Predicted impact of Brexit
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Glossary of terms
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of the European Union (1973–2020)
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Some effects of Brexit depend on the negotiated withdrawal agreement. Other effects depend on the trade deal negotiated during the transition period after withdrawal or whether the transition period ends before an agreement is ratified (a "no-deal" Brexit).
With the Brexit, Ireland is the main English-speaking country remaining in the European Union, the other one being Malta. These two countries both have other official languages as well and Malta uses English as a second official language.
According to a 2016 study by Ken Mayhew, Emeritus Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Oxford University, Brexit posed the following threats to higher education: "loss of research funding from EU sources; loss of students from other EU member states; the impact on the ability of the sector to hire academic staff from EU member states; and the impact on the ability of UK students to study abroad." The UK received more from the European agencies and institutions for research than it financially contributed with universities getting just over 10% of their research income from the European agencies and institutions. All funding for net beneficiaries from European agencies and institutions, including universities, was guaranteed by the British government in August 2016. Before the funding announcement, a newspaper investigation reported that some research projects were reluctant to include British researchers due to uncertainties over funding. Currently the UK is part of the European Research Area and the UK is likely to wish to remain an associated member.
The Home Office have said that the blue Brexit passport is seen as "the greenest British passport ever" and that "the carbon footprint from manufacture is limited to zero by including projects for planting trees." The Home Office also said that the blue passport includes security features, such as a "hard-wearing, super-strength polycarbonate data page", with embedded technologies to secure personal data. However, the European Union does not require its members to have burgundy passports, and one member, Croatia, has not changed the colour of its passport from blue since joining in 2013. In December 2017, the UK government admitted that the colour of the UK passport could have been changed without leaving the EU.
The blue passport has been controversial. Home Secretary Priti Patel said "leaving the European Union gave us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path in the world" and "by returning to the iconic blue and gold design, the British passport will once again be entwined with our national identity". Patron of the European Movement and former MEP Edward McMillan-Scott said the passport would be seen as offensive to many Europeans and that "it will be seen as a symbol of the attitude prevailing in the Conservative party towards the rest of Europe that is isolationist, ignorant and self-destructive". The UK government initially announced that manufacturing the passport would create 70 jobs in the UK, though ultimately, British company De La Rue lost the bid to a Franco-Dutch company who manufactures the new passports in Poland.
Borders and customs
Border between the UK and Ireland
This section needs to be updated. (December 2019)
The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland have been part of the Common Travel Area since before the EU was formed. This allows their citizens freedom of movement within the area, with only passport checks at airports and seaports. Their membership of the EU Customs Union and Single Market means there are no customs checks or tariffs. Since 2005, the border has been essentially invisible.
After Brexit, the border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (part of the EU) became the only UK–EU land border. There was concern over this becoming a "hard border" with fewer, controlled crossing points and customs checks. This could have compromised the Good Friday Agreement that ended the Northern Ireland conflict, and lead to violence. All involved parties agreed a hard border should be avoided. To forestall this, the EU proposed a "backstop agreement" (the Northern Ireland Protocol) that would have kept the UK in the Customs Union and kept Northern Ireland in some aspects of the Single Market also, until a lasting solution was found. The backstop was supported by the Irish government and many Irish nationalists, but opposed by many Ulster unionists and Conservatives. They say it would have undermined the UK's territorial integrity, prevented it making its own trade deals, and fear it could have kept the UK (or part of it) under EU rules indefinitely. The backstop was part of the Withdrawal Agreement, but the UK parliament overwhelmingly voted down the agreement.
The original proposal was for Northern Ireland alone to remain in the EU Single Market and Customs Union. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) opposed this, believing it threatened the unity of the UK. Theresa May then agreed to keep the whole UK in the Customs Union, should it come into effect. When Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, he promised to remove the backstop from the withdrawal agreement and replace it with "alternative arrangements". In October 2019, the UK government and EU agreed on new arrangements for Northern Ireland in a revised withdrawal agreement.
