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Brexit

Brexit - Britain's Exit from the European Union

Four and a half  years' ago I asked the question: "As Britain prepares to exit from the European Union,  will we find ourselves in two years' time stuck to the bottom of the pan and will Britain be toast? Or will we be smiling, and say byebye to EU regulations whilst   sitting down to a great British breakfast of British bacon, British eggs, British tomatoes, British marmalade and the quintessential British cup of tea?" 

And I continued: "The bacon may come from a British pig, but its feed could be subject to new tariffs, and vetinary products that keep it healthy will fall out of EU regulatory regimes. Likewise the tomatoes and the marmalade. These changes will have implications for the price we pay and for food safety. Similarly, there will be implications for other industries, as Britain's business lobby, the CBI has said

Brexit is not just about walking out of the house and slamming the door. It is about fundamental changes to the way our country operates. The EU is an integral part of an international system and breaking away means that a massive web of international business that supports our most basic needs like food, will rip in places we did not even know existed." 

I think we now know the answer as we contemplate what it will mean to have 7000 lorries queueing in Kent, and a £15 billion bill to business for customs bureaucracy, in the full knowledge of Russian interference with our democracy and a government willing to break international law. Brexit was about emotive promises that were never going to be deliverable, for reasons that are systemic. The changes I predicted in the second two paragraphs  are now making themselves felt. 

This blog will explore the ongoing process as the UK makes its final exit from the Single European Market and the policy challenges it raises.

 If you are interested in research on Britain's new relationship with Europe, please contact me via the Contact page on this website

If you are following policy around telecoms and technology issues,  you may like my book The Closing of the Net.

OneWeb satellite in orbit

Last week, the Business,  Energy and Industrial Strategy  (BEIS) Select Committee called in satellite industry experts to probe the government’s £400m purchase of a share in the OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) system and its potential in comparison to what we have lost in the European Galileo system. Some commentators describe it as a ‘gamble’ and space industry experts politely say it is ‘risky’. Is this  a good use of public money? 

The BEIS Committee Chair, Darren Jones, Labour MP for Bristol North West,  established fairly quickly  that One Web

Read more: Betting on a costly space race: MPs probe OneWeb satellite deal

New rules incompatible with the AI-driven supply chain systems that support our modern life will cause an industrial splutter. Lorry parks at the border are merely a symptom of systemic dysfunction. Expect price rises and  goods shortages. Strawberries and salads may fall off the menu. Prompt action could alleviate the situation, but ignoring it will result in long term damage.

When the UK finally quits the Single Market  on 1 January,  rule changes will come into effect for businesses.  With or without a ‘deal’, new trade barriers will be erected.  Customs declarations will be needed for goods going in or out of the country, traders will have to demonstrate compliance with standards and ‘rules of origin’,  and depending on the outcome of the negotiations with the EU, a tariff payment will be required.  The latest UK -EU discussions about 'cabotage'  - rules for pick up and drop off in the EU27-  underscore how deep the changes will run. In all likelihood, it will lead to  uncertainties of supply, price hikes and

Read more: Disrupting supply chains: how leaving the Single Market means systemic breakdown

What does the Schrems case mean for UK post-Brexit data flows? At the heart of the Schrems case is a conflict of laws - a conflict between EU  privacy  law and US surveillance law.  After 31 December, the question about surveillance law turns around to point at the UK.  Whichever way one looks at it, deal or no deal with the EU, UK surveillance law will be the determining factor. 

Overnight on 31 December 2020, the rules governing data flows from the UK to other countries will change. As the UK pulls out of the pan-European GDPR regime, it simultaneously rips

Read more: Schrems ruling puts a spoke in UK data flows from 2021

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States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

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Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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