The Brexit transition deadline of 31 December 2020 is fast approaching, but a trade deal between the UK and European Union (EU) is yet to be finalised. A no trade deal is expected to result in higher costs for the UK especially since the pandemic has already impacted many businesses.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess whether the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the outcome of Brexit.
Analysis of the poll results shows that the pandemic is expected to impact the outcome of Brexit, as voted by 53% of the respondents.
While 32% of the respondents voted that the pandemic would prompt the EU and the UK to agree on a future trade deal, 21% opined that it will encourage a no deal Brexit.
The pandemic is not expected to impact the outcome of Brexit as the UK and the EU will secure a future trade deal, according to 22% of the respondents, while 25% noted that the UK will leave the EU without a trade deal.
The analysis is based on 335 responses received from readers of Pharmaceutical Technology, a Verdict network site, between 03 August and 06 October 2020.
COVID-19 impact on Brexit
The COVID-19 pandemic has put one of the most important decisions of Brexit, the trade deal between the UK and EU, on the back burner. No deal has been reached yet despite months of negotiations as the focus shifted to dealing with the pandemic situation.
The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has noted that the UK will leave the EU with or without a trade deal. The impact of a no-trade deal Brexit, however, is expected to be two to three times greater than that of the pandemic, estimates the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
The UK economy declined by half in the first half of 2020 due to the pandemic. The impact of Brexit is expected to be slow but permanent. A no-trade deal Brexit is expected to reduce the UK GDP by 7.6% in 15 years, while a free trade deal will result in a 4.9% decline.