As of January 1 2021, the transition period and the U.K. ceased de facto being a member of the E.U. The promised “zero-tariff, zero-quota” deal came into force. However, it has failed to prevent disruption from trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has caused chaos for businesses. The U.K. is seeking to re-negotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol, a request denied with force by the E.U. Commission.
Overall, the UK-EU Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was greeted with relief and satisfaction by the businesses in the U.K. and in the E.U. countries. It raised hopes of a constructive future relationship with the U.K. Yet Brexit never really entered into the domestic political debate of any E.U. country. The complex nature of the negotiations was done through the E.U. institutions, not by single E.U. member countries.
Without losing time, the U.K. started to conclude trade deals as an independent nation, free of rules and restrictions of the E.U. Commission. The manifesto promised trade deals with Australia, New Zealand,
Canada and the U.S. within three years with no diminution of food standards.
The Australia and New Zealand deals have been agreed with and Canada not far off, but there is no prospect of a U.S. deal soon.
The new points-based system, which allows migrants into the U.K. based on their skills rather than a place of origin, has now been implemented, but it is not yet clear whether net immigration will fall as promised.
It will take several years for the new system of agricultural funding to be implemented after the end of the standard agricultural policy. Fishing groups have accused the Conservatives of breaking a promise to expand their rights over Britain’s waters.
Corporation taxes are being significantly increased to help defray the cost of the pandemic. Meanwhile, promised reforms to business rates have not yet materialised.
The U.K. Government has been forced to junk its plans to keep the public finances under control as a result of Covid-19.
Johson’s popularity has been in decline since the resignation of his health secretary, Matt Hancock, on June 26, and reached its lowest point after the CBI speech in mid-November.
In mid December…