By Daniel Gaffney
After over three years of setback, the UK will officially leave the European Union at 23:00 GMT tonight.
If you’re cracking open a few tinnies to celebrate ‘taking back control’, good for you. However, if you voted remain in 2016, or maybe had a change of heart in the three and-a-bit-years since the referendum- don’t worry- you still have an 11 month transition period to look forward to.
What will change after Brexit Day?
Ultimately, not a lot.
If anything (until December) the UK now has less control over its own borders and laws than it ever did in its entire 47-year tenure within the European Union, and the EEC before that.
When Britain officially leaves the EU, its 73 MEP’s will no longer be able to attend sessions at the European Parliament in Brussels. Furthermore, Britain will no longer be allowed to involve itself in bodies facilitated by the European Union; the European Court of Justice and The European Central Bank are two such institutions.
Throughout the 11-month transitionary period, the British Government will, however, still have to contribute to the EU budget. How much do we have to pay again?
The free movement of people and goods will continue until December, therefore there will be zero extra charges on freight and other forms of trade with Europe. Also if you haven’t dusted off an Irish granny that you never speak to, in hope of applying for an Irish passport, don’t worry, you can still stand in the EU queue at the airport until December.
However, Britain can now formally negotiate trade agreements with other countries and economic unions, with a top priority being the formation of a new trade relationship with the EU.
Happy Brexit Day everybody!