(Twenty-minute read)

The UK is set to leave the EU on January 31.

The article 50 process will have been completed and the country will no longer be legal in the EU.

With speculation now playing a part in almost every claim for or against the EU, it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between legitimate risks and doom-mongering however the implications of becoming the first nation to leave the 28-state bloc are much clearer.

The term Global Britain is the moment Britain chose to step back from the world.


Well here is the picture as I understand it.

The UK will not get a free choice on its future relationship with the EU.

It will not be quick or straightforward to establish a new relationship.

Obviously, there are two ways that Britain can leave the EU:

With a deal, or Without a deal.

A no-deal Brexit would result in a rigid position on all the issues.

If Mr Johnson’s government chooses to change course he has to so before December 31, 2022, if not then Britain will fall back on to basic World Trade Organization terms.

Under WTO rules, this would not include any preferential access to the Single Market, or to any of the 53 markets with which the EU has negotiated Free Trade Agreements.


What is called a soft Brexit which would aim to keep the relationship between the UK and the EU intact?

This could be done by keeping Britain in the single market or, at the very least, arranging the terms of some sort of free-trade agreement before the 31 October deadline arrives.  However, by staying in the single market and customs union, the UK would be liable to EU rules and legislation regarding the free movement of goods, services and people across borders.

Therefore if the UK gets a deal as is the case with Norway and Iceland it could still end up being forced to comply with EU laws and regulations.

A Norway or Iceland model would give the UK considerable but not complete access to
the free-trade Single Market. We would be outside the EU Customs Union, and we
would lose access to all of the EU’s trade agreements with 53 other markets around
the world. Re-negotiating these would take years. Combined with the 27 other countries in the Single Market, and the countries in the EU Customs Union and EFTA, this is effectively more than 80 trade deals – covering over a third of the world’s economy.

No existing bilateral trade agreement will deliver the same level of access that the UK currently enjoys to the EU Single Market. In particular, none provide an equivalent
access for services, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of the UK economy.

It involves accepting most EU rules, but with little influence over the creation of those rules.

Under any of the alternative models, there is no guaranteed access to the current measures for police and security cooperation, which allow our law-enforcement agencies to work with their EU counterparts.

It is possible to fully replace the UK bilateral agreements outside the EU in these areas or demand a right to choose which to participate in will not replicate the reach and influence that is currently enjoy.

Mr Johnson has ruled out any form of an extension to the transition period.

Then both sides would need to make preparations for how they cope with the economic fallout in 2021.

After Britain leaves, its people will still have certain rights – at least for another 11 months. Freedom of movement is likely to end on 31 December next year.

The key rights that have yet to be negotiated include the continued right of British settled in the EU to move for work, leisure or retirement within the EU.

Erasmus will continue after Brexit but this depends on negotiations on the future relationship with the EU.

British citizens will still be able to apply for funding in Horizon2020 programmes during the transition period.

The EU’s Creative Europe funding stream will remain open to British applications.

Also promising a call for applications in 2020 is IPortunus, a new EU mobility fund for artists.

Little is written about cross-border healthcare or the processes involved but it is still available during the transition period,

So far, discussions of the gains and losses of Brexit have, understandably, tended to focus on the most obvious costs.

It may soon cost the UK more than its combined total of payments to the European Union budget over the past 47 years

The UK’s total projected contribution to the EU budget from 1973 to 2020 at £215 billion after adjusting for inflation is likely to keep increasing.

On leaving the Uk will be operating in a vacuum till there is a deal or not.

This comes with huge hidden dangers.

In adopting the government’s proposed model for close customs cooperation and a common rulebook, it runs the risk of finding themselves with little scope to diverge from EU regulations on goods, and unable in practice to strike new trade deals with the rest of the world.

The EU cannot change the rules of a customs union for the UK. If it does the trading bloc will fall asunder. When you’re in a customs union for goods, you become part of a common trade policy — you don’t have autonomy anymore.

Agreement with the EU, under which the UK would continue to levy EU tariffs on goods destined for the single market, but would apply a rebate on those that remain in the UK does not work and will not work.

