Finally, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Union are ready took off their wedding rings on Friday, on 31st of January. It is a sombre divorce for many, as millions of Brits who really wished to remain part of the bloc are left heartbroken. It was a joyous occasion for millions of Leave-supporting Brits as they are ready to celebrate the separation. However, Brexit is not really a full end of the marriage, one where the parties will not see or talk to each other ever again. Britain and the EU will have to sit around the table to shape the post-marital finances or in more technical terms, the new trade partnership. Those talks will continue until the end of 2020, and what shape the new trade deal will take is to be seen then.
In this case what was changed on Friday?
Technically, nothing is changing apart from the U.K. becoming a non-EU country. Trade will continue until the end of the transition period as usual, as if the U.K. were still a member state. Free movement will also continue through the end of the year, as passports holders from 27-member states and the U.K. will not need any visa for travels across the EU or to the U.K.However, British representatives will be no longer hold their seats in the European Parliament and Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community), and decisions of the European Court of Justice will be no longer binding on Britain.
The U.K. will be free to discuss new trade deals with all countries. A deal with the U.S. has been on the agenda for some time, but it will also be watched very closely by the opposition as there is great sensitivity to some potential items on the table, including healthcare services and some American products having lower standards than Europeans.
A new point-based immigration system will also be introduced, the government pledges.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nations on Friday as it prepared to leave the European Union after almost 50 years of membership.
Johnson struck a tone of conciliation, wanting to bring the nation together and looking forward to what he called “not an end, but a beginning.”
Citing the obvious divisions between “leavers” and “remainers,” he said he “understood all the feelings” of those across the country.
He emphasized opportunities Brexit could bring the U.K. as a “dawn of a new era” that could “spread hope and opportunity to every part of the UK.”
This refers to the government’s plans on “levelling up” infrastructure in mainly northern towns and cities that many have claimed to have been left behind in the economic growth enjoyed by the southeast and London in recent times.
When considering Britain’s future relationship with the EU and the world at large, Johnson said, “We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic Britain. A Britain that is simultaneously a great European power and truly global in our range and ambitions.”
The UK has around 11 months to negotiate a free trade deal with EU member states. Considering the fact that EU- Canadian trade deal negotiations took 7 years and was ratified in 8th year, there is a great chance despite Boris Johnson’s not willing to extend transition period, there could be an extension beyond the end of 2020, in order to avoid the risk of no deal scenario.