Three months after Brexit began for real when the EU’s rulebook stopped applying to the UK, many areas of life have noticed a difference.
The impact has been felt by both people and businesses — although it has sometimes been hard to distinguish from the overwhelming impact of the pandemic.
British exports to the EU have been hardest hit by new border formalities, despite the last-minute deal struck in December ensuring tariff-free trade.
Although some sectors report improvements since the early chaos in January, they also say the problems run deeper than the “teething troubles” the UK government highlighted at the time.
Meanwhile, a further UK delay in imposing import checks on EU goods means European exporters have not been affected to the same extent.
Euronews examines the effect of the changes so far on several major sectors of the economy.
UK-EU trade overall
Goods exports plunged by 41% and imports by 29% as the UK’s departure from the EU’s single market had a major impact, as did additional bureaucracy and sometimes unexpected costs and taxes.
Nearly a quarter of small UK firms surveyed said they had temporarily halted sales with the EU because of post-Brexit rules, according to a report by the Federation of Small Businesses in late March.
Figures released on March 18 by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office said imports from Great Britain fell by 65% in January compared to a year earlier. Recent German figures showed imports from the UK dropped by 56%, while exports were down by nearly a third.
Trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland has also experienced new barriers under divorce deal arrangements designed to protect an open north-south border on the island of Ireland. The EU has begun legal action against the UK after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period on some food checks.
News Source: euronews