Amidst worrying news of a new strain of the coronavirus in the UK, developments with Brexit continue to progress. With the coming of the New Year also came the completion of Brexit. The news has made headlines and brought all sorts of mixed reactions in the UK population.
The year 2020 was filled with unprecedented, and frankly “unwanted” surprises. Still, with UK ties severed from the European Union permanently as of December 31, 2020 (23:00 GMT), the now independent United Kingdom has opened its doors for a myriad of possibilities this 2021.
Some of the major changes are associated with travel, trade, security co-operation, and immigration arrangements.
Brexit, without doubt, was a long and tedious process. However, one that was worth the efforts and sacrifice. In the words of Boris Johnson, the UK has finally grasped “freedom in its hands”, and the country has now full rein to do what it deems to be better for the country.
Then again, not all people involved are in favour of the outcomes of Brexit.
Scotland’s First Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, for instance, has expressed his ambition to reinstate Scotland, which by then would be an independent nation, as part of the European Union. He tweeted “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.” The statement suggests that he does not harbour the same interests and ideals as that of the UK office, and was not in favour of Brexit.
While the end of the long, arduous Brexit process has given many a sense of relief, regret towards the Brexit itself remains, according to Katya Adler, a BBC Europe editor.
How Are UK Trades Faring Post – Brexit?
According to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, there has been no considerable delay nor disruption in the passage of lorries in Kent. This is evidenced by hundreds of lorries being able to cross the channel and only a few made to turn back due to having incorrect paperwork. However, because of the holidays, border traffic has been low, so it is yet to be seen whether these new trade arrangements will cause a bottleneck at borders and ports.
One such example of the incident was the six freight loads from Holyhead that were turned away as they were about to dock in Ireland due to incorrect paperwork.
While it is too early to draw definite conclusions regarding the impact these new trading regulations will have for the UK and EU, the group remains optimistic that even when freight volumes steadily rise, the free movement of goods will not be disrupted.
According to UK ministers, there will be some getting used to, and slight disturbances in trade activity can be expected as everyone, especially British firms, settle in with the changes. Despite these expected disruptions, officials still insist that border systems are ready and minor issues that could happen are well within expectations.
Trade Arrangement of Brexit
It is also important to note that additional arrangements have become effective between Northern Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom on top of new trade arrangements between the UK and EU, such as customary checks on the goods that enter the province.
Eleven months after the United Kingdom officially left the European Union back on January 31, 2020, a treaty dictating the future economic partnership between the two was finally agreed on and was signed as law last December 30, 2020.
UK manufacturers will continue to have tariff-free access to the EU market; thus, no import taxes will be placed on products and goods exchanged between the two. Only now, businesses can expect to do more paperwork to engage in legal trade.
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