Eight weeks of a bad Brexit deal

Published on February 26, 2021

As the weeks roll by, Brexit just gets worse and worse and worse.

We’re now two months into this bad Brexit deal, and the consequences are being felt up and down the country. In fact, there are so many businesses, people and communities that have been affected it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of them all.

Here is a brief run-down of some of the biggest impacts of Brexit so far:

This hard Brexit is taking its toll on Northern Ireland:

The outcome of Brexit in Northern Ireland has been nothing short of shambolic. The Northern Ireland protocol puts the border with the EU in the Irish Sea, to avoid a border on the island of Ireland which could be detrimental to the peace process.

However, this government’s hard Brexit has created significant issues in Northern Ireland. Many UK companies have had to stop shipping to Northern Ireland for the same reasons that many companies can no longer trade in Europe: crippling barriers and red tape.

Being cut off from the rest of the UK has also caused unrest in Northern Ireland, with threats of terrorist action against those working at the border.

The Northern Ireland protocol may not be the perfect solution but make no mistake it is this hard Brexit that is the catalyst for many of these issues. In the space of just a few weeks this government has put the precious peace process in Northern Ireland at risk.

The UK has entered talks with the EU to find a solution. It is the responsibility of the prime minister to put peace and cohesion first.

Musicians can no longer tour Europe:

This bad Brexit deal has had a significant impact on the arts industry, including the music industry. The music industry alone is worth £5.8 billion to the UK economy, providing more than 100,000 jobs. Increased costs, paperwork, more red tape to cover equipment and crew, and the need to repeat the process for every single country in the EU makes touring impossible for all but the wealthiest musicians, with emerging artists the worst affected.

As this video highlights, the post-Brexit conditions for touring musicians will be devastating to the live industry, as acts won’t be able to go touring:

But this is about more than just the economic benefits that we get from the sector, exporting our culture is hugely significant in terms of the UK’s soft power and influence in the world.

The UK has lost its place as the largest financial trading centre in Europe:

There was a gaping hole as big as 80 per cent of the economy in the Brexit deal unwrapped on Christmas Eve. The trade deal all but ignored services. As the financial industry waits in limbo as the EU and UK negotiate a deal on financial services to grant full trading rights (or equivalence), Brexit is already having a devastating impact on our financial industry.

We’re just a few weeks into 2021, and Amsterdam has already overtaken London as the largest financial trading centre in Europe. And there has already been an exodus of jobs from London to Europe. In just a short time, leaving the EU has threatened the UK’s global position as financial services leaders.

Sixty per cent of goods firms are seeing disruption:

When Boris Johnson announced the Brexit deal on Christmas Eve, he claimed that it was a barrier-free, frictionless trade deal - a quota-free tariff-free deal with no non-tariff barriers. This has definitively been shown not to be the case. There have been major problems at the border, with 60 per cent of firms stating that they have experienced “significant disruption” since the beginning of January.

These delays have had a huge impact on British businesses. Stock has spoiled at the border, leading to a huge amount of waste. Red tape and barriers at the border have led to a loss in customers, a loss in profit and in some cases loss of livelihoods and closure of businesses.

It’s got so bad, the reality so utterly undeniable, that the government has finally admitted its deal with the EU has created “non-tariff trading barriers”. The admission came on February 17 in an updated assessment from Liz Truss’s Department of International Trade on the risks of doing business in Ireland.

The economy is forecast to shrink:

There is no denying that reduced trade in both goods and services will have an impact on our economy, and we are already seeing it. Exports to the EU were down a whopping 68 per cent in January, and jobs and trade in financial services are being driven to the EU, including 2,500 finance jobs and €170 billion that has gone to just one country, France.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Brexit will shrink the UK economy by one per cent this quarter. In the context of the pandemic, the impact of the double crises will impact our economy, our jobs and our businesses.

Scrutiny and accountability of this Brexit deal has been shut down:

Despite the government delivering a demonstrably disastrous deal for Britain, and the significant fallout that we have already seen from this terrible deal, there has been little scrutiny of the deal.

In just the first few weeks of the deal coming into force, Boris Johnson’s government has been removing sources of scrutiny of the deal. Jacob Rees-Mogg closed the committee that had the power to scrutinise the deal, without transferring those powers elsewhere in parliament. The government also voted against giving MPs a final say over new deals that will be negotiated in the wake of Brexit.

Some Conservative MPs have been just as shocked as the rest of us at the lack of scrutiny. As the Tory MP for Huntingdon, Jonathan Djanogly, put it: “As things stand, unbelievably, the UK shall have less scrutiny of trade deals, than when we were a member of the European Union. Surely, that’s not what taking back control was all about.”

Already it is clear that the consequences of Brexit are significant and far-reaching and that it must be scrutinised and there must be accountability for its outcomes. The fight for our democracy continues.

You can see the real-life impacts of these and other Brexit-related issues here, where we’ve highlighted eight of the most shocking consequences from the first eight weeks of Brexit.

As we’ve shown, Brexit has had an impact on so many people up and down the country, and we want to know how Brexit has impacted you. Has it impacted your job, your business, how much it costs to shop?

Let us know here:


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