Brexit - Glossary of Terms

Article 50  - This is the part of the EU treaty that sets out how a member state can leave, and sets out the two year timetable for leaving the EU.

Backstop - This is the measure within the Withdrawal Agreement designed to ensure that no hard border (no border posts, physical barriers or checks on people and goods) is in place between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Brexit - Brexit is the abreviation for the "British Exit" from the EU. It was first used during the UK referendum on EU membership in 2016.

Common Travel Area (CTA) – This is an open border area, which is made up of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Herm and Sark).

Crown Dependencies – These are the island territories within the British Isles. They are the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey (comprised of the Islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm) and the Isle of Man.

European Economic Area (EEA) - This is the area made up of the 28 EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

EU Settlement Scheme – This is the UK agreed scheme for protecting the rights of EU citizens currently in the UK, and will allow those who are granted Settled or Pre Settled Status to remain in the UK after 30th June 2021.

The UK has reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland. If you’re a national of these countries you’ll be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from 30 March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. For further informaiton, please see our EU Settlement Scheme UniLife Page.

Free Movement - This is one of the four freedoms currently associated with the single market. It allows the EU citizens to travel, study, work and live in any other EU member state. It also confirms there can be no discrimination in access to public services and benefit entitlements.

Transition Period - If the currently proposed deal was accepted, this is the 21 month period between 29th March 2019 and 31st December 2020. The period is designed to allow time for the EU and the UK to agree any future relationship. During this time the UK will need to follow all EU rules, including allowing Free Movement.

Withdrawal Agreement - This is the currently proposed, 858 page, deal with the EU, that the UK Prime Minister (Theresa May) has been negotiating with the EU.  It details the terms of the UK's departure from the EU, details of how much money the UK must pay the EU, trasnition period details, citizens rights and the 'backstop' arrangements for no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


If you believe we have missed anything from this Glossary, or would like further terms added, please email the IISA team with the information you believe should be included.