After much back-and-forth between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the UK is finally set to leave the EU under Article 50, meaning that changes to day-to-day life are coming into place.
This is a hard Brexit, in plain terms. The UK is leaving the European single market – referring to the EU as a singular territory, sans any borders or obstacles which would lead to barriers being created for the movement of goods and services. Under this hard Brexit, the UK is also leaving the Customs Union.
After last-minute talks between the two parties, a ‘Trade and Co-operation Agreement’ has been negotiated. This means that, from the 1st of January, the following changes will take place:
- Free movement of people – border checks will take place, travel beyond 90 days will require a visa, roaming charges will come into play and pet passports will be required. Studying, working, starting a business or even living in the EU will no longer be an option for British citizens.
- Trade in goods – frictionless trade will cease to exist and SPS checks will take place. Customs controls will apply to British exports which enter the EU. Agri-food consignments will be subject to sanitary and phytosanitary controls at border inspections posts – alongside separate health certificates.
- Trade in services – British financial services firms will lose their financial services passports. Professional qualifications will no longer be mutually recognised.
- Air Transport – There will no longer be a single aviation area for the UK and the EU to use mutually with complete freedom.
- Road Transport – There will no longer be a single internal transport market for hauliers.
- Energy – the single internal energy market, which the EU thrives on, will no longer be mutually available to the UK, and the UK’s energy supply will not be able to be accessed by the EU.
- EU Programmes – the UK will no longer have access to the EU’s Erasmsus programmes. Access to NextGenerationEU and SURE will also be revoked. The Galileo encrypted military signal will also not be accessible to the UK.
Only time will tell how this plays out. Will it work in favour of Boris Johnson and his hectic dealing tactics, or will this actually be a blow to the European Union? We must give this time.