On Thursday 24th December 2020, after approximately ten months of intense negotiations and several disagreements, Britain and the European Union have finally managed to strike a trade deal.
The deal came exactly one week before the UK was due to exit the EU Single Market and customs union. This will mean that at the New Year, the UK will be exiting all EU trading rules and face tariffs on cross-channel commerce.
This will bring big changes to the business industry as the UK and EU will now be composed of two separate markets, and it will mean an end to the free movement for the UK.
The Next Step
The UK and EU parliaments will now proceed to ratify the deal and sign off the agreement. Due to the short time window left in the transition period, it will not be fully ratified until next year. This however will not stop the deal from coming into effect, as EU law includes a mechanism for agreements to be provisionally applied without parliament’s consent if it is approved by the twenty-seven member states.
What will change?
EU citizens will only be allowed to live in the UK if they have a job offer, which will earn them at least £20,480 or more a year and would need to speak good English.
UK citizens on the other hand, would require permission to live and work in the EU member states and will need to apply for a visa for trips of over 90 days.
EU nationals who are already settled in must register for a “settled status” by 30th June 2021. Persons who are eligible to apply for a settled status, must have been living in the UK for at least five consecutive years, without a break of more than six months.
UK nationals living in the EU would need to apply for residency status in the EU member state before June 2021.
EU pet passports will no longer be valid
EU and UK citizens that travel with their pets have more to cater for before travelling to and from the UK. This change was brought about due to the fact that the UK has now become a Part 2 listed country for pet travel. Pet owners now need to visit their vet a month to 10 days before travel to get their pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. The vet will then issue a Health Certificate to allow the pet to travel into the UK or an EU member state.
A change in mobile phone roaming charges
British mobile phone users currently get free data roaming across the EU, however Britons will no longer have this privilege. Roaming charges will also impact EU nationals that visit the UK.
The UK has quit the Erasmus student exchange programme
The UK quit the Erasmus student exchange programme stating that this was too expensive for the country. Instead, the UK will launch a replacement programme known as the Turing Scheme. This Turing Scheme will allow students to study in universities across the world, not just Europe.
What do you make of the UK’s exit?