If there were a no-deal Brexit, the UK government announced that it would not have performed customs checks at the Irish border and acknowledged that might have presented a smuggling risk. European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said if there was a no-deal Brexit the Republic of Ireland would have had to implement border checks on the EU's behalf. In 2019, the President of Ireland signed into law the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act, to help deal with challenges a no-deal Brexit posed to the Republic and its citizens.
Border with France
The French and British governments say they remain committed to the Le Touquet Agreement, which lets UK border checks be completed in France, and vice versa (juxtaposed controls). The two governments signed the Sandhurst Treaty in January 2018, which will shorten the time taken to process migrants attempting to reach the UK from Calais, from six months to one month. The UK also announced it will invest a further £44.5 million on border security at the English Channel.
If there had been a "no-deal" Brexit, trade between the UK and France would have defaulted to World Trade Organization rules. To ensure the smooth flow of freight, France created a new "smart border" which will scan trucks' licence plates and automatically link them to shipping documents filled out online by exporters. Trucks travelling to Britain will either be waved through, or undergo checks if they carry food, plants or livestock. Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, said there would not be long queues in Calais. France is spending €50 million on expanding port infrastructure and plans to recruit 700 more customs staff by the end of 2020.
Customs between the EU and UK
The Freight Transport Association's UK policy director Elizabeth de Jong stated that a "make do and mend" approach will be necessary while waiting for the necessary trade-related infrastructure to be built. This "mending" process is not expected to be complete until 2025, and will be inherently costly.
At the end of the transition period, Michael Gove suggests that all EU imports will be subject to inevitable border checks, constituting a significant change. Such checks would involve customs declarations, mandatory safety and security certificates, and physical checks of food and goods of animal origin.
Economists expect that Brexit will have damaging immediate and longer-term effects on the economies of the UK and at least part of the 27 other EU member states. In particular, there is a broad consensus among economists and in the economic literature that Brexit will likely reduce the UK's real per capita income in the medium and long term, and that the Brexit referendum itself damaged the economy. Studies on effects since the referendum show a reduction in GDP, trade and investment, as well as household losses from increased inflation.
According to one study, the referendum result had pushed up UK inflation by 1.7 percentage points in 2017, leading to an annual cost of £404 for the average British household. Subsequent data shows that the Brexit referendum pushed up UK inflation by 2.9%, which amounts to annual costs of £870 for the average UK household. Studies published in 2018, estimated that the economic costs of the Brexit vote were 2.1% of GDP, or 2.5% of GDP. According to a December 2017 Financial Times analysis, the Brexit referendum results had reduced national British income by between 0.6% and 1.3%. A 2018 analysis by Stanford University and Nottingham University economists estimated that uncertainty around Brexit reduced investment by businesses by approximately 6 percentage points and caused an employment reduction of 1.5 percentage points. A number of studies found that Brexit-induced uncertainty about the UK's future trade policy reduced British international trade from June 2016 onwards. A 2019 analysis found that British firms substantially increased offshoring to the European Union after the Brexit referendum, whereas European firms reduced new investments in the UK.
In January 2021 British firms halted exports to the European Union: this resulted in between 2/3 and 3/4 of maritime HGV coming from the EU to return empty to the EU, while maritime British export were reduced by 68% compared to January 2020.
In the long term
There is overwhelming or near-unanimous agreement among economists that leaving the European Union will adversely affect the British economy in the medium- and long-term. Surveys of economists in 2016 showed overwhelming agreement that Brexit would likely reduce the UK's real per-capita income level. 2019 and 2017 surveys of existing academic research found that the credible estimates ranged between GDP losses of 1.2–4.5% for the UK, and a cost of between 1–10% of the UK's income per capita. These estimates differ depending on whether the UK exits the EU with a hard Brexit or soft Brexit. In January 2018, the UK government's own Brexit analysis was leaked; it showed that UK economic growth would be stunted by 2–8% in total over the 15 years following Brexit, the amount depending on the leave scenario.
