UK Politics

Why is Brexit taking sooo long?

It's been more than two years since the UK voted to leave the EU and the negotiations, pronouncements and progress reports seem never-ending.

So while there's just over six months until Brexit day, with a 21-month transition period after that, we ask why does it seem to be taking sooo long?

We voted in 2016 – why is it taking so long to leave?

Well, none of the major players has ever left the European Union before...

So there are some BIG problems to solve

Such as how we don’t end up worse-off economically

The EU has a "single market" - goods from other EU countries aren't taxed at the border

And people can also move around as if the EU was a single country

Outside the EU, the UK might have to pay more to buy from and sell to EU countries

This could also slow the flow of goods and parts, disrupting production for UK firms

The EU says Britain can’t cherry pick – keeping some benefits without membership

But that could mean the UK is freer to make other trade deals around the world

Any special deal the UK wants has to be approved by MPs first

Then the deal has to be agreed by 27 national parliaments across Europe

That’s a lot of people who need to agree with each other…

So, the date UK is meant to leave is 29 March 2019

But there are already plans for a 21-month transition period after that

During which the UK could still be governed by some EU laws

A trade deal between Canada and the EU took seven years to agree

However, as the UK’s already fully aligned with the EU, it could be quicker

But it is likely that we will all be talking about Brexit for a long time yet...

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Brexit: All you need to know

Brexit timeline: Leaving the EU