It’s been a while since my Brexit-Schmexit series in 2016. Back then, the concept of the UK leaving the EU was as remote as that of President Trump. Fast forward a couple of years, and we are a bit over 13 months away from Brexit actually happening.
I’d like to revisit some of the current developments; however, I thought I’d devote this post to getting everybody up-to-speed with the new words and phrases coined around Brexit. Considering that my audience is growing largely outside the UK, I figured a quick refresher won’t do anybody any harm. So, let’s get to it.
I once read that writers are allowed certain latitude for creating their own words. Well, here goes mine: Brexicon
- The vocabulary of a British member of parliament, member of the public or member of the British or European bureaucracy in regards of the impending British exit from the European Union.
- A dictionary of terms regarding directly with Brexit.
I figured, since the Brexit vote in 2016, there have been many Brexit specific words and phrases coined around it, but very few people have stopped and thought about what they really mean, and why where they said in the first place. Let’s look into some of the most frequently used:
Article 50: The official process by which Brexit gets in motion, two years after which the country leaves the EU. The process was triggered on March 29, 2017, making the official Brexit date March 29, 2019.
Bremoaners: Those members of the British public that voted against Brexit, and somehow can’t get their heads around the fact that they lost, and are trying by all means to derail or revert the Brexit process.
Brexit Means Brexit: HaHaHa, gotcha! You thought I was going to get myself into that? no way Jose!
Citizens’ Rights: The political discourse that refers to the Brexit generated impacts on British citizens living in the EU and EU nationals residing in the UK, and how to mitigate them
Customs Union: Besides being a free-trade area, the EU also acts as one when trading with third party countries. The same tariffs and duties apply regardless of the country through which the goods are entering the EU.
Divorce Bill/Settlement: The final bill that the UK will be forced to pay when it leaves the EU. It is currently debated whether it is £20 billion, £100 billion, or somewhere in between.
Financial Passport: Refers to the right of financial companies established within EFTA to do business in other member states, without having to apply for an individual license in each country.
Four Freedoms: Are the inalienable freedoms that come together for all members of the EU: free and unlimited movement of people, goods, services and capital. The EU’s motto is you can’t choose, it is all or nothing
Free-Trade Deal: A bilateral agreement between the UK and another country or group of countries that involves unlimited tariff-free access of goods across borders. Unfortunately for the UK, as long as they are member of the EU they are not allowed to negotiate a Free-Trade Deal, and while they are a member of the Customs Union they will not be able to enter into one.
Great Repeal Bill: The act of Parliament by which the UK adopted all the EU laws, rules and regulations that affect Great Britain, and pass them into law. Then allows itself a few years (decades?) to decide which ones apply and which ones don’t.
Hard Brexit: What bremoaners refer to as “falling off a cliff” Brexit deal. In other words leaving the European Union without a deal. In my opinion this is the most clean way of brexiting, where the UK leaves the EU cold turkey, and any relationship with the EU ceases to exist overnight.
Irish Border: A big issue that might derail Brexit negotiations where a hard border could be erected between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. If the UK leaves the customs union and the single market, and the EU, then there will have to be a hard border to prevent illegal transfer of goods or people between the two areas.
Single Market: Is the unrestricted, tax-free, duty-free, tariff-free trade of goods across borders of EU member states. It works just as if you were moving goods from cities within the same country.
Soft Brexit: A deal by which Britain leaves the EU, but keeps some of its benefits, be it a free-trade deal, a form of customs-union, etc. By definition, a soft Brexit isn’t a true Brexit. As the EU has mentioned several times, the four freedoms are inseparable, so any attempt to pick-and-choose by the UK will be met with a stone wall.
Sufficient Progress: Is a phrase coined by the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, that wouldn’t allow negotiations to move to the next stages unless according to their point of view sufficient progress could be achieved. In reality it is a load of baloney, but what do I know?
Transition Deal: A period of at least two years, but as long as needed by which the UK will remain part of the EU while it gets its act together in order to fully leave in the future.
So, there it is: Brexicon according to The Barker Report for you to mull over for the next few days.
To be continued…