According to most economists, EU membership has a strong positive effect on trade and as a result the UK's trade would be worse off if it left the EU. According to a study by University of Cambridge economists, under a "hard Brexit" whereby the UK reverts to WTO rules, one-third of UK exports to the EU would be tariff-free, one-quarter would face high trade barriers and other exports risk tariffs in the range of 1–10%. A 2017 study found that "almost all UK regions are systematically more vulnerable to Brexit than regions in any other country." A 2017 study examining the economic impact of Brexit-induced reductions in migration" found that there would likely be "a significant negative impact on UK GDP per capita (and GDP), with marginal positive impacts on wages in the low-skill service sector." It is unclear how changes in trade and foreign investment will interact with immigration, but these changes are likely to be important.
With Brexit, the EU would lose its second-largest economy, the country with the third-largest population and "the financial capital of the world", as the German newspaper Münchner Merkur put it. Population is reduced from 513 million (EU-28) to 447 million (EU-27_2020). GDP is down from 15.9 trillion (EU-28) to 13.5 trillion (EU-27_2020) ; GDP per capita changes from 31,000 (EU-28) to 30,000 (EU-27_2020). Furthermore, the EU would lose its second-largest net contributor to the EU budget (2015: Germany €14.3 billion, United Kingdom €11.5 billion, France €5.5 billion). Thus, the departure of Britain would result in an additional financial burden for the remaining net contributors, unless the budget is reduced accordingly: Germany, for example, would have to pay an additional €4.5 billion for 2019 and again for 2020; in addition, the UK would no longer be a shareholder in the European Investment Bank, in which only EU members can participate. Britain's share amounts to 16%, €39.2 billion (2013), which Britain would withdraw unless there is an EU treaty change.
All the remaining EU members (as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland) will also likely experience adverse effects (albeit smaller effects than the UK), in particular Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
In the short term
Short-term macroeconomic forecasts by the Bank of England and other banks of what would happen immediately after the Brexit referendum were too pessimistic. The assessments assumed that the referendum results would create greater uncertainty in markets and reduce consumer confidence more than it did. A number of economists noted that short-term macroeconomic forecasts are generally considered unreliable and that they are something that academic economists do not do, unlike banks. Economists have compared short-term economic forecasts to weather forecasts whereas the long-term economic forecasts are akin to climate forecasts: the methodologies used in long-term forecasts are "well-established and robust".
Regional inequality in UK
Studies on the economic impact that different forms of Brexit will have on different parts of the country indicate that Brexit will exacerbate regional economic inequality in the UK, as already struggling regions will be hardest hit by Brexit.
UK financial sector
Economists have warned that London's future as an international financial centre depends on whether the UK will obtain passporting rights for British banks from the European Union. If banks located in the UK cannot obtain passporting rights, they have strong incentives to relocate to financial centres within the EU. According to John Armour, Professor of Law and Finance at Oxford University, "a 'soft' Brexit, whereby the UK leaves the EU but remains in the single market, would be a lower-risk option for the British financial industry than other Brexit options, because it would enable financial services firms to continue to rely on regulatory passporting rights." Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are among the financial firms that have moved some of their business away from the UK to Europe to avoid disruptions anticipated by Brexit.
According to a 2017 study by the University of Exeter and Chatham House researchers, there are considerable benefits for the UK to be integrated into the European energy market. The study notes, "if the UK wants to enjoy the economic benefits of remaining part of what is an increasingly integrated European electricity market then, as European legislation is currently drafted, it will not only have to forgo an element of autonomy through accepting legislation and regulations made collectively at the EU level, but it will also lose much of its voice in that decision making process, effectively becoming a rule-taker rather than a rule-maker."
