Nearly a year has passed since the transition period following the UK’s departure from the EU came to an end. Brexit is done and over with – or so it would seem. Yet the shape of the EU-UK relationship is still far from clear. While the Northern Ireland protocol has been dominating the headlines, the precise modalities of reciprocal market access have not been fully fleshed out. While the UK may now possess greater decision-making autonomy in certain fields, the areas in which the UK seeks to maintain a close relationship with the EU remain riddled by uncertainty. Is the endgame of Brexit now already coming into view? What can be learned from the time that has now passed? And what can we expect from the future relationship, with a new German coalition government coming into office and France taking over the Council Presidency? Do the post-pandemic UK and EU still have radically different views of the future relationship, or does a cordial consensus to work together pragmatically begin to emerge?
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