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The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, following a public vote held on the EU referendum in June 2016. The three-and-a-half-year long preparation process to Brexit has allowed the EU institutions to prepare for the UK withdrawal and anticipate some of its likely consequences.
The formal process had begun on 29 March 2017, with the UK’s notification of its intention to withdraw from the Union (Brexit). To ensure the United Kingdom’s orderly exit from the EU, a Withdrawal Agreement was subsequently negotiated: concluded on 17 October 2019, it was ratified on 30 January 2020. The agreement provided for a transition period up to 31 December 2020, during which time EU law continued to apply to the United Kingdom, including free movement of people and capital, as regards access to financial services. At the end of this period, European law ceased to apply in the UK, now considered a third country to all intents and purposes.
The world is living through unprecedented times, filled with numerous challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which started some 18 months ago to date. Currently, container
shipping prices have reached record highs, mainly due to the disruption of maritime logistics chains.
Highly congested ports around the world basically are running out of vessels and of empty containers, which due to supply chain disruption, again inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic,
are in the wrong place and not in Asia ready to be loaded.
Copper was the first metal manipulated by humans, and it remains an important metal in industry today (Pappas, 2018). It can be found naturally in pure metallic form; therefore, it was relatively easy for ancient humans with their primitive tools to extract and use copper without the need for complicated techniques and technology that was developed later by the mankind.
Humans have been making things from copper for at least 8,000 years and figured out how to smelt the metal by about 4500 B.C. Copper was an essential element that helped mankind evolution.
Market conditions are driving up the cost of many raw materials, currently buyers are bombarded with price increases across multiple products.
The price of raw materials is increasing and manufacturers face cascading challenges through the supply chains. As prices continue their upward climb, manufacturers are still dealing with the two supply chain headwinds, plaguing the industry throughout the pandemic: slowing supplier deliveries and labour availability.
Since its outbreak in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily lives of billions all over the world, and added significant pressure on the already existing enormous challenges to the global economic, environmental, social development. More than a year has passed since its outbreak and matters related to its fight seem to get more complicated, with health and the economic situation far from getting better.
The World Health Organisation first learned of this new virus from cases in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China on 31 December 2019. Globally, as of 23 January 2021, there have been 96,658,420 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,092,062 deaths, reported to WHO. These figures are quite alarming and the worst thing is, they keep growing significantly with every single day passing. While most of the infected people experience mild symptoms and recover after 2 to 6 weeks, there is increasing documentation of the long-term effects of COVID-19, including among younger and non-vulnerable groups.
On 18 December, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared “big differences” remain in the Brexit trade talks with the UK, with fisheries still the main sticking point between the two sides. At the same time, the UK warned progress in the talks had been “blocked” and that time is running out for a deal to be done.
However, the Post-Brexit deal was announced on December 24th, 2020, on the Christmas eve, by Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister and Ursula von der Leyen, President the European Commission.
On 3 November 2020, the US-registered voters cast their votes to elect their 46th President. According to Bloomberg, the total number of votes cast for president was a range from roughly 157.1 million to 165.0 million (68.6%–72.1% of the citizen voting-age population). As vote counts continue to be finalized, 50 states have already seen turnout higher than 2016 levels.
Fair and free elections are a hallmark of American democracy and the US has long promoted itself as the world’s beacon of democracy. It is quite common for many countries in the world to seek assistance or the opinion of the US government whether the elections conducted in these countries were free and fair. Now, the most essential tool of democracy, free and fair elections, is under attack in the US itself.
On 1 January 2021 will end the transition period and the UK will be leaving the EU single market and customs union. The UK Government will operationalise import controls on goods moving from the EU to GB, in a manner similar to the UK’s current treatment of Rest of World (RoW) goods.
These controls will be introduced in three stages: January 2021, April 2021, and July 2021. It is expected that the EU will also operationalise full import controls on goods moving from GB to the EU from 1 January 2021. As a result, there will be significant changes in the process of moving goods between GB and the EU. All businesses moving goods across the GB-EU border will need to take account of these and adapt accordingly.
The 15th of October final deadline set by the UK PM Johnson to reach a deal with the EU on Brexit has approached not so quickly, but both negotiating teams weren’t able to bridge the gap around the same sticking points:
- Level playing field
During the September- mid October round, there was limited progress on the first point by defining some terms of how strong would be the British commitments on governance and subsidy control. Fishing continues to be the biggest flashpoint for both the UK and EU sides, with the most potential to make or break the final deal.
The concept of circular economy is not new. Nowadays, there are more than 100 different definitions of circular economy, being heavily used in the scientific literature and by a wide range of cross-field professionals.
The reason that there are so many different definitions in use of circular economy lies behind its concept, which is applied by a diverse group of researchers and professionals according to their field of interest.
In our July report we have hinted that the Brexit saga would come to an end. After 6 rounds of talks between the EU and the UK at the end of July 2020 there were only two (out of five) fundamental sticking points:
- Level playing field
During the August round, the 7th round of talks, the UK and EU negotiators have made “no progress whatsoever” on the issue of fisheries, where the EU is seeking similar access to British waters for its member states’ fishing fleets to the current status quo.
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