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- UK: United Kingdom "Officially Out" as European Union Considers Next Steps
- LONDON - Following successful negotiations with the European Union, Brexit- the process by which the United Kingdom would leave the European Union- is now complete. Both Teresa May and EU President Donald Tusk announced the results of more than two years of negotiations this week, marking a new course not just for the UK but for the European Union as a whole. Described as a "soft Brexit" result by observers and commentators (the May Government still suggests that it delivered a "hard Brexit"), the deal would see the UK remain in the EU Common Market, giving British companies favorable access to the European market, but also required the UK to continue to provide for free movement of persons from within the EU. The UK would also still be subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice in matters of interpreting policies, and while the UK would be free to establish its own regulatory measures independent of Brussels, they need to at least conform to what the EU has already put in place. The largest victory, it seems, for May is that the UK will not need to make payments into the EU budget- but they are also outside the Common Agricultural Policy which was considered a boon for UK farmers.
- Speaking of the deal, Prime Minister May said that she had accomplished "what the British people asked for when they voted to leave the European Union- to again give sovereignty over our affairs to London. But we will maintain a healthy economic relationship with Brussels, ensuring that our fine companies large and small can continue to enjoy privileged access to a consumer market of hundreds of millions."
- However, the deal was not so well received by May's own Conservative Party, with those supporting a truly hard Brexit decrying the final deal. They joined UKIP Leader Henry Bolton with messages saying that by accepting the free movement of EU citizens that May failed to deliver on more firm, controllable borders. Bolton specifically put out a video statement to supporters saying that May "has decided to keep the UK porous to any immigrant that wants to come here, no matter what skills they actually possess. This is in direct opposition to what the British people wanted and demanded when they voted Leave." While no names have yet come forward, some sources in the Conservative Party suggest that a move may be made to oust Prime Minister May for the final Brexit deal delivered.
- The announcement was not well-received in Brussels, either; some member states wanted to see a hard Brexit in order to send a "tough message" to other countries looking to leave the economic and political bloc. President of the European Commission, the body responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU, Kristalina Georgieva noted in a statement that the result is also a sign that the European Union itself "needs to evolve" in order to better represent Member States and to better address concerns. This could include, President Georgieva noted, reforming how the Commissioners vote to approve new EU-wide policies and pushing for greater economic union and expanding the funds available for projects within the Union.
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