NEWS DIGEST 28.12.2020: The UK readies itself for Brexit

Today’s news is via Google News. As the United Kingdom begins to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period in a week’s time, the country and its politicians are taking stock and making preparations for the impacts, both positive and negative, of this historical and life-changing moment. UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said that there would be a ‘bumpy’ period ahead for the country’s businesses and travellers as they cope with new governmental and EU rules when the transition period ends on 31 December, including what he called ‘practical and procedural changes’. After years of wrangling, UK and EU leaders finally agreed a Brexit deal with just weeks to spare before the end of transition – Brexit: ‘Bumpy’ period expected as UK adjusts to new rules (BBC News UK)

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The UK prime minister Boris Johnson has admitted to his country’s finance heads that the agreed Brexit deal will not be the most ideal for them, and it did not go far as he would have liked for the financial industry’s ability to access European markets. He however said that the deal was a good one, and he had ‘achieved an accord that his critics said would be impossible’, according to British paper The GuardianBoris Johnson admits Brexit deal falls short for financial services (The Guardian UK politics)

The British parliament’s ministers have been urged to give full support to the UK-EU agreement and deal, which right-leaning pro-Brexit paper The Telegraph described as ‘historic’, hinting that both the prime minister and his wartime predecessor, Winston Churchill, had wanted co-operation and friendship with mainland Europe, but not absorbed or compromised by it – Parliament should back Boris Johnson’s historic UK-EU free trade deal (The Telegraph Opinion)

The Independent, meanwhile, invited a EU citizen to give their take on the situation, asking if the UK would now be able to move on from Brexit. Andrea Mammone, writing for the newspaper online, said that while many were positioning Brexit as a historical ‘parenthesis’, business as usual would not be happening for a while and racism and discrimination against EU citizens would not suddenly disappear. Mammone, an academic studying right-wing nationalism movements, said that the UK’s international reputation was now ‘broken’ with ‘demagogic politicians’ using Europe and its inhabitants, especially it’s inhabitants that settled in the UK as convenient scapegoats to peddle their rhetoric – Can the UK move on from Brexit? As a European, I find that very hard to believe (Independent)

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