The UK is less than six months away from relieving itself of commitment ties to the EU. Currently riding in the so-called transition period, by the end of the year, the UK will no longer be required to pay into Brussels. Nor will it be obliged to follow its rules – a crucial aspect for many Brexiteer voters and politicians.
The absolute shedding of ties to the EU also means a severance of trade and security with the bloc.
Both the UK and EU want a favourable post-Brexit deal to ensure tariffs and security systems remain largely the same.
Talks between the two powers, however, have thus far proved difficult.
This lack of communication was only furthered by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Earlier this week, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and an entourage of Brussels advisers were welcomed into Downing Street.
The visit, albeit a short one, is intended to broker a deal.
David Frost, Mr Barnier’s UK counterpart, welcomed the Frenchman and his team to a private dinner at No 10.
Westminster officials hope the meetings will help towards securing Britain’s future role on the global stage as an independent state.
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In 2017, he backed the demand for a parliamentary vote on the final deal to be written into legislation.
In September 2019, Lord Heseltine appeared on LBC, claiming that despite it appearing inevitable that the UK would leave the EU, it would definitely one day rejoin.
He said that by the next general election – which he believed would happen in around two years – “I think it’s very possible we won’t (have left).”
Asked why, he said: “Two things. One, that public opinion changes – which it hasn’t done yet – and secondly, that Parliament, which is the sovereign body of our country, just hasn’t got the stomach for it, so there will not be a majority for it, and a way will be found to upset the present Article 50 procedure.”
He reckoned that the EU would readily accept a sudden reversal of the leave decision, even at a late stage in the proceedings.
He said: “They know perfectly well that we are a major part of the European economy, our economy is totally integrated with them, they are a major supplier, but the interesting thing about those statistics of course is that while 40 percent of our trade goes to Europe – which makes us very dependent – but coming the other way, for any one country within Europe, the figures are dramatically smaller.”
He reasoned that the future would be a different picture, as young people who, he claimed, are “anti-Brexit” did not get the opportunity to have their say.
He said: “If you look at the age groups, the elderly voters are pro-Brexit, once you get down in the new voters, the middle ages and below, then they are very anti-Brexit.
“It’s a generational issue and that is not particularly convenient for my party but yes I’m absolutely sure that in future generations the absolute, historic, inescapable fact of our relationship with Europe will bear in.”
Despite the stall in negations with the EU, the UK has begun forming trade partnerships outside the bloc.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak agreed to develop closer financial links between the UK and Switzerland.
The fresh boost saw Mr Sunak sign a joint commitment with his Swiss counterpart, Ueli Maurer, to work on a new international financial services agreement.
It was a positive development as Treasury officials claimed the move proved the Government’s ambition for the UK to cement its role as an international financial centre once fully independent of Brussels next year.
In Asia too is the UK emerging as a partner.
Last month, Japan’s Foreign Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, and the UK’s trade minister, Liz Truss, started talks on an economic partnership to secure business continuity.
Tokyo reportedly wants to conclude trade talks with Britain quickly and by the end of July.