Brexit as a Turning Point in UK History

On Friday, January 31, there will be a true turning point in the history of foggy Albion. The events in Great Britain are now grabbing the attention of the entire world community. There is no turning back after  the "divorce", and only questions remain as to what this all means for the country and its inhabitants.

According to the agreements between the parties, the United Kingdom will enter an eleven-month transitional period which will last until December 31, 2020. It presumes that during this time, it could be possible to complete unfinished affairs and to "divorce" in full. At first glance, it is quite rational. However, this period of time is largely associated with uncertainty. Uncertainty is one of the defining characteristics of the modern world, and key conditions for dividing shared resources are connected with this ambiguity. These resources can be understood as trade transactions, insurance conditions for the British, conditions for participation in joint projects for British and European stakeholders, and the list still goes on.

For example, there are pension guarantees for British pensioners who live outside United Kingdom. At present, the government is ready to continue to pay and even keeps indexation, which was planned for 2020 earlier. The use of a British driver's licenses in Europe is not under threat for the time being. Throughout the year, citizens of the United Kingdom will continue to use the services of EU medical institutions in insurance cases.

Risks in other areas are much higher, as is the degree of misunderstanding of what is happening in society. Many companies and organisations have issued, on their web pages, official communiqués for employees and partners regarding substantive changes that may affect them. So, on the website of the organisation representing the university association (, a whole section is devoted to issues related to Brexit: guarantees for teachers and researchers with non-British citizenship, academic mobility programmes, migration and visa issues, issues of joint projects with European funding and much more. And this is just an example of one sphere and only the tip of the iceberg. The good news is that the parties have this transitional period for settling all their financial issues. But if a more detailed roadmap for each sector hasn’t  appeared before, is there the probability that it will appear?

Amid the current transition, the reform of the migration system is up for discussion. Its change is significant in the context of Brexit. The conservative leadership is offering a cross between a point-based system and a fixed system. Points will be earned only by labour migrants who enter without signing a contract with their employer. For migrant workers (except highly qualified ones) who enter after concluding a contract with an employer, it’s been proposed to reduce the annual income rate from 30,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds. All these measures are openly protectionist in nature and are aimed at a preferential approach towards British citizens or those who are already in the country, restricting further migration from the European Union. In response to this measure, the European partners can offer at least retaliatory measures during the transitional period. Moreover, the British are returning to their “blue” passports, they are ready to issue them in April-May, and they will be seen in the EU as the passports of an outside country.

The British "divorce" (Brexit) has always been more than an exclusively bilateral issue; the world cannot be considered as regional, it is interdependent. Against the backdrop of the US-Chinese "wars" (trade, spheres of influence, sales markets) and the European-British collisions (with conditions that are not completely clarified), Russia has opportunities to strengthen its positions and realize its interests. And in 2020 BRICS and the SCO chairmanship will only strengthen Russians’ chances.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.