Brexit day

One year ‘til Brexit: things we do know, and things we don’t know

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”

It’s 365 days until the UK leaves the EU, unless it doesn’t. Everything that’s already been agreed could still be un...agreed. Do we really know anything at all?

Actually, yes. There’s been some progress in talks between the UK and the EU, and to mark the official year countdown, let’s have a look at some of the key things we do actually know.

Things we know

  • They’re turning our passports blue.
  • The transition period will last from Brexit day 2019 (it’s the 29th of March) until 31 December 2018 – it's like a smoothing-over period after the UK leaves, like a break-up where you still do a lot of ‘hanging out’. During that time the UK will still maintain some of the important parts of its relationship with the EU.
  • The UK can start signing its own trade deals during the transition period, even though it will still be in the customs union. (This is something the UK really wanted.) They want to have 40 trade deals with 70 countries done by December 2020.  The EU hopes one of those deals will be with them.
  • The divorce bill, the sum of money the UK owes the EU for things it's promised to pay for, has been calculated at around £40 billion. The UK said it wouldn’t pay it, now it says it will.
  • EU citizens can come into the UK during the transition period as they please. They must register within three months, and if they stay for five years, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Things we don’t know

  • Anything
  • Everything.


Until any of this happens, nothing is actually certain. All of the above needs to be worked into a ‘fixed final withdrawal agreement’. Apart from the blue passports thing. And MPs are going to vote on the deal, which means they could technically stop it (although most people thinks it's unlikely that will happen). We don’t know who the UK will trade with, and what that will mean for British products. There’s been a lot of ‘fear-mongering’ about the quality of British food if we start importing things from the US which has less strict rules on things like farming than the EU does.

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