So, now the UK has left the EU, the country has rejected 48 years in the European customs union, also called the Common Market, and 28 years in the Single Market, the brainchild of well-known Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
The Single Market expanded the market available for British exporters without tariff or non-tariff barriers, to 500 million Europeans. Ironic then that the negotiations of the past four years were all the more difficult because of the (somewhat predictable) EU’s insistence on defending the Single Market, itself created by the British.
With the Single Market (with regulations set and enforced in Brussels) the UK became a player on the world stage. So, having now left the EU, the UK finds itself outside of the very market it created, and which has now become its competitor.
The UK is now “free”, in the words of the UK Prime Minister, but free to do what? There has been much rhetoric about “levelling up the country” but the regions that need levelling up are precisely the ones that are most dependent on exports to Europe.
While the export of goods to Europe will be spared tariffs in the trade deal agreed with the EU, there will be millions of non-tariff barriers that economists have said matter much more. These range from customs formalities, rules of origin paperwork, assessments of standards etc.
The much ‘lauded’ process of looking outwards for Brexit Britain may not come quickly. While the Scottish and Irish parliaments at Holyrood and Stormont have already rejected the Brexit trade deal, in reality the UK has now replaced a single market of 500 million Europeans free of non-tariff barriers, with a single market smaller than the size of its own country as there is a trade border in the Irish Sea and Northern Ireland is mostly left in the EU single market.
There are also non-tariff barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a result of this deal. What we know is that the UK Prime Minister has succeeded in taking the UK out of the Single Market created by his heroes and the UK now stands outside a system that it helped invent, with the result that its new single market is not even the size of the country.
To me that counts as a pretty big own goal, one which will have repercussions for everyone in the UK. If you were to look outside the lines to understand more of why and what the UK Government have done and given what we know about what Brexit means now, Brexit was never in our best interests. It was the UK Prime Minister’s decision in 2016 and who was advised by the German Chancellor not to give the UK the vote.
Given the current climate and given the fact that the world has so much that it has to deal with, now is not the time to leave our biggest trading bloc and ally. Sovereignty whilst it’s been out there in the media and a potential reasoning for the government’s decision, is very much something that will continue to affect us all negatively, as the days, months and years go by.
Helping us understand what leaving the bloc means is not only important, but it is a symbol of what the UK stands for and what lengths politicians will go to get what they want. My only reason for writing about Brexit on my blog, is it helps me bring understanding and that eases my anxiety, because I deal with autism.
Now you have my blogs on Brexit and the full current picture of what leaving the EU means, it’s still worth my while writing about it. Its repercussions will be felt for many years to come, amongst all of its UK population, no matter which box you ticked.
The government have collectively achieved what was the inevitable for us, but our attentions must now be turned to the General Election in 3 years time. We have control to change what’s been done by changing who we vote for in the next UK General Election. The UK have another chance to set the tone and put this right, but for now ask yourself, what kind of people do this?