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Brexit: 10 stories to understand what's happened since the UK left the EU

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By Euronews
In this July 29, 2021, file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a London-based summit.
In this July 29, 2021, file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a London-based summit.   -   Copyright  Tolga Akmen/Pool Photo via AP

Welcome to our special mini-series of articles to help you understand what's happened with Brexit since the United Kingdom left the European Union.

It's now nearly two years since the UK formally left the EU, and one whole year since the new terms took effect and Britain began operating independently from Brussels' rules.

In some areas the impact of the "hard" version of Brexit negotiated by Boris Johnson has been acute. And despite promises of a "clean break", London and Brussels continue to squabble over arrangements.

1. How bad are the UK's labour shortages now?

AFP
Migrant farm workers from Romania in eastern England, March 2021.AFP

Over the year Euronews has reported on several areas of the UK economy which have suffered from acute labour shortages. Here we give an assessment of the latest state of play.

Read the article.

2. English winemakers get creative to beat 'nightmare' labour shortages

AP
Gusbourne's vineyard in 2017, in Kent, England.AP

Faced with a lack of workers, British winemakers have had to experiment including calling on volunteers to pick grapes.

Read the article.

3. How welcome do Poles living in the UK feel now?

AP
A Polish Specialties shop in London, April 2016.AP

Many Polish people have opted to stay in Britain, although some have had trouble establishing residency — while others have returned home to Poland.

Read the article.

4. How has Brexit affected European exporters to the UK?

AFP
French cheese at an International Agricultural Fair in Paris.AFP

Although the UK has delayed imposing new import controls, some EU exporters to Britain have felt the full force of the Brexit storm.

Read the article.

5. Will new UK import controls complicate trade further?

AFP
A freight clearance centre at the port of Dover, England, January 2021.AFP

The new checks and formalities on UK imports from the EU required under international rules pose an additional headache for businesses.

Read the article.

6. Northern Ireland: Will the UK's new Brexit minister help resolve the row over trading arrangements?

AFP
Graffiti in a loyalist area of south Belfast, Feb. 2, 2021.AFP

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been tasked with leading post-Brexit negotiations on trade in Northern Ireland following the surprise resignation of Lord David Frost.

Read the article.

7. Fishing rights: France to ask EU to begin legal action against UK over licences

AP
French fishermen block the entrance to the port of Saint-Malo, Nov. 26, 2021.AP

The France-UK row over an issue covered in the Brexit trade deal is another example of how relations have soured since new arrangements took effect.

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8. Diplomacy: UK and EU should realise it's 'better the devil you know' in post-Brexit world

AP
The EU and UK flags outside the Commission HQ in Brussels, December 2020.AP

In this opinion piece, Professor Simon Usherwood of the Open University argues that the UK and the EU should overcome post-Brexit divisions and focus on shared interests.

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9. 'Take Back Control': Has the UK delivered on its Brexit campaign slogan?

Pool via AP
UK PM Boris Johnson at a JCB plant, Uttoxeter, England, December 10, 2019.Pool via AP

Brexit supporters promised the freedom to "Take Back Control" of the UK's borders, money and laws struck a chord with many voters -- but the reality so far is "To Be Confirmed".

Read the article.

10. Post-Brexit Guide: Where are we now -- and how did we get here?

AP
UK and EU flags outside EU HQ in Brussels, December 2017.AP

Our comprehensive explainer summarises the current state of play and gives the background to all the events that led to the painful Brexit divorce.

Read the article.