Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, Brexit could take varying forms. Supporters of a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit envisage the UK leaving the EU Single Market and the EU Customs Union entirely, possibly conducting trade under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. Those in favour of a ‘soft’ Brexit would prefer the UK to retain certain elements of EU membership (e.g. membership of the Single Market and/or the Customs Union).
There are concerns that Brexit could affect the transportation of Irish exports to the European continent, many of which are transited through the UK. Approximately 80 per cent of Irish road freight headed to mainland Europe passes first through the UK, and within the Irish road haulage industry there is an apprehension that changes to the EU-UK relationship may affect the viability of this route.
House of Commons
The lower house of the UK Houses of Parliament, the House of Commons, is comprised of 650 seats. Each seat represents approximately 72,000 eligible voters on average. 533 of these constituencies are in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales, and 18 are in Northern Ireland. Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK are elected under the first-past-the-post system, whereby the candidate with the largest number of votes in each constituency wins the single seat.
House of Lords
The upper house of the UK Houses of Parliament, the House of Lords, is made up of appointed members or ‘peers’. The House of Lords shares the task of making laws and scrutinising the UK government with the House of Commons.