kingdom and its closest trade partners, including Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Background: Critics of the agreement argue that it forces the United Kingdom to continue following EU rules for an indefinite period, while London will not have the right to unilaterally leave the agreement. Most opposition legislators and a significant number of legislators from the governing Conservative Party are against the deal.
- Brexit Negotiations Have Yielded An Agreement. What's Next? (Nov. 15, 2018)
- What If Brexit Happened Without an Exit Deal? (July 30, 2018)
- For Ireland, Brexit Is No Small Matter (Oct. 19, 2017)