EU institutions and agencies
Council of the EU
Analyses indicate that the departure of the relatively economically liberal UK will reduce the ability of remaining economically liberal countries to block measures in the Council of the EU. According to the Lisbon Treaty (2009), decisions of the Council are made by qualified majority voting, which means that a majority view can be blocked should at least four members of the Council, representing at least 35% of the population of the Union, choose to do so. In many policy votes, Britain, allied with other northern EU allies (Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian and the Baltic states), had a blocking minority of 35%.
The UK's 73 seats in the European Parliament became vacant upon its withdrawal in 2020. 27 of these seats were redistributed to other countries, with the remaining 46 reserved for potential new member states, reducing the overall number of MEPs from 751 to 705. UK MEPs retained full rights to participate in the European Parliament until withdrawal, though there were discussions about excluding UK MEPs from key committee positions.
In April 2017, a group of European lawmakers discussed what should be done about the vacated seats when the UK leaves the EU. One plan, supported by Gianni Pittella and Emmanuel Macron, was to replace the 73 seats with a pan-European constituency list; other options which were considered include dropping the British seats without replacement, and reassigning some or all of the existing seats from other countries to reduce inequality of representation.
As soon as the first February 2020, MEPs elected in 2019 who had their seat blocked by the UK still in the EU, became full MEP with their own seats.
This makes a political shift in the European parliament, with 8 more seats for the right: 5 for the right wing PPE and 3 from the far right ID, and 13 seats less for the left: 6 less for the greens, 6 less for the S&D, and one less for the GUE/GNL. The greens become a group smaller than the far right.
Brexit requires the offices and staff of the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority, previously based in London, to move out of the UK. The agencies, which together employ more than 1,000 people, are currently located in Amsterdam and Paris.
With Brexit, the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which provides financial support to farmers in the EU. Most of the payments to farmers comes from the EU budget, paid for by contributions from member states. However, the UK receives much less than it contributes, and the CAP has been criticised for encouraging farming which harms the environment, favouring big landowners and imposing high food prices.
Brexit allows the UK to develop its own agriculture policy. The UK government and devolved legislatures have set out plans to support farmers while enhancing the environment. The current UK government has committed to maintaining the same payments to farmers until the end of the current parliament, even without a withdrawal agreement. The Agriculture Bill is intended to replace the CAP with a new system based on paying farmers "public money for public goods" such as environmental protection, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding. The UK government has also said it will ensure continued "access to seasonal agricultural labour" from abroad after Brexit. Farming unions warned that a "no-deal" Brexit, however, would have had "severe impacts" on farming.
After Brexit, the UK left the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that lets all EU countries fish within 12 nautical miles of the UK coast and lets the EU set catch quotas. The UK fishing industry has long criticised the CFP, arguing that it favours non-UK fishermen because the UK has a larger fishing zone than most of its neighbours. The combined EU fishing fleets land about 6 million tonnes of fish per year, about half of which are from UK waters. The UK's share of the overall catch is about 750,000 tonnes.
The UK becomes an independent coastal state and is fully responsible for managing fisheries in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), extending 200 nautical miles (nm) from shore. It still is bound by the UN Law of the Sea Convention, which requires it to co-operate with neighbors on managing shared fish stocks and prevent overfishing. By leaving the CFP, the UK could develop fisheries policy that better suits its needs. The UK also leaves the London Fisheries Convention that lets Irish, French, Belgian, Dutch and German vessels fish within six nautical miles of the UK's coast. This was welcomed by the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations and the Scottish government, but the Irish fishing industry expressed concern as a third of its catch is from UK waters.
Access for foreign fishing vessels to UK waters will be a matter for negotiation. According to Wageningen Economic Research, if there was a "hard Brexit that banned EU fishermen from UK waters", British fishermen could catch more fish but the price of their fish would drop, while the resulting trade barriers would lead to higher seafood prices for consumers, because the UK imports most of its seafood. This would be a "lose-lose situation" for both the UK and the EU, and for both British consumers and the fishing industry. According to a 2018 study, "Brexit poses a major challenge to the stability of European fisheries management [...] potentially putting at risk recent recovery and future sustainability of shared fish stocks". It said that denying access to foreign fishing vessels would risk tariffs being imposed, while granting access and seeking a more modest re-balancing of fishing entitlements would lessen this risk.
