Poli SAVVY: Brexit is a done deal. Or is it?

Hello February, goodbye to the EU.

After more than three years and many extensions, Britain’s breakup with the European Union is finally official. And the story of their divorce is a long and laborious one. A chapter might be over, but the saga continues.

Back in June 2016, 52 per cent of the United Kingdom’s population voted in favour of the Brexit referendum. Yet, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU was sold to voters without a clear idea of what it would mean. Now that it’s here, the question remains.

What exactly does Brexit look like? Alas, my friend, we still don’t quite know and Britain has more time to figure it out once again.

Ironically, even as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially signed the Brexit Agreement, which came into effect on Friday, Jan. 31, the UK still has another 11-month transition period. They need to negotiate new regulations over various issues such as trade and immigration, while the old rules still apply. They couldn’t figure it out in three years, but who knows what will come out of this transition period?

We are not just talking about a few new adjustments here and there. We are actually looking at more than 750 treaties and international agreements that will need to be looked over, according to Financial Times. It will take time, and it should. Changes of this nature can’t be made in a rush.

However, despite the separation anxiety the exit is causing, it actually could mean greater opportunities for Canada. While our country and the UK were trading under the EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) since 2016, another deal will have to be drafted and agreed upon by both countries. Seeing how the UK struggled in dealing with Brexit in the first place and how unsteady the road ahead is, Canada could end up with the upper hand.

But ONLY eventually, after the transition period (which could also be postponed for another year or two).

How Britain managed to conquer the world is a wonder.


Graphic by Victoria Blair

Briefs News

World in brief: Justice for Rafi, death of ISIS leader and a third extension for Brexit

Sixteen people have been sentenced to death for setting a 19-year-old girl on fire after she accused her teacher of sexual harassment in Bangladesh. The verdict came after the country was left in shock, protesting for justice. It was one of the quickest sentences to be pronounced in such cases. Nusrat Jahan Rafi was murdered in April by classmates who urged her to retract her complaint. They lured her onto a rooftop 11 days after she came forward to the police with accusations of sexual harassment, as reported by BBC. Bangladesh has an alarmingly high rate of sexual violence. According to UN Women, more than half of Bangladeshi women have experienced some form of sexual violence from their intimate partner in their lifetime.

On Sunday, Trump announced the death of one of the most wanted terrorists, Islamist State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Several media outlets reported that he died in a raid conducted by American troops in northwest Syria, on Saturday night. It was later confirmed by Trump that al-Baghdadi ran into a dead-end tunnel with three of his children, where he detonated a suicide vest. Yet, people are reluctant to link his death to the end of ISIS, as the terrorist organization is most likely to name a successor. Talking about a possible ISIS resurgence in a TIME article, Michael Downing, former head of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau for the Los Angeles Police Department said: “Now is one of the most dangerous times, when you injure an animal, that is when it is most dangerous.”

A new Brexit deadline has been granted to Boris Johnson’s government after the Prime Minister was forced by the parliament to request a further extension. On Twitter early Monday morning, President of the European Council Donald Tusk referred to the setback as a “flextension” – meaning if a deal was to be made before February 2020, Britain could still have the opportunity to leave the EU. Johnson has repeated many times that a Brexit deal would happen by Oct. 31, but it has become increasingly difficult to reach a consensus with a minority government. Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, was first voted for in 2016 and has been extended three times since.


Graphic by @sundaeghost

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