A very contentious issue and a hot topic of late has been that of BREXIT. It has only been a couple of years since the issue arose and the term itself was coined, but already a small glossary of terms and slang has developed and in today’s blog we’ll be looking at some of the most important words you need to know.
BREXIT itself is a portmanteau or a blend of the words BRITAIN and EXIT or Britain’s Exit. Perhaps you will remember some other word blends such as brunch (breakfast / lunch) smog (smoke and fog). What BREXIT is referring to is the formal withdrawal of Britain from the European Union. Negotiations with respect to how to officially accomplish this end are ongoing and seem to be getting increasingly convoluted with people becoming more and more polarized on both sides of the political spectrum. Regardless of your feelings about Brexit we’d like to supply you with some key phrases that may help you understand the issue better.
Invoking Article 50
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (enacted in 2009) basically outlines the steps by which a country can voluntarily decide to leave the European Union. “Invoking Article 50” essentially means jump-starting this process and is the formal measure by which countries officially declare their intention to leave. The process is said to involve a two-year transition period.
The Backstop Plan is a legally binding insurance policy or safety net that if the UK were to leave the EU there would never be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that the passage of goods between these two countries would never be subject to customs or regulatory checks.
People who are enthusiastic about having Britain leave the EU and believe it would be a good thing for Britain. One of the leading and most famous Brexiteers is Boris Johnson.
The anxiety and apprehension felt by opponents of Brexit. (also a portmanteau)
The money that the UK has agreed to pay back to the EU under Theresa May’s deal to cover liabilities up to 2020. It includes such things as Britain’s projected EU budget as well as the EU Civil servants’ pensions, for example. The actual amount is expected to be approximately 39 billion pounds to be paid over the course of a few years.
A negative term to refer to people who lament Britain’s leaving the EU. It is also a play on the words ‘remain’ (i.e. remain in the EU) and ‘to moan’ or complain. It is implicitly derogatory and suggests that these people are an irritation to the Brexiteers.
Soft Brexit / Brino
This is an acronym for “Brexit In Name Only.” The term was first used by Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs to suggest that Britain leaving the EU could be carried out by 2022 and with such ‘delicacy’ or step by step alignment of popular opinion that no one would even notice. In this version, the UK remains in the EU Customs Union or single market for a very long, undisclosed length of time, with a lengthy and indefinite transition period.
So as you read more about the Brexit situation in the coming weeks we hope that this small glossary of the most important terms will help to shed some light on this very complex topic.