The controversial divorce deal between the UK and EU is finally sealed with separation. Four years since the Brexit deal came through, the United Kingdom, after thorough negotiations, exits the European Union on the fall of a new year. For all the twists and surprises that the UK government is famous for, this deal came through as decided at 11 pm on 31st December 2020.
With the coronavirus pandemic adding to the chaos amidst the Brexit deal, the UK parts ways with the EU with the hope that 2021 marks new beginnings. The strict lockdown had already reduced movement within the UK, and now, with the Brexit deal coming through, it might kill the momentum in trade and movement across borders drastically as rigorous checks have been taking place at the borders of the UK and the European Union countries. With so much taking place in the healthcare segments of these nations, chaos and confusion seem inevitable.
Are the restrictions real?
Free travel between the UK and EU will not be permitted going forward as all the countries are set to draw up new rules within the continent. The rules to travel to Britain will change effective 1st January 2020. The rules to travel into the UK will remain the same for European nationals and the rest of the world even if they are only a few hours away by road, sea or air. UK nationals will need a visa to study in the EU and will have to abide by the rules set by those countries. The research funds and grants in the UK that used to come in from the EU territory may decrease as European students’ footfall in the UK institutions may reduce with the post-Brexit era setting in. Only time can reveal how student exchange programmes like Erasmus Mundus and more will be affected. The academics line of work might be affected in a big manner with the new UK segment changes.
What about the fishing industry?
One of the main issues was with the fishing industry where the EU was sceptical about having fishing rights on the UK waters. While the world was preparing for Christmas, the EU and the UK were busy laying out terms of a fair deal for the post-Brexit era to ensure a free trade relation from quotas and high tariff between both parties. One of the main issues about the whole split has been about EU nationals’ fishing rights on UK waters. With the transport of the fishing harvest across borders being almost at a halt, it may cause worry if not resolved. However, the EU-UK split promises a balanced and fair deal that only the months ahead will unveil.
With a lot of changes, the disruptions in the UK might have started setting in slowly as the borders have been closed. Meanwhile, travellers have reduced due to the lockdown situation, and the news is that the few that are travelling had to surrender their lunch consisting of ham and cheese sandwiches at the Immigration area at the airports. The authorities claimed that meat and dairy products are not to be permitted freely across borders.
Where are the businesses headed to?
On another note, the tariff for traders importing and exporting commodities between EU and UK might vary and mostly increase in the future. Certain restaurateurs seem to have resorted to alternative options for sourcing commodities for their businesses. For instance, a popular Indian restaurant in London that served wine sourced from regions in the EU is now half-heartedly trying to settle with the UK selections due to the confusion and halt caused post-Brexit. The prices of fresh produce like vegetables and fruits will see an increase in the UK and sourcing them might become a bigger task now. At the moment, it might seem like the UK is free from pointing fingers at the bureaucracy in Brussels and that it is ready for fair and free trade with the world, but the same bureaucracy, quotas and tariffs might pose challenges to the EU-UK economies.
Will the British farmers need the outsourced EU labourers to tend to their agriculture business? Would EU students be able to study in the UK, work and settle with families? If so, what will they have to give up? Are the businesses in the continent going to take a major hit or stay afloat with minor changes and increased expenditure? Will the academia and institutions in the UK survive the reduced footfall of EU students? How is the EU economy going to survive? Only time will reveal the answers to these questions. All-in-all, British trade and EU countries are in for an unforgettable adventure in the near future from the disruptions caused by the Brexit deal.