Negotiations between the UK and the European Union (EU) took several years following the UK’s decision to leave the bloc in the 2016 referendum. Although the UK left the EU last year, a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU did not come into effect until January 2021. Express.co.uk looks at some of the UK’s significant wins and the losses since the Brexit deal was agreed.
The UK’s freedom to establish its own trading relationships with countries around the world could be seen as a significant win under the Brexit deal.
According to the House of Commons Library statistics from November 2020, the EU as a whole is the UK’s largest trading partner.
In 2019, 43 percent of all UK exports were to EU countries, while 52 percent of imports were from the EU.
Significantly, there are zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the UK and the EU where goods meet the relevant rules of origin under the new trade deal.
The Northern Ireland Protocol
In many ways, the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed under the Brexit deal can be seen as a loss for the UK post-Brexit.
During negotiations, the UK was adamant it wanted to respect the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and not impose a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Instead, the Brexit deal negotiated by Mr Johnson effectively aligned Northern Ireland with some aspects of the EU single market and its trading regulations.
The protocol has meant goods from the UK are subject to checks at the border when entering Northern Ireland.
There has been significant criticism aimed at the agreement, which some argue has effectively set up a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The ‘sausage war’
Since the Northern Ireland Protocol under the Brexit deal was implemented, there has been a lot of confusion over the transport of chilled meats from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland.
Under EU rules, only frozen meat can be imported into the European single market.
Although Northern Ireland is part of the UK, it aligns with many EU trade rules under the terms of the Brexit deal.
Until the end of June, it was decided chilled meats could be transported from the UK to Northern Ireland, with an extension running until the end of September.
But there is now tension between the UK Government and the EU which has been widely dubbed the “sausage war”.
The UK Government wants parts of the Brexit deal rewritten to allow chilled meat from Britain to get to Northern Ireland without the usual EU checks for the forseeable future.’
So far, the EU has refused to budge and renegotiate on the terms of the agreement.
As this issue remains at a stalemate, with only a few weeks to go until the extended grace period ends, the problems surrounding meat trade and Northern Ireland could be considered a major loss under Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal.
Supply chain issues
In recent months, there have been several issues with the UK supply chain.
The shortage of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) drivers can arguably be attributed to several reasons, including Covid and Brexit.
When part of the EU single market, HGV drivers could drive to and from the UK with little bother.
Post-Brexit, driving to the UK involves more border administration, with queues at the border occurring in recent months.
The Government is also facing calls to relax immigration rules for HGV drivers so more people can help with the shortfall of drivers.