A “rough Brexit”, with no forward rules, speaks of a journey into the unknown in relations between the EU and the islands. Here, we tell you what could happen.
The UK has been a member of the European Union for almost 45 years. Those more than four decades and the continuous European political and economic integration have forged a relationship almost impossible to break and that affects all aspects of daily life. In the absence of knowing if the United Kingdom and the European Union will finally separate with or without an agreement that regulates your future relationship, you can already move forward what scenarios would raise the first option, that of a rough Brexit, a journey into the unknown.
This is only a small list of 10 of the most serious consequences of that rupture.
The negotiations cover the status that Europeans living in the United Kingdom (more than three million) and British residents in the 27 countries of the European Union (just over one million) will have as of January 1. If there is no agreement, they would have the rights that governments decide to grant them. They could be many and even the same as they have now.
They could be very few or none to the point of becoming irregular migrants. They could lose recognition of their educational and professional training or the right that, once they have retired and if they decide to return to their countries of origin, the pension to which they are entitled will also be paid.
The vast majority of tourist or business trips between the British Isles and the European mainland are made by air. Millions of Britons travel each year to the coasts of southern Europe to spend their holidays. Whitout deal there will be no flights between British and European airports.
British airlines will lose their licenses to fly to Europe and the only solution will be for them to become airlines from a European country and transfer their business to that country. The authorizations for pilots issued by the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) will cease to be valid in the United Kingdom.
All UK research funded by EU funds will lose those funds as soon as the specific projects for which it was approved come to an end. The economic destruction that British universities would suffer is such that those of Oxford and Cambridge have already opened subsidiaries in Paris in order to continue accessing those funds.
The UK could suffer a major “brain drain”, of high-level scientists who prefer emigrate to European universities in order to continue to count on European funds to finance their research.
The United Kingdom will leave the Erasmus program, whereby millions of young European university students have been able to complete a school year at a university in another country.
The British will also lose their access to Galileo program, the European GPS, and will depend exclusively on the American GPS system. They will also stop using Copernicus, the large European satellite program focused on research but also used for some practical uses such as satellite fire monitoring.
Without an agreement, trade relations between the UK and the European Union will be governed by WTO rules. That means that from January 1 the European Union will impose tariffs on virtually all its British imports. The Union is the destination for 49% of British exports.
In addition to the payment of the corresponding tariffs, which will be reciprocal and will make products more expensive on both sides of the English Channel, if the exit is made without agreement it will cause comprehensive controls at borders and customs and will slow down trade to the point of skyrocket prices.
London has already confirmed that the first six months of 2021 will not be able to do those controls because it is not prepared. In the Kent region, near the ports on the south coast of England, they are expected rows of up to 7,000 trucks.
Europeans move around the continent with their cell phones paying the same rates as if they were at home. That will end in the UK on January 1 if there is no agreement on it.
British tourists in Europe would have to pay much higher rates, as was done in the past. Those restrictions will also affect transfers of personal data.
Companies will not be able to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United Kingdom until there is an agreement.