An anti-Brexit supporter Steve Bray from south Wales protests outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
An anti-Brexit supporter Steve Bray from south Wales protests outside the Houses of Parliament in London.(Photo: AP / Matt Dunham)
  • 1. The Brexit Referendum
  • 2. Britain's Negotiations with the EU
  • 3. The Question of the Irish Border
  • 4. The Draft Deal
  • 5. Political Backlash Against the Deal
  • 6. What if UK Parliament Rejects The Deal?
Brexit Explained: How Britain Got Itself In A Bind

Britain’s 2-day-old draft deal to leave the European Union is in danger of collapsing, increasing the likelihood of a disorderly, economically painful exit from the bloc next year.

British politicians in favour of leaving the EU have criticised the agreement reached on 13 November after more than a year and a half of negotiations. They say it keeps the country bound to the EU under unfavourable terms and floated the idea of unseating Prime Minister Theresa May.

Even if May remains in her post, the British Parliament might reject the deal. Britain’s formal exit is set for 29 March, so that would leave little time to seek an alternative.

Here’s a look at how Britain got into this situation:

  • 1. The Brexit Referendum

    May's party, the British Conservative Party, has long been split between those in favour of EU membership and those who want out.

    One advantage of membership is it gives seamless access to trade across 27 other countries. The EU is Britain's biggest trading partner.

    Opponents have argued the EU took too much political power from London; many want to restrict immigration from other EU member countries as well.

    To settle the question, former Prime Minister David Cameron called for a nationwide vote on whether Britain should stay or go. On 23 June 2016, 52 percent of voters said they wanted to leave.

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