London: Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has spawned a baffling array of new terms, while British parliamentary terminology is also confusing an audience across the world. We decipher some key words and phrases:
1. ARTICLE 50: Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty sets out the procedure for a country wishing to leave the bloc and imposes a two-year countdown to that country’s departure. Britain triggered the process on March 29, 2017, and was due to leave on March 29, 2019. Amid deadlock in Britain’s Parliament the EU agreed a Brextension until April 12 and then until October. 31.
2. BREXHAUSTION: The state of anxious weariness felt by many UK citizens and politicians at the unresolved Brexit crisis, almost three years after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
3. BREXTENSION: Brexit extension, a delay to Britain’s exit from the EU. This has been granted until October 31.
4. BRINO: An acronym that means “Brexit in name only.” It’s a pejorative term used by Brexiteers for a “soft Brexit” departure, in which Britain retains close economic and regulatory ties with the European Union.
5. CUSTOMS UNION: The EU customs union makes the 28-nation bloc a single customs territory, with no tariffs or border checks on goods moving between member states. It also has common tariffs on goods entering the bloc from the outside.
6. HARD BREXIT: A Brexit that sees the UK cut many of its ties with the EU, including leaving the EU’s vast single market and customs union. Some supporters of the idea prefer the term “clean Brexit”, and say it will enable Britain to forge its own trade deals around the world.
7. NO-DEAL BREXIT: If Britain and the EU do not finalise a divorce deal, Britain will cease to be an EU member without an agreement setting out what happens next. A no-deal Brexit would rip up the rules that govern ties between the UK. Many businesses say that would cause economic chaos.
8. REMOANER: Pejorative terms for people who want the UK to remain in the EU.
9. SOFT BREXIT: A Brexit that sees the UK retain its close economic ties with the EU, including membership in the bloc’s single market and customs union.
10. WITHDRAWAL OF THE WHIP: A political party deciding that a lawmaker does not represent it in Parliament any more, effectively suspending that person from the party. Johnson is threatening to do this to any Conservative lawmakers who support the opposition’s attempts to block a no-deal Brexit.