Britain’s exit from the union of European countries was the biggest reset for both parties. Initiated in 2016, the UK-EU divorce proceedings dragged for years before the final withdrawal agreement was passed by the lawmakers in London and Brussels. And finally, on January 31, 2020, the exit from Europe became a reality for those who opposed the idea of the UK being part of the union. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quick to claim the rebirth of Britain before the House of Commons earlier this month, his country’s post-Brexit struggles are far from over.
In fact, Britain’s hangover of Brexit is just beginning to show its first signs. The UK may have the independence to set its own trade agenda, make changes in the way of governance at home, and find its new role in the world, but all of it comes at the expense of a different and perhaps complex relationship European countries — its immediate neighbors. For starters, the UK will survive, and it should even after its separation from Europe. But its citizens will have to work much harder than they should to succeed. The movement of services and its people will suffer greatly under the new agreement and that should take a toll on the economy in the long run. Some experts equate Brexit to death by a thousand cuts. Well — it probably is. Britain’s mercantile mindset towards the EU will cost the nation more than the gains its leaders might have estimated in the post-Brexit age. The possibility of disputes between the two sides will emerge as a new constant in the post-Brexit era.
Britain’s exit from the union has already given birth to new barriers to trade. While these issues might get resolved as time passes, there is enough reason to believe that the UK will continue to pay the price for exiting Europe for some time to come. The Brexit camp, which includes Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is celebrating sovereignty for now, but there is so much more that needs to be negotiated.