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By Marta Moretti
The great majority of the European Parliament has eventually voted in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement, according to which the UK will not be any more a member of the European Union from February 1st. The approval was accompanied by the notes of “Auld Lang Syne”, sung by the MEPs of the United Kingdom.
Now, a transition period will start and it will last for the next 11 months.
What about the rest of Europe?
Brexit will deepen and intensify inequalities among British nationals living in France. The first step is the requirement of a carte de séjour (residence permit) for every British resident. With the second largest population of UK citizens in Europe, France already seems to witness a growth of inequality: uncertainty, instability and poor rights especially for women and the less well-off.
Not only Brexit will affect the immigration and/or integration policies of British people living in France, but it will also impact French economy. As a matter of fact, a recent study published by the Dutch Rotterdam University revealed that France, given its great volume of trade with the UK, will suffer serious economic consequences.
Regarding trade and agriculture, Northern France will pay the consequences especially in the automotive sector, where Toyota and Yaris operate – and whose major trading partner was UK, amounting to the 16% of exports in 2016.
There are also major economic concerns regarding the port of Calais. With the UK leaving the single market, the police and customs will have to treat it as any other third country, thus applying higher customs tariffs.
- How will countries closely linked to the UK , such as France, support and fuel their economy without such a major partner?
- Will the transition period let the UK have some favoured permissions regarding the trade of goods with the closest geographic countries?
- What will be the social and economic implications of this apparently definitive Withdrawal Agreement?