In February 2020, as soon as the withdrawal occurred, Fisheries issue was raised in Guernsey. After the first ban, a temporary "régime d’autorisation" has been set up to allow individual boats to fish in Guernsey.
Following the end of the Brexit transition period, fish from Iceland that used to be shipped to Britain for export to the rest of the EU began to be shipped to Rotterdam. This is separate from fish intended for the UK market.
Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, participated in the referendum and left the EU together with the UK, although 96% of those who participated in the referendum in Gibraltar voted to remain. Gibraltar is outside the EU Customs Union and Schengen Zone, meaning it has customs and identity checks at its border with Spain.
Spain asserts a territorial claim on Gibraltar. After the referendum, Spain's Foreign Minister renewed calls for joint Spanish–British control. This was rebuffed by Gibraltar's Chief Minister, and the UK government states it would only negotiate on Gibraltar's sovereignty with the consent of its people.
The European Council's guidelines for withdrawal negotiations stated that UK–EU agreements made after Brexit would not apply to Gibraltar without Spain's consent. Gibraltarian government minister (and former Chief Minister) Joe Bossano condemned the EU's attitude, suggesting that Spain was being offered a veto, adding "It's enough to convert me from a supporter of the European Union into a Brexiteer".
In late 2018, the British and Spanish governments agreed that any dispute over Gibraltar would not affect Brexit negotiations, and the British government agreed that UK–EU treaties made after Brexit would not automatically apply to Gibraltar. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that "With Brexit we all lose, especially the United Kingdom, but when it comes to Gibraltar, Spain wins."
A 2019 study in the Lancet suggested that Brexit would have an adverse impact on health services in the UK under every Brexit scenario, but that a no-deal Brexit would have had the worst impact. The study found that Brexit would deplete the National Health Service (NHS) workforce, create uncertainties regarding care for British nationals living in the EU, and put at risk access to vaccines, equipment, and medicines. It was claimed that supplies of life saving medications including cancer medication could have been disrupted for up to six months in no-deal Brexit. The Department of Health and Social Care stated in August 2019 that it had taken steps to ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains uninterrupted after Brexit.
Law and courts
After Brexit, the UK will have the final say over the laws that govern it. Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which was passed by the British parliament, EU laws will no longer have supremacy over UK laws after Brexit. To maintain continuity, the Act converts EU law into UK law as "retained EU law". After Brexit, the British parliament (and the devolved legislatures) can decide which elements of that law to keep, amend or repeal. Furthermore, UK courts will no longer be bound by the judgments of the EU Court of Justice after Brexit. Its case law from before Brexit will still apply to UK courts, but the UK Supreme Court will not be bound by it. According to Catherine Barnard from UK in a Changing Europe, any future UK–EU trade agreement will require some EU law to take precedence in UK law.
Brexit will leave Ireland and Cyprus as the only two remaining common law jurisdictions in the EU. Paul Gallagher, a former Attorney General of Ireland, has suggested this will isolate those countries and deprive them of a powerful partner that shared a common interest in ensuring that EU legislation was not drafted or interpreted in a way that would be contrary to the principles of the common law. Lucinda Creighton, a former Irish government minister for legal affairs, has said that Ireland relies on the "bureaucratic capacity of the UK" to understand, influence and implement EU legislation.
After Brexit, the UK would be able to control immigration from the EU and EEA. Being part of the EU and EEA means that citizens of any member state can move to the UK to live and work with very little restrictions (freedom of movement). The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 retains freedom of movement as UK law until it is repealed. The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill would repeal free movement and make EU immigration subject to UK law. The current UK government intends to replace it with a new system. The government's 2018 white paper proposes a "skills-based immigration system" that prioritizes skilled migrants, limits the length of time low-skilled migrants can work in the UK, and applies a stricter criminality threshold. EU and EEA citizens already living in the UK can continue living there after Brexit by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, which began in March 2019. Irish citizens will not have to apply to the scheme. If there is a no-deal Brexit, EU citizens who arrive in the UK before the end of 2020 can apply to stay until the end of 2023.
