Summary of Withdrawal Agreement Bill

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, also known as the WAB, is a piece of legislation that outlines the terms of the United Kingdom`s departure from the European Union. It was introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in October 2019 and passed through the House of Commons in December.

The key points of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill include the following:

1. The UK`s departure from the EU will take place on January 31, 2020. This marks the end of the transition period during which the UK and the EU negotiate a new trade and security agreement.

2. The WAB ensures that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU will be protected after Brexit. This includes access to healthcare, employment and social security benefits.

3. The bill also includes provisions for a financial settlement with the EU, setting out the UK`s financial obligations as it leaves the union.

4. The WAB establishes a new customs regime for Northern Ireland, which will remain aligned with EU customs rules at its borders with Ireland. This arrangement is known as the backstop and has been a contentious issue during Brexit negotiations.

5. The bill also sets out the process by which the UK can extend the transition period beyond December 2020 if a trade agreement with the EU has not been reached by that time.

Despite passing through the House of Commons, the WAB must still be approved by the House of Lords before it can become law. If it is approved, the UK will officially leave the EU on January 31, 2020, and enter into a new phase of negotiations with the EU to establish a future relationship.

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