Trade: Of the contracts that the prime minister is now highlighting, only one deal with Australia has so far been completely renegotiated, another with New Zealand is imminent. The rest ultimately reflect the EU contracts. But there is great displeasure with the new contracts. British farmers fear being driven out of the market by cheap meat from Australia and New Zealand. The most important project – a free trade agreement with the USA – is a long way off.
Bureaucracy: Indeed, some industries benefit, as recognized by an EU country diplomat in London. Autonomous driving or artificial intelligence are two areas in which there would now be more options without strict EU rules. But: “These are only niches.” In fact, the bureaucracy has increased, and for a year now trading has become more difficult because of the necessary documentation. Since the beginning of the year, Great Britain has also been controlling some imports from the EU more strictly. The trade of smaller companies with the EU takes permanent damage, fears the frozen food association BFFF.
Consumer: The trade problems have a tangible impact. The majority of fresh food comes from the EU, shelves remained empty. Since Brexit, it has been more difficult for skilled workers to enter the country because of expensive work visas. This affects many industries in which mainly EU citizens previously worked – from transport to meat processing to gastronomy.
Migration: Interior Minister Priti Patel is aiming for quality over quantity. Patel wants to stop the unhindered freedom of movement and thus implement a central demand of the Brexiteers. Instead, the brightest minds should come. But so far there has been no application for a new special visa for scientific award winners. To Patel’s displeasure, many migrants continued to cross the English Channel illegally. The Independent said it was Johnson’s biggest challenge in the new year.
Economy: The pandemic is still overshadowing many Brexit worries. A clear assessment of the extent to which the exit from the EU is responsible for empty coffers and enormous tax increases is still pending. The regulatory authority Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has come to the conclusion that leaving the EU will reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by 4 percent, which is twice as much as the pandemic.