Brexit Summary June 2023

It’s important to remember that while the country is mostly coming out of the funk caused by coronavirus (although paying for it will be a long difficult process), Brexit is still continuing and it may be a good time to remember what happened a couple of years ago,


Brexit refers to the process by which the United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” is a combination of “British” and “exit.” The referendum on EU membership took place on June 23, 2016, and the majority of voters (51.9%) opted to leave the EU.

Following the referendum, the UK government triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29, 2017, initiating the formal withdrawal process. This triggered a period of negotiations between the UK and the EU to determine the terms of their future relationship. These negotiations addressed various aspects, such as trade, immigration, security, and regulations.

After several rounds of negotiations, an agreement called the Withdrawal Agreement was reached between the UK and the EU in November 2018. The UK Parliament initially rejected the agreement, leading to a period of political uncertainty. However, a revised version of the agreement was eventually approved by both the UK Parliament and the European Parliament.

UK Left EU

The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, entering a transition period during which most EU rules and regulations continued to apply. The transition period ended on December 31, 2020. Since then, the UK has been implementing its own trade policies and regulations as an independent nation outside the EU.

Brexit has had significant implications for various aspects of UK-EU relations, including trade, travel, and immigration. The UK and the EU have been working to establish a new framework for their future relationship through a series of agreements and negotiations.

Has Brexit Worked

Assessing whether Brexit has “worked” or not is a complex and subjective question that depends on individual perspectives and specific criteria for evaluation. It is still relatively early to make definitive judgments about the long-term consequences of Brexit, as the process is ongoing and its effects will continue to unfold over time.

Proponents of Brexit argue that it allows the UK to regain control over its laws, borders, and trade policies, granting greater sovereignty and flexibility. They believe that it opens up new opportunities for global trade, allows for more tailored regulations, and enables the UK to pursue independent trade agreements with other nations. Supporters also emphasize the democratic significance of respecting the outcome of the referendum.

On the other hand, opponents of Brexit express concerns about potential negative consequences. They argue that leaving the EU could result in economic challenges, such as trade disruptions, increased bureaucracy, and reduced access to the EU single market. Some opponents are concerned about the impact on immigration, research collaboration, and the potential loss of influence on EU decision-making.

Since Brexit is a complex and multifaceted process, its outcomes vary across different sectors and areas. Some industries, like fishing, have experienced significant changes, while others, such as financial services, continue to navigate ongoing negotiations for regulatory equivalence. The full effects of Brexit will take time to manifest and may be influenced by future policy decisions, trade agreements, and global economic dynamics.

Public opinion in the UK remains divided, reflecting the complexity of the issue and the diversity of perspectives. It is important to consider that assessing the success or failure of Brexit will likely continue to be a topic of debate for years to come.

Outcomes To Date

Since Brexit is an ongoing process, it is important to note that the outcomes and impacts are still unfolding, and their full extent may not be completely understood for some time. However, I can mention some recognizable positive and negative outcomes that have been observed or reported thus far:

Positive Outcomes:


Supporters of Brexit argue that leaving the EU allows the UK to regain sovereignty and have more control over its laws, regulations, and policies without being bound by EU directives.

Trade Opportunities

Brexit offers the opportunity for the UK to establish new trade agreements with countries outside the EU, potentially expanding its global trade relationships and pursuing tailored trade deals that align with its specific interests.

Budget Contributions

The UK is no longer required to make financial contributions to the EU budget, which some proponents of Brexit consider a positive outcome.

Negative Outcomes:

Economic Impact

Brexit has caused economic uncertainty and volatility, with potential negative consequences for businesses and the economy. Some sectors, such as manufacturing and financial services, have expressed concerns about disruptions to supply chains, increased trade barriers, and reduced access to the EU single market.

Trade Disruptions

The UK’s departure from the EU has resulted in changes to trade arrangements, including customs checks, regulatory barriers, and additional administrative burdens. These changes have the potential to create disruptions and increased costs for businesses engaged in trade with EU countries.

Reduced EU Membership Benefits

Being outside the EU means the UK no longer benefits from the existing trade agreements and access to the EU single market enjoyed by member states. The loss of these privileges can have implications for industries such as services, which previously benefited from the ease of doing business with other EU countries.

