The United Kingdom left the Customs Union and European Single Market at midnight or 11 p.m. UK time. Four and a half years after the much discussed referendum in which the British decided to leave the EU, Brexit is now also a fact in practice.
“It’s an incredible moment. Our freedom is in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it, ”British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his New Year’s message.
The British left the European Union last year, but a transition period has been in place so far, so nothing has changed in practice. This transition period has now ended.
Shortly before Christmas, the British and the European Union agreed on new trade relations. This 1,250-page agreement guarantees unrestricted trade in goods between the UK and the EU without tariffs or quotas and also regulates cooperation in areas such as fisheries, air and road transport, energy, police and justice.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Europe at midnight that he would be returning soon. “Scotland will be back soon,” she reported on Twitter. “Leave the light on.” The Scottish Prime Minister wants to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence this year.
VAT abolished on sanitary towels
The British already have an advantage: due to Brexit, the country will no longer levy VAT on tampons and sanitary towels from Friday. The Treasury Department announced that “the abolition of the tax on essential menstrual products is now possible due to Brexit”.
With their exit from the EU, the British are no longer bound by many regulations from Brussels, including EU law that requires personal care products that are classified as non-essential luxury products to be charged a minimum of 5 percent VAT. “I am proud that today we are keeping our promise to abolish the tampon tax. Menstrual products are essential, so it is right that we do not impose VAT on them, ”said Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.