The purpose of the Withdrawal Agreement is to set out the terms of the United Kingdom`s exit from the European Union (EU). When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, negotiations began to work out the details of the separation. The Withdrawal Agreement is the result of these negotiations.
The Withdrawal Agreement covers a range of issues, including citizens` rights, the financial settlement, and the Irish border. One of the most contentious issues was the Northern Ireland Protocol, which aims to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (an EU member state).
Another key purpose of the Withdrawal Agreement is to provide a transition period. From the date of the UK`s withdrawal from the EU (January 31, 2020), there was a transition period until the end of 2020 during which the UK remained in the EU`s single market and customs union. This allowed time for businesses and individuals to adjust to the new arrangements and for negotiations to continue on the UK`s future relationship with the EU.
The Withdrawal Agreement also sets out the financial settlement. This covers the UK`s financial obligations to the EU, such as budget contributions, pensions for EU officials, and funding for programs and projects. The UK agreed to pay a settlement of around £39 billion (€47.5 billion).
The Withdrawal Agreement also protects the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. This includes the right to live, work, and study, as well as access to social security and healthcare.
The purpose of the Withdrawal Agreement is to provide a framework for the UK`s exit from the EU and to protect key interests and rights. While there are still ongoing negotiations on the UK`s future relationship with the EU, the Withdrawal Agreement provides a solid foundation for the new relationship.