It is important to remember that the impact of Brexit varies across sectors and regions, and different stakeholders may experience these outcomes differently. Additionally, the long-term consequences of Brexit will depend on how the UK and the EU navigate their future relationship and the policy decisions made by both parties.

Northern Ireland Protocol

The customs arrangement between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland, involves treating Northern Ireland as part of the customs territory of the European Union (EU). This arrangement, often referred to as the “customs line down the Irish Sea” or the “Northern Ireland Protocol,” was established as part of the Brexit negotiations to address the challenges of maintaining an open border on the island of Ireland while respecting the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland remains aligned with certain EU rules and regulations, particularly those related to customs and goods. This means that goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain are subject to checks and controls to ensure they meet EU standards. However, goods moving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland continue to flow freely, without the need for customs checks or infrastructure along the border.

The objective of this arrangement is to prevent the re-emergence of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as stipulated in the Good Friday Agreement, a peace agreement that helped bring an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The Irish Sea border has been a contentious issue, with critics arguing that it has created new barriers and disrupted trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The UK and the EU have been working to address the concerns raised by various stakeholders, including businesses and political representatives in Northern Ireland. Negotiations and discussions have taken place to refine and adjust the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol to minimize disruption and find practical solutions that balance the commitments made under the Protocol with the realities of trade and governance in the region.

What I Wish I had Stockpiled

Lockdown Pandemic Brexit

Now, in June 2020, we have been locked down with Coronavirus for 3 months already in the UK. Life has changed drastically, in totally unforeseen ways since March 2020. Town and city centres have been totally deserted in the evenings and often during the day, people wearing masks on the street, on public transport, long queues at shops, perspex screens at counters, full face masks for shop assistants and other workers and many shops still shut. There have been few planes in the sky and train timetables have often been drastically cut.



Apart from occasional headlines from various campaigners about chlorinated chicken, hormone stuffed meat and genetically modified crops – also known as “Frankenstein Foods”, that the USA is said to be desperate to send us, very few Brexit News Headlines have been published in the UK, at least by the main stream media. Headlines have all been about Coronavirus and how brilliant the NHS has been.

Yet Brexit is due to happen on 31st December 2020, whether there is any agreement or not. Legislation was passed in January 2020, to ensure that Brexit would take place and that it could not be talked out or delayed if discussions did not take place quickly. In fact, the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020, after the EU Withdrawal Bill was passed on 23 January 2020, although at that point, nothing actually changed, because we then entered a transition period.

At this current moment (June 2020), and right up to 31st December 2020, the UK is in the transition stage between being a full member of the EU and no longer a member at all. The time is meant to allow for negotiating the trade agreement between the UK and the EU. Agreement has not been reached in fact, the talks are considered to be stuck, so a video conference was held between UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, and other EU leaders on 15th June 2020, in which they agreed that a new momentum was required and to hold intensified talks over the summer. If no agreement is reached, UK legislation means that the UK would crash out of the EU on 31st December 2020.

Is this a coincidence, that governments knew back in November or December that a pandemic was coming and took action to ensure that nothing could stop Brexit? Of course, depending on your viewpoint, this could be a good or bad thing!

No Agreement

If there is no agreement in place, on 31st December 2020, whether or not talks on a trade agreement with the EU have been completed or even taken place, the UK will leave the EU – the law for that has already been passed and received the Royal Assent. That means that things could end up with no trade agreement with the EU and different trading laws would have to apply. That could mean long lorry queues at the ports and paper documents being reintroduced. That could mean food shortages and shortages of other goods.

Run Out Of

The shops that have been left open – food shops, hardware shops, pharmacies, etc., have been totally brilliant. And many items have been available online, if not in the shops. But not everything. At the start of the lockdown, shops were running out of bread, baby milk and other necessities, including toilet paper. This was said to be due to panic buying, where people bought up more items than they normally used and which the Just In Time (JIT) transport system could not refill fast enough, leaving shortages and empty shelves. Necessities are mostly now available, though many shops have imposed a limit on the amount that can be bought at one time, for instance, 3 cans of beans, or 2 packets of toilet roll at any one shopping trip. But not everything is available. Some items that certain people would consider as necessities are not on the shelves, nor can they be bought online.

