Collated by Olivia Gavoyannis
Acquis Communautaire: a concept that all EU member states and their citizens must obey. It covers all of the legislation, legal acts and court decisions that constitute the body of EU law.
Article 50 (of the Lisbon Treaty): allows any EU member state to exit the European Union without seeking approval from the other member states. It explains the procedure that the leaving state must follow and allows two years to negotiate an exit deal. Article 50 cannot be reversed unless all of the member states give their consent. Prime Minister Theresa May triggered article 50 on March 30, 2017. (In episode 55 Joe Owen explains what happens now that Theresa May has triggered Article 50)
Brexit: a term describing the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. This was decided on June 23, 2016 by a nationwide referendum.
Cliff Edge, ‘black’ Bexit or ‘no deal’: situation that the UK could face if the terms and conditions of Brexit are not agreed upon during negotiations and no replacement trade deal is agreed. This would leave the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU as uncertain
Department for Exiting the European Union: government department responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU. The Department works with the Exiting the EU Select Committee. (In episode 79 Stephen Timms shares an inside look at the Brexit Select Committee)
ECJ Euopean Court of Justice: highest court in the European Union with regards to matters of European Union law. The Luxembourg-based court is responsible for interpreting EU law and enforcing it in EU member states.
EEA (European Economic Area): the EEA agreement brings together the EU member states and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the EU’s single market. This allows the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the area, as well as the freedom to choose residence in any of the countries that form a part of the EEA.
EFTA (European Free Trade Association): a regional trade organisation and free trade area set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration. The EFTA was set up in the interest of its four member states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The organisation operates in parallel with the EU and all four of these member states have access to the EU’s Single Market.
EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (the Charter): document that lays out all of the fundamental rights that protect everyone living in the EU. These rights are categorized under six titles: Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens’ Rights, and Justice.
European Commission: the EU’s politically independent executive branch. It is responsible for proposing and implementing legislation and is made up of one commissioner from each EU member state. Jean-Claude Juncker is the current President.
European Convention on Human Rights: the international treaty that protects human rights and fundamental freedoms within Europe. If a person’s rights are breached and the situation is not resolved within the relevant EU member state then the Convention allows them to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
European Council: sets the strategic direction of the European Union. It differs from the European Commission in that it is not one of the EU’s legislating institutions, so does not negotiate or adopt EU laws.
EU Customs Union: a trade agreement that allows EU member states to trade freely with each other while still being able to set their own tariffs on goods that are imported from the rest of the world.
European Parliament: shares power with the Council to adopt and amend legislative proposals and decide on the EU budget. It also supervises the work of the Commission and other EU bodies and cooperates with national parliaments of EU countries to get their input. EU voters directly elect MEPs from their own country every five years.
European Single Market: an economic area within the EU where trade barriers have been removed. This means that goods, people, services and capital can move freely between the EU member states.
European Union: a political and economic union of countries that are located primarily in Europe. There are currently 28 member states including the UK.
Europol: the European Union’s law enforcement agency. Europol works with the 28 EU member states, as well as many non-EU partner states and international organisations, to fight serious international crime and terrorism.
Exit Bill/divorce settlement: the sum that the European Commission will expect the UK to pay when it leaves the EU to cover the UK’s share of EU expenses.
Four Freedoms: the ‘Four Freedoms’ are goods, capital, services and labour. The EU Single Market seeks to guarantee all of these within the European Union.
Freedom of movement within the EU: a human rights concept encompassing the right that all citizens of the European Union have to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states. (In episode 80 co-host Jen talks about May’s ‘settled status’ deal for EU nationals and what it will mean for her)
FTA (free trade agreement): a free-trade agreement is designed to reduce the barriers that hinder the trading of goods and services between two or more countries. This can be controversial because the barriers often exist to help protect local markets and industries. (In episode 71 Toby Baxendale talks about how free trade will thrive post Brexit)
Great Repeal Bill: the Bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which integrated Britain into the EU and meant that European law took precedence over laws passed in the British parliament. The Bill will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. When the bill is passed, all existing EU legislation will be copied across into domestic UK law to ensure a smooth transition on the day after Brexit. The UK parliament can then amend the legislation as UK domestic law. (In episode 8 Robyn Munro explains the confounding Great Repeal Bill in detail)
‘Hard’ Brexit: would sever most of the UK’s ties with the EU, meaning that the UK would grant EU member states no preferential treatment with regards to issues like free movement and trade. (In episode 53 Councillor Paul Gleeson discusses the reasons why Boston is the most pro Leave area of the country)
Henry VIII clauses: can be added to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament, with or without approval from the House of Commons. As part of the Great Repeal Bill, all existing EU legislation will be copied across into domestic UK law. Therefore, the ‘Henry VIII clauses’ in the Great Repeal Bill will give ministers and civil servants a massive amount of influence over how EU law will be applied in the UK after Brexit.
Ratification: the formal process that sanctions a proposal and makes it legally binding.
Reste à liquider: the RAL is the sum of the UK’s outstanding financial commitments to the EU. As part of Brexit negotiations, the EU wants a settlement to ensure that all these financial promises that the UK made during its period as a member state are kept.
‘Smooth’ Brexit: a negotiation process that would focus on minimising the economic consequences of Brexit for the UK. This might involve agreeing a future trade agreement with the EU to ensure economic stability.
‘Soft’ Brexit (or Norway Model, ‘white’ Brexit): a soft Brexit would result in Britain leaving the EU but retaining close ties with it. This could mean that Britain stays within the Single Market and/or Customs Union. In return Britain might have to retain the Freedom of Movement of people, pay into the EU budget or even accept the judgements of the European Court of Justice.
Sovereignty: the power that allows a governing body to exercise power over itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. (In episode 57 expat journalist Joe Duggan talks about the sovereignty row)
‘Super’ qualified majority: Brexit agreements negotiated between the European Commission and the UK will need to be approved by a ‘super’ qualified majority within the EU Council to be ratified. A ‘super’ majority counts as 72% of participating states (excluding the UK). This vote will take place after the consent of the European Parliament has been obtained. (In episode 78 Toby Baxendale talks about the start of Brexit negotiations)
Trade tariff: a tax on imported or exported goods or services.
Transitional deal/ implementation period: a temporary arrangement that would be put in place after Britain officially leaves the EU at the end of the article 50 process. This would end when the UK and the EU agree on a long-term trade deal.
WTO (World Trade Organization): the WTO is the intergovernmental organization that oversees the rules of trade between nations.