Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Post-Brexit EU Trade Deal

Thanks to Brexit, the UK is no longer part of the single customs union.  The UK and the EU did manage to agree on a last minute trade deal right before Christmas.  The impact of which is already starting to be felt and I believe that more problems will continue to pop up as Brexiters begin to realise the implications of voting to leave the EU.

The deal maintains the Good Friday peace deal so there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  In order to do this, Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market for goods, which means that Northern Ireland has to follow the EU's customs rules.  So now there's a customs border in the Irish Sea which basically separates the UK, between Northern Ireland and England/Scotland/Wales.

All goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland now require a customs declaration, and additional certification on some goods and products, just as it does between the UK and any other EU-member country.

There's no more unlimited freedom to work and live between the UK and the EU.  UK citizens are free to visit Europe but have to follow the Schengen rules which means they can only be in the EU for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.  Any stay over 90 days will require a visa.

Not that there's a whole lot of travel now due to COVID-19 but when arriving in the EU, UK citizens no longer get to use the EU/EEA queues.  They have to use the non-EU citizen queues.

There are now additional customs duties, import fees and VAT when you purchase something online from the UK.  EU consumer protection rules no longer apply to purchases made from the UK.  So I won't be buying anything any longer from Amazon.co.uk.  I need to switch to Amazon in Germany

Mail will be more complicated.  Both from the UK to the EU and vice versa.  All customs fees, duties and taxes need to be paid in order to pick up any packages.  Some shipping companies have already increased their fees to cover the cost of the extra paperwork required.

The UK has set new tax rules where taxes must be collected at the point of sale which means that a business in the EU must collect taxes on sales made to UK customers which means a lot of tax headaches because now the EU firm must establish an account with the UK tax authorities and keep up with ever changing UK tax laws.  There are already cases where EU firms are no longer selling goods to UK customers.

I'm still not sure what's going to happen with surcharge-free roaming.  I have no idea what I'll pay to use my mobile whenever I actually make it back to the UK for a visit.

Booze cruises to the wine shops in Calais, France, were popular because there was an unlimited allowance on alcohol.  That comes to an end because now, there's a limit on the amount of alcohol allowed from the EU for personal consumption.  UK citizens can now only take back home up to 42 litres of beer, 18 litres of wine and 4 litres of spirits, plus up to 200 cigarettes.

On top of all of the this the UK still has to settle a £25 billion ($X) divorce bill by 2057.  It will be interesting to see what other unintended headaches pop up as a result of Brexit

Here are a few short videos already showing up on YouTube showing some of the consequences of the post-Brexit trade deals.

©Al Jazeera

©9 News Australia

©Sky News

There was speculation that with the UK out of the EU, that English would no longer be an official EU language.  Every country gets to put up an official language and Ireland chose Irish and Malta chose Maltese so now there's no EU country with English as its official language.  English is the most widely taught foreign language in the EU.  It appears that English will be kept on as an official EU language.


Update:  Here's a short story on Brexit's impact on the music industry.  I never even thought about this one.  What a mess.

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