Not Available

This list just includes things that have been noticed as not on the shelves or are not obtainable online:

Neutrogena handcream


Bread of certain kinds, eg specialist types




Update June 2023

While most items are now available, there are still certain items that are hard to get, for instance, firm toothbrushes, although there are plenty of medium and soft toothbrushes. Soap also seems to be in short supply and certain handcreams and deodorants. Some of these can be obtained online if not in local shops but not all.



brexit consequences

brexit economic consequences

Coronavirus Survival

While we are still in the process of Brexit – leaving the EU – a pandemic has hit the world. It’s not just the UK needing to prepare for leaving the EU but the whole world preparing to fight a new virus.

PANIC Happening

People have not prepared, so now they are panicking and buying everything in sight. Supermarket shelves are empty of toilet paper and bread. Milk is in short supply and people are fighting over what few supplies are available. This happens not only when a pandemic occurs but also every winter in places where they get a lot of snow and it suddenly, surprisingly, starts snowing because it’s winter.

These Things Are ALWAYS Going To Happen

There is always going to be a tornado, a flood, an illness, a snowstorm, a power cut or SOMETHING that is going to disrupt daily life.

We Have Lost The Ability To Prepare

Some years ago, shops closed all day on Sundays and often at lunchtimes and on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. They closed for a couple of days at Christmas and Easter. We knew how to prepare for that. Even earlier, there WERE no shops. People grew their own vegetables, hunted for autumn fruit and caught their own meat. They had apple barrels and hung meat in the fireplace or kept a stockpot going, where fresh stuff was thrown in. I am not suggesting we go back to those days (though some already have) but that we get back to understanding how to stock and prepare for the lean times.

Just In Time

JIT or “Just In Time” is another problem. Shops used to have stockrooms where they stored the next lot of goods for going on the shelves. They always had anything from 3 days to 3 weeks of supplies available. Now, they have “Just In Time” deliveries. They get a delivery every day and it’s gone by the time the next JIT delivery arrives. At Christmas or Easter, they increase the number of deliveries by about 30% to take account of increased demand. Before the last Brexit deadline, when it was thought the UK might leave the EU with no deal, the government knew that lorry delays and customs would delay deliveries from abroad and asked supermarkets to increase their stocks to carry about 3 months supply of goods. Whether those stocks have now been run down, I do not know. But there will be a need for that kind of storage again at the end of December 2020, when the next Brext deadline takes place. The use of JIT deliveries means that when demand increases unexpectedly, as it does in the time of a pandemic or the threat of floods, for instance, the shops do not have sufficient stock to meet that increased demand, so we see empty shelves.


Of course, the sight of empty shelves produces panic as people worry that others know more than them and they won’t be able to feed their family. Then we see fights breaking out, angry scenes as people are unable to get what they need, poorer people who are unable to buy extra missing out, etc.

PREP Not Panic

If you PREP – that is prepare for shortages or for things not being available in times of environmental crisis, like illness or floods or snowstorms – then you are helping EVERYONE. You won’t need to panic buy because you will have what you need, nor will you need to spend money from a tight budget because you will have built up your stocks gradually, thinking about what you will NEED. That means more left for others, including those who are unable to stock up. It also means less waste, because you won’t be throwing out stuff you can’t use and you won’t be buying loads of stuff you would never use. It also means you don’t have to go out, if you have to self isolate due to illness or possible infection.

When You Can’t Stock Pile For Brexit

I have seen a lot of posts recently on whether people are stocking up for Brexit. I was surprised (and pleased) to see that in one particular group over 2/3rds of respondents were stocking up to some extent.
www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comBut I was also sad to see that a number of people said that they did not even know how they would put food on the table THIS week, never mind stocking up for the future. šŸ™

Some people also said they would love to stockpile for Brexit but they did not know how to: they felt that any extra tins would get used up before Brexit came along. So I thought it would be useful to start a list of ideas for how to create and keep a small stockpile for future needs.

Squirrel It Away

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comSquirrels hide nuts in Autumn, so they will have something to eat when they wake up (they do not hibernate fully, but wake and go back to sleep again). Get yourself a small box (free from the greengrocer) and put your tins or other non-perishable food in there and hide it away, under your bed, in the wardrobe, under a cupboard, wherever you won’t go straight to when making your ordinary meals. Forget about it, unless there is an emergency. Once Brexit is over, you can add the stuff to your normal store or keep it in case of another emergency in the future. Remember to check dates every so often!

