Daily Management Review

Brexit: It's a Done Deal!


The United Kingdom and the European Union managed to find common ground just in time—more than four years after a referendum whose consequences were exceedingly ill-prepared. What are the implications for the British art world?

by Pierre Naquin

Photo Fred Moon
Photo Fred Moon
The deal of January 31, 2020, was primarily aimed at keeping the deadline Boris Johnson set for the UK to leave the European Union while postponing negotiations on the famous free-trade treaty. Today the reality of Brexit is hitting home. “I think the government really didn’t know what they signed,” says Pierre Valentin, a partner at Constantine Canon in London. “The idea was to avoid a hard border with customs barriers between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which would have reignited tensions. But in ratifying it, the government de facto moved the barrier between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.” As the UK leaves the customs union, Northern Ireland is still a member and can carry on freely trading with the European Union. So the government hurriedly drafted a bill to counter those effects, to which the EU immediately objected. “Today it looks like the bill is buried for good,” says the lawyer.