Studies estimating the long-term impact of Brexit on immigration note that many factors affect future migration flows but that Brexit and the end of free movement will likely result in a large decline in immigration from EEA countries to the UK. The Migration Policy Institute estimated immediately after the referendum that the UK "would continue to receive 500,000 or more immigrants (from EU and non-EU countries taken together) per year, with annual net migration around 200,000". The decline in EEA immigration is likely to have an adverse impact on the British health sector.
Official figures for June 2016–June 2017 showed that net non-British EU immigration to the UK slowed to about 100,000 immigrants per year (corresponding to the immigration level of 2014) while immigration from outside the EU rose. Taken together, the two inflows into the UK resulted in an only slightly reduced net immigration of 230,000 newcomers. The Head of the Office of National Statistics suggested that Brexit could be a factor for the slowdown in EU immigration, but cautioned there might be other reasons. The number of non-British EU nurses registering with the NHS fell from 1,304 in July 2016 to 46 in April 2017.
Currently, EEA sportspersons face minimal bureaucracy when playing in the UK. After Brexit, any EU citizen wanting to do so could be required to hold a work permit. Such work permits can be tricky to obtain, especially for young or lower ranked players. Conversely, British nationals playing in EEA states may encounter similar obstacles where none exist today.
It has been computed that with Brexit, people like N'Golo Kanté or Riyad Mahrez would not have qualified to work in England or Wales. The same occurs with those under 18, such as Cesc Fàbregas or Paul Pogba when they signed for their respective English clubs.
Some Brexit issues remain unsolved by the withdrawal agreement, including continued freedom of movement within the EU, "posted workers" (per the definition in Council Directive 96/71/EC), and other complex issues.
When the United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020, there were an estimated 1.8 million British citizens living in other EU member states. The vast majority of these British citizens have since been permanently and irrevocably removed from electoral registers and stripped of all democratic voting rights. Brexit has caused the single largest disenfranchisement in European history.
In France, on 15 March 2020, 800 elected conseillers municipaux of British nationality no longer had the right to be reelected, as a result of Brexit.
By leaving the EU, the UK would leave the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), a single market in commercial air travel. The UK will negotiate a future relationship with the EU on the "basis of equivalence of traffic rights and a level playing field". It could negotiate to re-join as a non-EU member (like Bosnia and Herzegovina), negotiate access through a bilateral agreement (like Switzerland), or negotiate a new 'open skies' bilateral deal with the EU. If there is a "no-deal" Brexit, UK airlines will still have permission to operate within the EU with no restrictions, and vice versa. UK airlines licensed before Brexit will still have permission to operate provided they are majority owned and effectively controlled by nationals of the UK and/or nationals of the EU and EEA.
The UK government seeks continued participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Otherwise, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority would take on the role of regulator for UK airlines. A substantial increase in CAA staff and resources would be needed to meet the demands of its new role.
The UK has its own air service agreements with 111 countries, which permit flights to-and-from the country, and these will continue after Brexit. It has air service agreements with a further 17 countries through its EU membership, and it has sought to replace these. By July 2019, the UK had concluded air service agreements with the United States, Canada Switzerland, Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia and Norway.
Three British airlines, Monarch, Flybmi and Thomas Cook, went bankrupt in the period 2017–2019; all three bankruptcies have been partially attributed to Brexit, more specifically the political uncertainty of the Brexit process and the falling exchange rates of the Pound sterling.
The EU announced that the Channel Tunnel rail link would remain open on current terms for three months if there had been a "no-deal" Brexit. The EU Commission said this should be enough time for new permanent arrangements to be agreed.
