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I understand Brexit, but I’ve seen a term in headlines in the last week or two that I didn’t understand, “hard Brexit.” It’s time for a bit of research….
Hard Brexit means a firm break with the European Union. By the end of the process, the UK would have a similar relationship to the European Union as the US. That is, there would be a negotiated trade deal (complete with tariffs) and there would be no free movement between the UK and the European Union — travelers in both directions would pass through an international arrivals process with visa restrictions on how long they can stay.
A softer form of Brexit might include reduced tariffs or no tariffs on certain types of goods flowing between the UK and the EU. In return, the UK might design a smoother process for EU migrants to obtain work permits than for other foreigners. This BBC article was very helpful in its discussion of what possible softer options might be available: Brexit: What are the options?
Of course, what the UK wants may be a moot point. At the bottom of the BBC article, there’s a lovely image of a Union Jack cupcake to represent that they want to have their cake and eat it, too. Here’s yesterday’s headline from the Independent: Hard Brexit or no Brexit are only options, says EU council president. Donald Tusk, EU Council President, picked up on the cake metaphor: “There will be no cakes on the table for anyone. There will be only salt and vinegar.”
Are you keeping up with Brexit news? Do you want cake now? We ate lots of wonderful cake during our visit to England and, right now, I’m wishing for a beautiful slice of cake and that people in my favorite places to travel were getting along with each other better.