As for a special mutual recognition arrangement in financial services, this might work.

Politicians often praise the visible benefits of public spending, e.g. the number of jobs “created”, without considering whether the funds could have been spent more wisely elsewhere – or even how the taxpayer might have spent the cash, had it remained in his or her pocket

There are a number of countries which have negotiated trade agreements with the
EU. Switzerland has a complex set of bilateral agreements with the EU. Turkey is part of the EU Customs Union and has a long-term aspiration to join the EU. Canada has agreed a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

The status quo, or anything close to it, carries huge opportunity costs of its own.

So let’s have a look

WTO rules represent a minimum threshold.

It would be the most definitive break with the EU, offering no preferential access to the Single Market, no wider co-operation on crime or terrorism, no obligations for budgetary contributions or free movement of people.

It would, be hard even to come close to replicating the level of access and
influence from which the UK currently benefits.

Whatever alternative to membership the UK seeks following it departure the UK will lose influence over EU decisions that will still directly affect the country.

So far, the European Union has made only tentative steps towards regulating genetically modified crops and artificial intelligence and robotics.

There are of course important cultural differences between the Uk and the European continent and these may seem like small concerns in the grand scheme of things.

The free movement of persons is a fundamental pillar of EU policy … the internal market and its four freedoms are indivisible’.

Each possible approach will involve a balance between securing access to the EU’s Single Market, accepting costs and obligations and maintaining the UK’s influence.

The UK will, therefore, have to make some difficult decisions about its priorities and the voting public will be holding it very directly responsible. 

It is not the means that matter, but the ends.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Underneath is a long list of everyday EU Common day terms that might help.

Ankara Agreement The Association Agreement signed between the European
Community and Turkey in 1963 and the Additional Protocol added
in 1970. They set out basic agreed objectives for relations between
the EU and Turkey, such as the strengthening of trade and economic
relations and the establishment of a Customs Union.

Banking Union The Banking Union is an EU-level supervision and resolution system
for the banking sector in the euro area, and participating member
states. It aims to ensure that banks in the euro area are safe and
reliable and that non-viable banks are resolved without recourse to
taxpayers’ money and with minimal impact on the real economy.

The Capital Markets Union (CMU) is a plan of the European
Commission to create a true single market for capital in Europe. It
will channel increased capital to all companies, including Small and
Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and infrastructure projects.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the agricultural policy of
the European Union. It implements a system of agricultural support
through direct income payments to farmers and guaranteed prices.

Common External Tariff A common external tariff must be introduced when a group of countries forms a customs union. The same customs duties, import
quotas, preferences or other non-tariff barriers to trade apply to all
goods entering the area, regardless of which country within the area
they are entering.

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a set of EU rules for managing
European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks.

Common Travel Area
A travel zone comprising Ireland and the UK. It allows for the nationals of
both countries to travel and live in each country without immigration

Council of the European Union(also known as Council of Ministers)
The Council of the EU brings together the representatives of the EU
Member States’ governments. It is the EU’s main decision-making
body and agrees EU laws, usually together with the European

Customs Union An agreement between two or more countries to remove customs
barriers and reduce or eliminate external customs duties on mutual
trade. Customs unions generally impose a common external tariff
(CET) on imports from non-member countries.

Dublin Regulation An established set of criteria for identifying the Member State
responsible for the examination of an asylum claim in Europe. Under
Dublin, the claim for asylum must be made in the first EU country

EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement (CETA)
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a
trade agreement negotiated between the EU and Canada. Once
implemented, it will remove customs duties, end limitations in access
to public contracts, open up services markets, and help prevent
illegal copying of EU innovations and traditional products.
Eurojust is an agency of the European Union dealing with judicial
cooperation in criminal matters.

European Arrest Warrant (EAW)
A legal framework that facilitates the extradition of individuals between
The EU Member States to face prosecution or to serve a prison sentence
for an existing conviction.

European Commission (the Commission)
The European Commission is responsible for proposing draft
legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU Treaties and
managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
European Council The European Council is the body in which the Heads of State
or Government of the EU’s 28 Member States, together with an
appointed President and the President of the European Commission,
take strategic decisions about the direction of the EU.

European Court of Justice (ECJ)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is a supranational court based in
Luxembourg and made up of one judge from each of the EU Member
States. The Court deals with cases concerning the interpretation and
application of the EU Treaties.

European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS)
A system for criminal records held by the Member States to be
exchanged with the authorities of other Member States.

European Economic Area (EEA)
The EEA is an internal market providing for the free movement of
persons, goods, services and capital. It is made up of 31 countries:
the EU’s 28 Member States plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It
is governed by a common set of rules.

EEA Joint Committee
An institution of the European Economic Area (EEA), in which
decisions are taken by consensus to incorporate EU legislation into
the EEA Agreement.

European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Community (EC)
The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional
cooperation organisation and precursor to the EU, as one of the
European Communities. It was founded in 1957 to promote economic
integration between its member states. When the Maastricht Treaty
created the European Union (EU) in 1993, the EEC was incorporated
and renamed the European Community (EC). In 2009 the Lisbon
Treaty provided for the EC to be fully incorporated into the European Union.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has four members:
the three non-EU EEA member states – Norway, Iceland and
Liechtenstein – plus Switzerland. It has the right to conclude Free
Trade Agreements with the rest of the world on behalf of its four

EFTA Court The EFTA (European Free Trade Association) Court is a supranational
judicial body that deals with cases concerning the interpretation and
application of the EEA Agreement. It is essentially the equivalent of
the ECJ for the EFTA countries that are also members of the EEA
(Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland).

European Parliament
The European Parliament was established in 1979 in order to
represent the views of citizens directly in EU decision-making. It
shares responsibility with the Council for passing EU laws and for
agreeing the EU’s budget, although the Council enjoys broader
decision-making powers. The Parliament is made up of 751 members
(MEPs) who are directly elected across the 28 Member States and
serve a five-year term. The UK has 73 MEPs.

European Union (EU)
The European Union is an international organisation made up of 28
European countries, including the UK. The EU has its origins in the
European Coal and Steel Community, founded by six European states
after the Second World War. However, its remit has evolved and
is much broader today. The EU facilitates cooperation between its
Member States on a wide range of objectives, from facilitating trade to
protecting the environment, and security and development overseas.
The EU has created the world’s largest Single Market, enabling the
free movement of goods, services, people and capital.
Europol is an EU agency that assists Member States’ law
enforcement agencies in tackling cross-border crime. It carries out
over 18,000 cross-border investigations a year to tackle security
threats such as terrorism, international drug trafficking and money
laundering, organised fraud, counterfeiting and people smuggling.

Europol Information System
The Europol Information System (EIS) is a central criminal information
and intelligence database covering the areas under Europol’s remit.
Europol and all EU Member States can use the EIS to store and look
up to data on serious international crime and terrorism.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a treaty between two or more
countries or trading blocs that reduces but does not eliminate,
barriers to trade and investment. WTO rules allow its member states
to sign FTAs granting each other preferential market access, subject
to certain conditions. FTAs usually cover agreements to reduce tariffs
and other restrictions to trade on goods and, to a lesser extent,

Frontex is the EU’s Borders Agency, which manages cooperation
between national border guards to secure the EU’s external borders.
G20 The Group of Twenty (G20) is a forum for international economic
cooperation and decision-making. It comprises 19 of the world’s
leading economies, including the UK, plus the European Union.

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a treaty of
the World Trade Organization (WTO) that came into force in January
1995. The treaty was created to extend the multilateral trading system
to the service sector, in the same way, the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provides such a system for merchandise
trade. All members of the WTO are parties to the GATS. The basic
WTO principle of most favoured nation (MFN) applies to GATS as
well. However, upon accession, members may introduce temporary
exemptions to this rule.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organisation
of 188 countries. It works to foster global monetary cooperation,
secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high
employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty
around the world. The UK is a member.

Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) refers to EU cooperation on asylum and
immigration, judicial matters, civil protection and the fight against
serious and organised crime and terrorism, as well as the Schengen
Border-free area. The UK has secured a set of exemptions that mean
it is not required to participate in JHA matters, but can choose to do
so if it wishes.

