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The ongoing debate over Brexit has brought two terms to the forefront: withdrawal agreement and withdrawal bill. While both may seem interchangeable, they actually have distinct differences that are crucial to understanding the process of the United Kingdom`s withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

Withdrawal Agreement:

The withdrawal agreement is a legally binding document negotiated between the UK and the EU to set the terms for the UK`s departure from the EU. It includes the terms for the UK`s financial settlement, the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, the status of the Northern Ireland-Ireland border, and the transition period. The agreement was initially negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May in November 2018 and was eventually approved by the EU in 2019.

Once the withdrawal agreement is ratified by the UK and the EU, it becomes legally binding and is implemented into law in both the UK and the EU. This agreement ensures a smooth and orderly Brexit.

Withdrawal Bill:

The withdrawal bill, on the other hand, is a piece of legislation introduced by the UK government that seeks to implement the terms of the withdrawal agreement into UK law. It outlines the legal framework for the UK`s exit from the EU and makes necessary changes to UK law to reflect the terms of the agreement. It also sets the timetable for the end of the transition period.

The withdrawal bill has gone through several iterations since it was first introduced in 2017. It has faced significant opposition from MPs who are concerned about the impact of Brexit on the UK`s economy and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

The main difference between the two is that the withdrawal agreement is an agreement between the UK and the EU, whereas the withdrawal bill is a piece of legislation introduced by the UK government to implement the terms of the agreement into UK law.

The Future:

At present, the UK is in its transition phase, during which it is no longer a EU member country but follows EU rules until the end of December 2020. The UK has until the end of the year to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU, following which the transition period will come to an end and the UK will be fully outside the EU.

In conclusion, while both the withdrawal agreement and withdrawal bill are crucial to the process of Brexit, they serve distinct purposes. The agreement sets the terms for the UK`s departure from the EU, while the bill seeks to implement those terms into UK law. Understanding the differences between the two is essential to understanding the legal framework for the UK`s exit from the EU.