The UK has officially been out of the European Union for a month as of today; 31st January 2021 and it’s been interesting to say the least.
Boris Johnson’s hastily assembled Free Trade Agreement avoided a calamitous no-deal scenario but it really hasn’t been plain sailing since the UK bid farewell to the EU and ‘took back control.’
In the 31 days since Brexit was signed, sealed and delivered we’ve seen no end of complaints and ‘red-tape’ measures imposed upon traders and customers who deal with Europe, which hasn’t been helped by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fresh disputes and arguments seem to occur on a daily basis and both the UK and the EU have been guilty of some of these fracases.
If these following examples are anything to go by then the UK has got a few long, long years ahead of it.
The fishing debacle
A lot of the UK’s trade deal ended up coming down to fishing waters and what the UK was going to be entitled to going forward. However, since Brexit, Fishermen across the country have been left confused and baffled as to the new red tape that they have to deal with following the enforcement of new checks.
Those involved in the industry have even expressed their regret at voting for leave claiming that they are now “on their knees.” Don’t worry though because according to Jacob Rees-Mogg at least they are “British fish” now and are apparently “better and happier fish for it.”
British ex-pats can no longer watch their favourite shows
A strong sense of schadenfreude descended over some Remainers on 1st January, when those who voted for Brexit and have since moved to Europe discovered that they couldn’t live their British lives while sunning it up in Spain quite like they had before. This point was proven but this woman’s parent’s who couldn’t watch their favourite shows on Sky anymore because of new regulations.
Football transfers are not the same
There are many hidden consequences from Brexit even in the world of sport. If a football team in England now wants to sign a player from a team in the EU they will first have to obtain a work permit. In addition, signing a player under the age of 18 is now strictly off-limits.
This might not have been something that West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce, a well-documented supporter of Brexit, didn't consider before returning to the game in December only to find signing new players is a lot easier said than done.
Brexiteers forced to stay in EU just so they could keep their website
Leave.EU were one of the most prominent pro-Brexit campaign groups before and after the 2016 referendum. However, they probably should have foreseen the problem that they might run into with their name, which is also their website address.
You see in order to keep the Leave.EU domain name they have to be part of their European Union. This forced them into up sticks and moving to Dublin, Ireland just so their name wasn't redundant anymore. You honestly couldn't make it up.
Online shopping has got a lot more expensive
While you may not have noticed a huge difference to your weekly food shop yet, online shopping for clothes brought from Europe has seen some relatively cheap items jump significantly in price.
This was brought to light with a woman named Ellie Huddleston discovered that she was going to have to pay an extra £82 in charges for a coat that she had already spend £200 on in the January sales. This was because of hidden costs such as additional customs duties and VAT which now apply to the UK.
Lib Dem leader Ed Davey called the situation “totally incompetent”.
‘Welcome to the Brexit’
A slightly funnier or depressing story here. It really does depend on how you feel about Brexit.
Due to the new laws imposed on Brits travelling to Europe, bringing food and drink into any EU country is now strictly prohibited. This includes your packed lunch as demonstrated by this Duch TV clip which gave birth to the now-iconic line of "Welcome to the Brexit."
Samantha Cameron’s business is being affected by Brexit
While we thankfully haven't seen the same scenes of huge tailbacks of trucks waiting in Dover that were all over the television before Christmas, some goods are just flat out not arriving in the UK at all.
Samantha Cameron, the wife of former prime minister David Cameron, the man who instigated the EU referendum in the first place, has seen her fashion brand heavily hit by Brexit. Speaking to the BBC, Cameron said that the business was experiencing "frustrating teething issues" adding "If you're bringing goods into the country from outside the UK, and then trying to sell them back into Europe – that currently is challenging and difficult."
Musicians, even those that voted for Brexit, get annoyed by Brexit
To say that Brexit literally affects everything would be an understatement. Even the music industry is feeling the costs. Once the pandemic is over and acts start touring again are going to find things a lot more difficult as the UK rejected an EU proposal to extend the music visa scheme which gives "visa-free short-stays for all EU citizens." These type of schemes are invaluable to emerging musicians and caused an uproar in the industry.
A letter, which was organised by the Lib Dems, saw many notable musicians voice their opposition and frustration to the government's move. Those who spoke out included Elton John, Ed Sheeran and The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, who once said this...
The Covid vaccine and Article 16
In a rare case of the EU angering the Brits and not the other way around, a row quickly developed into an outright farce when the EU decided to trigger Article 16 earlier this week over a dispute involving the Covid-19 vaccine. The article part of the much-maligned Northern Ireland protocol, which allows Northern Ireland to remain as part of the single market, thus avoiding a hard border on the island or Ireland.
The reason it has so suddenly come into the news is because of a disagreement involving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being distributed from the UK to Europe, which is way behind on their vaccine rollout. The EU wanted to protect their vaccines that were leaving European factories but were also worried that Northern Ireland could become a 'back door' that would avoid the restrictions.
It's a complicated issue which the EU has since backed down from and both sides appear to be cooperating again but it did lead to several confused memes about the EU being the baddies. Still, this could have all been avoided if Brexit never happened in the first place.