After more than three years of agonizing
divisions, missed deadlines, and costly uncertainty, the United Kingdom finally left the European
Union on January 31. Many things will change radically, but despite some predictions, relations with
Russia look set to remain the same.
While for most Brits and UK residents nothing has
changed — the same rules will apply to travel, trade, and funding until the end of the transition
period eleven months later — the UK no longer has a voice in any EU institutions. Moreover, British
businesses may still face the high cost of a no-deal Brexit if the UK and EU fail to reach and
ratify a free trade agreement governing their future relationship by the end of the year. In
addition to that, the UK will have to negotiate its own bilateral agreements with dozens of other
countries, such as Canada, Japan, and Turkey, with which it currently has a free trade relationship
through the European Union.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed not to extend the
transition period beyond the December 31 deadline. Like his predecessor Theresa May, he has also
ruled out options for remaining in the single market or entering into a customs union with the EU,
which would make the UK subject to some EU regulation, like Norway and Switzerland. This means that
in a year's time, the UK is likely to be less integrated with the EU than Turkey or Ukraine, which
have both customs union and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreements with the bloc.