It took a while, but the British left the EU on Friday with a deal. Yet for the time being nothing will change for British and European citizens and entrepreneurs.
For a while it seemed that the British would crash out of the EU without a deal, but in the end Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to get a deal through the House of Commons. Next week, only the European Parliament (EP) will have to give its formal approval and then the time has come.
It will happen on Friday evening at 11 p.m. British time – with an official countdown, a speech from Johnson, light shows and a special Brexit coin.
The British will then wake up on 1 February in their ‘new’ Brexit country. But they (and we) do not notice this at first.
Little is known about what the future relationship between the EU Member States and the United Kingdom (UK) will look like. We are still in a sort of transitional period until the end of this year. Then the EU rules still apply in the UK.
This gives companies and organizations time to prepare for the possible new rules that will apply from 2021. We do not yet know what these agreements will entail.
The coming year will therefore again be dominated by negotiations, consultations and agreements.
Johnson signed a Brexit agreement with the EU in October, consisting of a withdrawal agreement and a political statement.
This includes agreements on the rights and protection of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa. Agreements have also been made on the financial account and insurance for if no solution is found to the Irish border issue in the transition phase.
Everything that has to do with trade or the free movement of people, services and goods will only be arranged this year. What the new customs rules will look like is not yet known. This will also be negotiated in the coming year. So you can also just place online orders at a British webshop and take back souvenirs from vacation to the Netherlands.
In addition, the Brexit currently has no consequences for the admission of, for example, British medicines to the European market, and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) remains valid at least until the end of 2020. Also in 2021, after the transition phase, we may only pay more for telephone and data use in the UK.
Will anything change at all on February 1?
Yes, British MEPs and EU officials from the EU will clear their offices, clear their desks and return to the UK.