While the UK no longer benefits from EU road traffic policy, the UK remains a member of other treaties which provide some kinds of transport facility.
The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is recorded by the UN, not the EU, allowing road traffic between the UK and EU member states member of that convention.
From 1 January 2021, UK driving licence holders are still able to use their driving licence to drive in the EU for short visits, although with some exceptions. Where the exceptions apply, International Driving Permits, governed by treaties such as the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, facilitate driving between the UK and the EU/EEA countries. Depending on which convention the country in question has ratified, an IDP governed by the 1949 Geneva Convention might be required in some EEA countries, and an IDP governed by the 1968 Vienna Convention in other EEA countries.
From 1 January 2021, UK driving licenses are no longer European driving licences, so that UK driving license holders now require an IDP to drive in those non-EU/EEA countries which recognise European, but not UK, driving licences. So an IDP is required to drive in several countries in Europe (e.g. a 1949 IDP in Andorra, and a 1968 IDP in Albania, Monaco and Turkey).
The UK was in the European Common Transit Convention (CTC) as an EU member and has negotiated continuous membership after Brexit. This would apply to any new trading relationship with the EU. The CTC applies to moving goods between the EU member states, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia. The CTC, with its supplementary Convention on the Simplification of Formalities in the Trade of Goods, reduces administrative burdens on traders by removing the need for additional import/export declarations when transiting customs territories, and provides cash flow benefits by allowing the movement of goods across a customs territory without the payment of duties until the final destination.
Under the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) mutual market access for the transport of goods is limited to point-to-point crossborder transports, with up to two extra movements (cabotage) in the other party's territory permitted.
Except in Ireland, mutual market access for passenger transport is limited under the TCA to point-to-point crossborder transports. Bus services on the island of Ireland can continue to pick up and set down passengers in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
From 1 January 2021, drivers taking their own cars to the EU or EEA now need a green card issued under the International Motor Insurance Card System to prove that their cars are insured. Trailers and caravans need separate green cards.
After the Brexit referendum, the Scottish Government—led by the Scottish National Party (SNP)—announced that officials were planning another independence referendum because Scotland voted to remain in the EU while England and Wales voted to leave. It had suggested this before the Brexit referendum. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, requested a referendum be held before the UK's withdrawal. The UK Prime Minister rejected the requested timing, but not the referendum itself. In March 2017, the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of holding another independence referendum. Sturgeon called for a "phased return" of an independent Scotland back to the EU.
On 21 March 2018, the Scottish Parliament passed the Scottish Continuity Bill. This was passed due to stalling negotiations between the Scottish Government and the British Government on where powers within devolved policy areas should lie after Brexit. The Act allows for all devolved policy areas to remain within the remit of the Scottish Parliament and reduces the executive power upon exit day that the UK Withdrawal Bill provides for Ministers of the Crown. The bill was referred to the UK Supreme Court, which found that it could not come into force as the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which received royal assent between the Scottish Parliament passing its bill and the Supreme Court's judgement, designated itself under schedule 4 of the Scotland Act 1998 as unamendable by the Scottish Parliament. The bill has therefore not received royal assent.
Concerns have been raised that Brexit might create security problems for the UK, particularly in law enforcement and counter-terrorism where the UK could use the EU's databases on individuals crossing the British border. Security experts have credited the EU's information-sharing databases with helping to foil terrorist plots. British leaders have expressed support for retaining access to those information-sharing databases, but it could be complicated to obtain access as a non-member of the EU. Brexit would also complicate extradition requests. Under a hard Brexit scenario, the UK would lose access to databases comprising European plane travel records, vehicle registrations, fingerprints, and DNA profiles.
UK bilateral international agreements
Before the withdrawal agreement was ratified, the Financial Times said that there were approximately 759 international agreements, spanning 168 non-EU countries, that the UK would no longer have been a party to upon leaving the EU.