Skim It Off The Top

At the start of the month or the week, or when you get some money and you buy some stuff, remove part of what you have bought (one tin, one jar, one packet) and add it to the box below the bed or in the wardrobe and forget about it until there is an emergency.

Keep The Pennies

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comThis also applies to any small change you get from the shop. DO NOT throw small change away, store it in a jar. It mounts up. Even keep your small change in a separate pocket and just save what is left over at the end of the week, if you can’t save it each day. Your local small shop will be glad to get paid with change, it often costs them to get more change from the bank for use in their shop!

In terms of small change, try sofa diving, or look on the ground near shop doors, you may find pennies or silver that other people have discarded!

If you can afford it, try saving a penny PLUS a penny for each day of the year. For instance, on 1st January, save 1 penny in a jar. On 2nd January, add 2 pennies to the jar, 3 on the 3rd, 4 on the 4th, etc. By the end of March, you will be saving 91 pence a day and you will already have Ā£41.86 in the jar. Very often, you can save 10p or possibly even Ā£1 a day, without really missing it from your budget. It is surprising how quickly it mounts up, if you do that regularly.

UnLawful – Parliament Suspension


The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnston’s suspension of Parliament in September for 5 weeks until October 19th 2019 was unlawful.

What Does This Mean

As the suspension was illegal. it means that Parliament is NOT suspended.

What Happens Now

It seems that several things could happen:

  1. The speaker of the House of Commons and the Speaker of the House of Lords can get together to recall Parliament, as it was not suspended;
  2. The Prime Minister may have an option to suspend Parliament again, as an executive function, that is, not asking the Queen to sign the order;
  3. The previous session may be reinstated or there may need to be a Queen’s Speech, signalling a new Parliamentary session, which means that any legislation that was going through Parliament when it was prorogued (suspended) will be lost.

It’s all “Wait and See”.


The speaker of the House of Commons has called on Parliament to reconvene at 11.30am on Wednesday 25th of September 2019. You can read the latest news on this.

Updated 27 September 2019

Parliament reconvened and it seems that the previous session has continued, as if it had not been suspended. There have been some noisy scenes in the house, with some members attempting to shout others down and some very bad tempered repartee. It is currently a “wait and see” game, with each side trying to ensure that is is not outfoxed.


Yellowhammer Black Swan and Kingfisher

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comNOT Birdwatching

No, this is not a bird watching post but an article on 3 codenames for secret government reports on Brexit.


What is Yellowhammer? A Yellowhammer is a small bird with a song that is said to sound like “A little bit of bread and no cheese” and the term is now being used as a code name by government for work relating to a no-deal scenario for Brexit. It was in August 2019 that The Sunday Times reported on a document, code named Yellowhammer, that provided a realistic assessment of severe problems if the UK left the EU without a deal, including:

  • a three-month “meltdown” at channel ports with major hold-ups;
  • HGV delays at Dover between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half days;
  • a hard Irish border;
  • shortages of some foods and medicine import delays;
  • possible public disorder increase with protests and counter-protests; and,
  • a rise in community tensions.


The Government has dismissed the document as “scaremongering”, and a “worst-case scenario”, with extra funding being made available to mitigate any problems.

Irresponsible Punishment

The Opposition Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said the document showed a no-deal Brexit would punish those who could least afford it and must be stopped, while Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said it was completely irresponsible for Government to have tried to ignore the warnings. The document was published because Parliament required this. Large parts of the document were still hidden.

Black Swan Kingfisher

There are rumours that two other secret documents, Black Swan and Kingfisher, exist, with Kingfisher looking at supporting British businesses suffering under a no-deal Brexit, and Black Swan, preparing for disaster!

Unlawful – Scottish Appeal Court Ruling

11 September 2019

The Scottish Appeal Court has ruled that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnston’s decision to prorogue (suspend) Parliament for 5 weeks until 14 October 2019 was unlawful.

This is unlikely to have any effect, however, as the UK’s Supreme Court will be holding a hearing on this next week.

It appears, from a brief reading, that the decision of “not lawful” was based on the reason for proroguing Parliament. The reason provided by the government for suspending Parliament was that they needed time to prepare the Queen’s Speech. The Queen’s Speech is a programme of work that the Government intends to carry out in the incoming year. The apparent reason argued by the MPs complaining about suspensionĀ  was that government wished to avoid discussion and dissension in the weeks ahead of the Brexit date of 31 October 2019 and that suspension prevented Parliament from carrying out its legal duty to provide a check on government.


