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UK's Divorce From EU Remains Difficult

The United Kingdom leaving the European Union was a long, drawn-out breakup that was destined to impact the lives of many. With the new relationship beginning on January 1, 2022, Brexit, meaning Britain's exit, continues to affect the worlds of economics and immigration.

The UK intended to display its new importing regulations regarding goods and services from the EU Member States on the first day of 2022. However, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the UK has decided to delay those actions until the end of 2023. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency of the United Kingdom, stated in an interview with Financial Times that he was "on the side of consumers," claiming that new border checks would have added pressure to household bills.

Once the regulations are put in place for the surrounding countries, the UK will have complete control over all goods entering and leaving its borders. Due to this delay, the EU continues to be the biggest trading partner for the UK. According to the Office of National Statistics, while importing goods decreased by £1.0 billion in February 2022, the exports increased by £2.1 billion.

While Brexit has influenced the means of trading between countries, it also predominantly affects the free movement of individuals for things such as work or a simple change of living. On January 1, 2021, the free campaign for EU members ended, requiring them to receive permission to live, work, and even enter the UK.

According to the House of Commons Library, from March 2019 to March 2020, 403,000 people emigrated from the UK. The Office for National Statistics predicts that in 2022 the UK will lose 361,000 people, with the rates slightly declining until the year 2030.

To adapt to this, citizens of the EU can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows for UK residency after the transition period. According to the UK Government webpage, as of January 2022, 6,126,500 concluded applications have been submitted, with 92% being submitted for settled or pre-settled status.

Primarily focused on controlling who and what leaves its domain, the UK is entering an unprecedented time for its vast history. Since 1973 when the UK joined the EU, they have always had to follow a set of rules regarding economics and immigration. Even after the 2016 vote to leave the EU, they were on a probation period until 2020.

Now two years removed from Brexit becoming law, the UK and its citizens still await the full power it expected when it left the EU. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the question of when remains for all parties involved.

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Tags: Immigration Economy Brexit United Kingdom European Union


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