As the closing hours approach for the UK to leave the European Union their lies uncertainty, but also optimism. With the separation of the shackles to european bureaucracy the U.K will be free to take the law into its own hands. New trade deals, no more EU summits and we say goodbye to the red and gold passports.
There will be a lot of talk on trade and trade deals with countries such as America and Australia. The UK will be given an 11 months transition period to negotiate a deal with Europe.
What needs to be agreed?
The transition period is meant to give both sides some breathing space while a new free trade agreement is negotiated.
This is needed because the UK will leave the single market and customs union at the end of the transition. A free trade agreement allows goods to move around the EU without checks or extra charges.
If a new one cannot be agreed in time, then the UK faces the prospect of having to trade with no deal in place. That would mean tariffs (taxes) on UK goods travelling to the EU and other trade barriers.
Aside from trade, many other aspects of the future UK-EU relationship will also need to be decided. For example:
- Law enforcement, data sharing and security
- Aviation standards and safety
- Access to fishing waters
- Supplies of electricity and gas
- Licensing and regulation of medicines
Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists the transition period will not be extended, but the European Commission has warned that the timetable will be extremely challenging. Source BBC News
What is certain is that businesses will be following the process with caution stoke optimism with the view that getting down to brass tacks at last is an important part of the healing process. Leaving the EU is unprecedented and after today there is no turning back.