Hello February, goodbye to the EU.
After more than three years and many extensions, Britain’s breakup with the European Union is finally official. And the story of their divorce is a long and laborious one. A chapter might be over, but the saga continues.
Back in June 2016, 52 per cent of the United Kingdom’s population voted in favour of the Brexit referendum. Yet, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU was sold to voters without a clear idea of what it would mean. Now that it’s here, the question remains.
What exactly does Brexit look like? Alas, my friend, we still don’t quite know and Britain has more time to figure it out once again.
Ironically, even as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially signed the Brexit Agreement, which came into effect on Friday, Jan. 31, the UK still has another 11-month transition period. They need to negotiate new regulations over various issues such as trade and immigration, while the old rules still apply. They couldn’t figure it out in three years, but who knows what will come out of this transition period?
We are not just talking about a few new adjustments here and there. We are actually looking at more than 750 treaties and international agreements that will need to be looked over, according to Financial Times. It will take time, and it should. Changes of this nature can’t be made in a rush.
However, despite the separation anxiety the exit is causing, it actually could mean greater opportunities for Canada. While our country and the UK were trading under the EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) since 2016, another deal will have to be drafted and agreed upon by both countries. Seeing how the UK struggled in dealing with Brexit in the first place and how unsteady the road ahead is, Canada could end up with the upper hand.
But ONLY eventually, after the transition period (which could also be postponed for another year or two).
How Britain managed to conquer the world is a wonder.
Graphic by Victoria Blair