UK–EU relationship post-Brexit
The UK's post-Brexit relationship with the EU could take several forms. A research paper presented to the UK Parliament in July 2013 proposed a number of alternatives to being a member state which would continue to allow access to the EU internal market. These include remaining in the European Economic Area, negotiating deep bilateral agreements on the Swiss and Norwegian model, or leaving the EU without EEA membership or a trade agreement under the WTO Option.
UK relations with CANZUK countries and the United States
Pro-Brexit activists and politicians have argued for negotiating trade and migration agreements with the "CANZUK" countries—those of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Numerous academics have criticised this alternative for EU membership as "post-imperial nostalgia". Economists note that distance reduces trade, a key aspect of the gravity model of trade, which means that even if the UK could obtain similar trade terms with the CANZUK countries as it had as part of the Single Market, it would be far less valuable to the UK.
In August 2019 United States President Donald Trump pledged to negotiate a "very big trade deal" with the UK after Brexit.
In November 2020 Canada and the UK reached an interim post-Brexit trade agreement called "Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement" and would set the stage for further more comprehensive agreements at a later date.
World Trade Organization
Questions have arisen over how existing international arrangements with the EU under WTO terms should evolve. Some countries—such as Australia and the US—wish to challenge the basis for division (i.e., division between the UK and the continuing EU) of the trade schedules previously agreed between them and the EU, because it reduces their flexibility.
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- Between 2007 and 2013 the UK received €8.8 billion from the EU for research while contributing €5.4 billion to the EU's research budget.UK research and the European Union: the role of the EU in funding UK research (PDF). London: Royal Society. 2016. pp. 12, Figure 4.
- MacKenzie, Debora. "Here's why British scientists are so opposed to Brexit". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- Around 11% of the research income of British universities came from the EU in 2014–2015 University Funding Explained (PDF). London: UK Universities. July 2016.
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finding economists who say they believe that a Brexit will spur the British economy is like looking for a doctor who thinks forswearing vegetables is the key to a long life
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The results I summarize in this section focus on long-run effects and have a forecast horizon of 10 or more years after Brexit occurs. Less is known about the likely dynamics of the transition process or the extent to which economic uncertainty and anticipation effects will impact the economies of the United Kingdom or the European Union in advance of Brexit.
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On 23 June 2016, 52% of British voters decided that being the first country ever to leave the EU was a price worth paying for 'taking back control', despite advice from economists clearly showing that Brexit would make the UK 'permanently poorer' (HM Treasury 2016). The extent of agreement among economists on the costs of Brexit was extraordinary: forecast after forecast supported similar conclusions (which have so far proved accurate in the aftermath of the Brexit vote).
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The U.K. economy may be paying for Brexit for a long time to come... It won't mean Armageddon, but the broad consensus among economists—whose predictions about the initial fallout were largely too pessimistic—is for a prolonged effect that will ultimately diminish output, jobs and wealth to some degree.
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One thing economists do generally agree on is that leaving the European Union and putting new trade barriers between Britain and our largest and closest trading partners is extremely unlikely to boost UK productivity growth—and is far more likely to slow it
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Die Briten haben sich für einen Abschied entschieden, Europa wird nun anders aussehen. Der Kontinent verliert seine (neben Frankreich) stärkste Militärmacht samt Atomwaffenarsenal, seine zweitgrößte Volkswirtschaft, das Land mit der drittgrößten Bevölkerung, die Finanzhauptstadt der Welt und einen von zwei Plätzen im UN-Sicherheitsrat. [The British have decided to leave. Europe will now look different. The continent will be losing its strongest military power (alongside France), ... its second largest economy, the country with the third largest population, the financial capital of the world, and one of two seats on the UN Security Council.]
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What all of these studies agree on is that whichever Brexit deal is struck, even the most advantageous will have a negative impact on future economic growth for all places across the UK in the short to medium term. And they also agree that over the longer term its places that are already struggling that are likely to struggle the most, further exacerbating the country's unbalanced economic geography.
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