General Election In The UK

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comThe UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, has said that he will call a General Election in the UK, if Parliament does not support him in his attempts to bring about Brexit by 31 October 2019.

During a General Election, Parliament is suspended, although the government remains in power.

Calling an election is a calculated risk and the Prime Minister must feel that his government has a good chance of winning the election if one is called.

Points To Consider

An election takes about 6 weeks to prepare and hold and to count votes and bring together a government (if no party wins a majority). This could take place over the 31st October 2019, which would mean the UK leaving the EU by default with no deal, which the House of Commons has repeatedly said they do not want. The Prime Minister has said that he would hold the election early enough that a new government would be in place before 31st October.

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comThe Prime Minister has said that any members of the ruling party (Tories / Conservatives) voting against him in the House of Commons vote will not be allowed to stand as MPs if an election is called.

Some politicians have called for the Brexit question to be completed first BEFORE any General Election is called.

A General Election has to be held every five years in the UK but an early election can be called if two thirds of MPs agree. Normally, the opposition parties would agree to holding an election, as they would want to have the chance of getting into power and by voting against an election, might be considered to be supporting the party in power.

If an election is held before the Brexit question is settled, then the vote is likely to be on Brexit issues, rather than on normal election issues, such as finance, trade, housing and social issues.

The leader of the Brexit Party has said that he will not field candidates in constituencies where Tories have a good chance of winning if the Conservative (Tory) Party has a no-deal Brexit option in their election manifesto.

The House of Commons has a majority against leaving the EU without a deal, however, this is split over a number of parties and the parties cannot agree on a single strategy to combat any no-deal Brexit.

Parliament To Be Prorogued

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comParliament is to be prorogued (suspended) from sometime between 9 and 12 September 2019 until 14 October 2019. This was announced by the current government, after the Queen gave permission. (This is actually a technicality, as the Queen is a constitutional monarch. Parliament is the ruling body, the Queen acts on the advice of her Ministers, whether she likes it or not.)

There is likely to be Brexit chaos over the next few months. Prepare for this by stocking up on essentials. Use the Brexit Survival Journal to check what you need and make notes.

Kicked Out

UK May Not Have A Choice About Staying in Europe

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comThe UK parliament is currently (24th August 2019) in recess (on its summer holiday). It next sits 3rd September 2019, when a great deal of political activity will start.

Political Machinations

The whole of the UK as well as its MPs is divided about what to do about Brexit. The Brexit deadline is 31st October 2019. The main options being floated are:

  1. Leave without a deal on 31st October 2019 (no-deal)
  2. Negotiate a new deal and leave on 31st October 2019
  3. Parliament to “take charge” and pass legislation preventing a no-deal Brexit
  4. Government of National Unity to be formed to agree a way forward
  5. General Election


There are other options, some of which are variations on those listed above. One of the main issues about agreeing a deal for Brexit is what is called the “backstop”. This concerns Northern Ireland (politically part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland. This is the only land border that the UK has with the European Union. The EU offer includes a backstop option that will prevent a hard border (customs stops and checks) if the transition period for finally agreeing the deal is exceeded or no deal can be finally agreed.

Those who want Brexit do not want the backstop option to be included, as it will require the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU for some time, possibly indefinitely, some fear.

There are others who are concerned about a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland had agreed there would be free movement between North and South.

UK’s Choice Or Not

Up until now, it has been thought that it was solely the UK’s choice as to whether or not to leave the EU, however, the Brexit deadline, 31st October 2019, is fast approaching. For those who wish to either stay in the EU or negotiate a softer divorce, that date may need to be postponed to allow for another referendum or more negotiations.

Would The EU Agree

Shifting the 31st October date again would require EU agreement. Some in the EU are getting tired of the arguments and may not agree to any further extension. Indeed some may be very glad to get rid of the UK!

Hard Brexit 31st October 2019

With those opposed to leaving the EU, or to leaving without an agreement, time is now very short for any action and if the EU refuses to grant an extension, even if they can agree sufficiently to request one, it is currently looking more and more likely that the UK will leave the EU on 31st October 2019 without any agreement. If so, then the time to start preparing for shortages is NOW!