Acquis communautaire The entire body of European laws: all the treaties, regulations and directives passed by the EU’s institutions, plus all the rulings of the European court of justice (see below). Every member state has incorporated the acquis into their legal system. Article 50 The formal mechanism for exiting the EU: the clause in the 2007 Lisbon treaty that allows any member state “to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”. The two-year article 50 negotiations, which among other things must settle citizens’ rights, the question of the Irish border and the UK’s exit bill, are in effect the divorce talks. Backstop The combination of a comprehensive UK-EU free trade agreement and new technology could theoretically avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland – the EU’s future land border with Britain – but not for some years, so the EU has insisted on a “backstop” guaranteeing no hard border until new trade arrangements are in place. The withdrawal agreement includes a backstop that leaves the whole of the UK inside a customs union with the EU, satisfying the UK’s demands that its territorial integrity must be preserved. In return, Britain will not be allowed… Read full this story
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