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Senior Research Fellow of UK in a Changing Europe

Now that a trade agreement has been reached between the EU and the U.K., what happens next? UK in a Changing Europe recently published a major analysis of the draft Brexit deal, known as theTrade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA), and its implications on the U.K.’s economy and society.



英国正在逐步实施边境控制the next six months so the U.K. border doesn’t, if you like, go into full implementation until the 1st of July. The EU seems to have been going a bit lightly in the first couple of weeks, but stories going around now suggest that they are going to implement proper controls. Quite a lot of people have already been shocked to find that they’ve ordered something over the internet and then received a demand to pay duty that they never would have had inside the single market.

The position’s a bit different in Northern Ireland where the U.K. is obviously operating part of the EU’s border — the border in the Irish Sea that government ministers still say doesn’t exist. There are some grace periods that were agreed very late in the day in the joint committee, which expire particularly on the necessary certification accompanying agri-foods and things like that. Lots of concerns about what might happen if those expire without some long-term easements in place.

So it’s quite a complicated position, and we’re not fully there yet.



鹿屎:interesting thing is that there have been very low traffic flows over the Channel crossing into France since the agreement. In part, that may have been because there was a lot of stockpiling that went on before the beginning of the year. We then had this rather traumatic effect in the immediate week before Christmas with the French shutting their border to people coming back from the U.K. because of the new variant of COVID. I do think people are anticipating more disruption in the weeks to come once those stockpiles have run down and trade reverts to normal.

The other bit where COVID hits is in the movement of people to the continent. There are obviously people moving to the continent for personal travel, where you have to go through a different queue at passport control and things like that. That’s probably livable.

But because of COVID, businesses haven’t yet felt the full impact of the new limitations on being able to service EU clients — where they might need someone to go and service a piece of machinery, or work on a project. That’s an area where, because there’s no agreement on short-term business visits, or on recognition of qualifications, there’s potentially quite a lot of disruption to come. But because nobody’s really doing that sort of business travel at the moment, it isn’t being felt.


BRINK:Now that we have a deal, what’s your sense of the long-term economic impact? Which parts of the economy do you think will be impacted the greatest?

鹿屎:UK In A Changing Europe’s new report看待这笔交易对出口和进口的影响。它发现它对该等式的两侧具有很大的影响。出口额外的出口和进口量均为比进口的出口略有下降,略高。然后通过进入GDP。




鹿屎:我认为这是6000亿英镑的问题,因为我们还不知道。We don’t know how readily the EU will use the provisions that are in the TCA either to raise specific disputes, take retaliatory action or to resort to what’s called the rebalancing mechanism, if they think that U.K. actions on a sub-level playing field areas have tilted the balance of competition too much in the U.K.’s favor.


BRINK:所以你认为与欧盟的关系in general is going to be very rivalrous, or do you think that, in time, it will settle down?

It’s possible that the EU could say, “Well, we put the U.K. pretty firmly outside the single market. Its businesses now face a whole barrage of new red tape to do business in the EU, and therefore, anything they can do on the regulatory front is frankly going to have a pretty marginal effect compared to those changes.”

Or it might say, “We need to watch the U.K. like a hawk, and we need to send some very early warning shots across their bows to make sure they realize that they have very limited room for maneuver.”



Possibility of Constant Friction




BRINK:What’s your take on the wider opportunities outside the EU that have often been touted by the government? Do you think they can make up the ground lost from the EU?

RUTTER: New trade deals don’t do that much for your GDP because obviously they have to offer benefits to the other trade partner as well, in terms of better market access. They offer consumer benefits, but may not necessarily increase your GDP much. So you’ll be hard pressed to offset those benefits through other trade deals.

The best thing you could do for GDP in the U.K. is not really related to Brexit at all, but is to use Brexit as a catalyst to tackle some of the well-known, longstanding structural weaknesses of the U.K. economy such as low productivity and inequality and to use it as a catalyst to invest in skills and infrastructure.

Will Brexit galvanize us into thinking differently about the U.K. economy and actually tackling those problems? No one knows.


Senior Research Fellow of UK in a Changing Europe

吉尔赶紧is a senior research fellow at the non-partisan academic think tank, UK in a Changing Europe, which recently released the reportWhat Would No Deal Mean?Before that, she led Brexit work at the Institute for Government, which she joined after holding senior roles in the UK civil service.

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