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You may have lost interest in Brexit but its impact could be devastating for all of us

Dan O'Brien


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Transition: 'Frictionless' trade across the Irish Sea will end on the first day of 2021

Transition: 'Frictionless' trade across the Irish Sea will end on the first day of 2021

Transition: 'Frictionless' trade across the Irish Sea will end on the first day of 2021

Britain formally left the European Union at the end of January, just before the pandemic struck. If you think you might have missed the consequences of that historic exit because of coronavirus, you'd be wrong.

Our neighbour remains a de facto member of the EU's trading arrangements until the end of this year. That 'transition period' has allowed Irish businesses to buy stuff from British businesses exactly as they have done for decades, and vice versa.

But Brexit in name only will not last much longer. 'Frictionless' trade across the Irish Sea will end on the first day of 2021. That much has been clear since Boris Johnson's government ruled out extending the agreed 11-month transition period. More time would have allowed each side's negotiators more scope to cut a detailed and comprehensive long-term deal (trade deals between ­modern economies are inevitably complex).


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