With the 2016 referendum, the UK decided to leave the European Union by ending its 47 years old membership.
There are many reasons for this decision such as sovereignty issues and refugee issues.
However, it’s been more than 1 year since the UK left the EU. What happened to Britain?
In this post, we will discuss.
Consequences of Brexit for the UK
The UK and the EU are important to each other. Europe is Britain’s most important export market and the foreign direct investment partner.
Leaving the EU made a difficult time for the UK together with the pandemic, like a twin disaster.
In terms of economy, the EU and the UK signed the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement on 30th December 2020, in areas of trade in goods, digital trade, intellectual properties, energy, fisheries, etc.
However, after this agreement, the British exports to the EU fell by 45% and imports decreased by 33%.
When the trade with EU countries fell, Uk gradually started to trade with non-EU countries. The most important thing here is, 52% of all trade of the UK in the 1st 10 months of 2021 was with non-EU countries.
With the pandemic situation, most of the EU countries showed a positive attempt of recovery to the pre-Covid level. But the UK seems like the opposite, which means struggling to recover.
To boost the economy, the UK signed free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand. Free trade agreements can have economic advantages. But in a small range. There is a doubt that Free Trade Agreements can fill the space that is given by a Custom Union like the EU.
Another major challenge faced by the UK is Immigration.
The departure of many Europeans and tight immigration rules after Brexit bring a hard time for the UK.
The freedom of movement under the EU no longer applies to the UK. The UK has a separate immigration policy that applies for passports, length of stay, driving, healthcare, etc.
These new immigration rules create a huge shortage of workers, which directly affects the country’s economy.
In conclusion, it’s too early to measure the progress of the UK after Brexit. But in the past and the present experience happened to the UK, we can assume that Brexit brought a hard time for the UK and it needs more time to recover, especially with the consequences of the pandemic.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons