Brexit may be a done deal and is already currently taking effect; however, its ramifications will affect Britain for years to come. After all of the protest made when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a deal with Brussels on December 24, 2020, the reality of leaving the EU’s customs and regulatory territory is starting to surface.
The fact that the said deal was only sealed just a week before it came into full effect meant that the dangerous disruption to numerous local businesses that relied heavily on supply chains couldn’t be avoided.
Brexit Affects the Fishing Industry
Even though Johnson claimed that Brexit is a great opportunity for UK exporters—and that it would eventually lead to some revival for free trade—the effect of Brexit is very different from what was promised. Now, freshly caught fish are being left to rot because exporters can’t get them to the EU, while logistics firms doubt the viability of importing and exporting goods for businesses in the future.
According to the data published by IHS Markit, the fallout from Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the United Kingdom’s economy to plummet in the first three months of 2020. This means that a double-dip recession may happen during the first three months of 2021.
The deal should have been a source of embarrassment for Johnson, who made life very difficult for many people in the UK and the EU post-Brexit. But based on his recent public statements, it seems like Johnson is oblivious of what is happening.
When the parliament was asked for comment on the consequences of the trade barriers that were implemented because of Brexit, a UK government spokesperson said, “From the outset, we were clear that we would be leaving the customs union and single market, which meant that there would be new processes after the end of the Transition Period. These were widely communicated through our public information campaign.”
The perfect example of what Brexit is currently doing to British business comes from Scotland’s fishing industry. Despite the government’s claims during the negotiations that the fishing industry was near the top of their priority list, people are afraid that the whole industry will not survive.
This means that some exporters have had the European market cut off immediately. Almost every day, pictures are posted on social media of empty fish markets and boats and vessels tied up near the shore.
Withers published Scottish boats sailing for 48 hours to make some catch in Denmark, but they get their stock into the single market. The fishing industry’s profit margins are fragile, and every hour spent working is recorded as the freshness of the product. The productivity of the business is vital.
Johnson was asked about this, and he stated that he thinks these are teething issues and they are not the fault of the deal that he made nor the barriers it has created. The PM spokesman explains that the parliament is giving £23 million or $31.4 million for the fishing industry to help the process.
Johnson was also asked about the industry this week, and he once again denied the issues that exporters are facing and again said that it has nothing to do with the deal he made, instead of pointing the finger at the pandemic.