Lugano Convention The Lugano Convention facilitates the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil law cases in the EU and EFTA countries.

Most Favoured Nation (MFN)
Under WTO rules, countries cannot normally discriminate between
trading partners that are members of the WTO. So a country or
trading bloc cannot grant another a preferential arrangement (such as
a lower customs duty rate for one of their products) without doing so
for all other WTO members. This principle is known as Most Favoured
Nation (MFN) treatment. Non-tariff barriers A non-tariff barrier is a form of trade barrier other than a tariff. Nontariff barriers include quotas, levies, embargoes, sanctions and other restrictions. They are frequently used by large and developed

Passporting entitles a financial services firm authorised in a European
Economic Area (EEA) state to carry on permitted activities in any other
EEA state by either exercising the right of establishment (i.e. setting up
a branch and/or agents), or providing cross-border services. These
rights are subject to the fulfilment of conditions under the relevant
Single Market directive.

Preferential market access
A country or trading bloc grants preferential market access to another
when it grants it better terms of trade than as standard, for instance
by reducing tariffs or providing access to public tenders. The WTO
sets a number of rules about how countries and blocs can grant
each other preferential access. Between developed economies, this is
usually granted through Free Trade Agreements, through which each
side agrees to reduce trade barriers.

The Prüm Decisions are EU Council Decisions which embed into
EU law a pre-existing Convention between several European Union
States. They provide mechanisms to exchange information between
Member States on DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data for
the prevention and investigation of cross-border crime and terrorism.
The UK has recently decided to apply to re-join the regime.

Qualified Majority Voting (QMV)
Qualified Majority Voting is the principal method of reaching decisions
in the Council of Ministers. It allocates votes to the different Member
States according to an agreed formula, based partly on population
size. Under Lisbon Treaty rules, a decision or law is passed by
a qualified majority when 55% of Member States vote in favour (in
practice this means 16 out of 28) and the Member States supporting
represent at least 65% of the total EU population.

Rules of Origin are the criteria needed to determine the national
source of a product. They matter because duties and restrictions
often depend upon the source of imports. The complex supply chains
of the global economy mean that this is not always straightforward to
determine. The bureaucracy involved is a cost for businesses.

The Schengen border-free area comprises the 26 European countries
(22 EU member states and four others) that have abolished passport
and any other type of controls at their common borders. It also has a
common visa policy.

The Schengen Information System II (SIS II) is a large-scale
database that supports external border control and law enforcement
cooperation within the Schengen States. SIS II enables competent
authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult
alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and
objects. An SIS II alert contains not only information about a particular
person or object but also clear instructions on what to do when the
person or object has been found.

Single Market a common trade area that extends beyond the
deepest and most comprehensive Free Trade Agreements. It works
to remove all regulatory obstacles to the free movement of capital,
people, goods and services. It stimulates competition and trade,
improves economic efficiency and helps to lower prices. The EU’s
Single Market is the largest in the world.

Stabilisation and Association Agreements are bilateral agreements
between the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans designed
to promote regional peace, stability and eventual accession to the EU.
As well as establishing a Free Trade Area with the EU, the agreements
pledge the parties to work towards common political and economic
objectives and encourage regional cooperation.

State Aid refers to any advantage or subsidy granted by public
authorities through state resources on a selective basis to any
organisations that could potentially distort competition and trade
in the EU. The definition of state aid is very broad because ‘an
advantage’ can take many forms.

A tariff is a tax or duty imposed on a particular class of imports or

A trade deficit occurs when a country imports more goods and
services than it exports. The deficit equals the value of goods and
services being imported minus the value of goods and services being

United Nations (UN) is an international organisation formed in
1945 to increase international cooperation and uphold peace and
security. It has 193 members.

The WTO is the international organisation that regulates global
trade between nations. It was established in 1995 as the successor
to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO
enables participating member states to agree on trade rules, negotiate
trade agreements, and resolve disputes. A total of 162 countries are
members, including the UK.