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GuidanceDec 24, 2020 | 16:58 GMT
The EU and British flags in front of the European Commission headquarters on Dec. 9, 2020, in Brussels.
The EU and U.K. Reach a Trade Deal, Ending Brexit. What Now?
Five years of economic uncertainty for households and companies that began with the Brexit referendum of 2016 have come to an end. The European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a free trade agreement that covers most goods, but only a limited number of services. This means that manufacturers in the European Union and the United Kingdom will be able to continue trading with each other from Jan. 1, 2021, without any quotas or tariffs, and the heavily disruptive scenario of trade under World Trade Organization tariffs has been avoided. On the contrary, the services sector (which represents around 80% of the British economy) will have limited access to the EU single market.
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SnapshotsDec 22, 2020 | 17:37 GMT
A British fisherman prepares his boat for the first trawl of the day off the southeast coast of England on Oct. 12, 2020.
As Fishing Rights Hold up a Trade Deal, the U.K. and EU Ponder Alternatives to a Hard Exit
EU-U.K. trade negotiations are currently focusing on the future of the EU fishing rights in British waters, the main remaining obstacle to a deal. As Brussels and London run out of time, a technical extension of Britain's membership in the single market, a provisional implementation of the trade deal or a temporary "managed no deal" are possible.
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SITUATION REPORTDec 21, 2020 | 19:43 GMT
EU, U.K.: Brexit Negotiators Focus on Fishing Rights as Deadline Looms
EU-U.K. trade negotiations resumed on Dec. 21 with the focus on the controversial issue of fishing rights, the Financial Times has reported. During the weekend, members of the European Parliament warned that there may not be enough time for EU lawmakers to review a potential trade deal, increasing the probability of it entering force only provisionally in early 2021. 
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SITUATION REPORTDec 17, 2020 | 19:47 GMT
China, Australia: Chinese Steel Industry Association Questions Australian Miners About Rising Iron Ore Prices 
The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) separately questioned British-Australian iron ore miner Rio Tinto and the Austrian mining company BHP regarding allegations that the producers have restricted output to boost prices, which have nearly doubled over the course of the past year, the South China Morning Post reported Dec. 17.
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On StratforDec 11, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
Grading Our 2020 Annual Forecast as 2021 Approaches
Every December here at Stratfor, we sit down and do the critical work of self-assessment, taking the forecast we made the previous December and seeing how it stacked up against actual world events. Even with the pandemic throwing the world a little askew, we still had a strong 2020 forecast with quite a few hits and just a handful of misses. Without further ado, we present the Stratfor 2020 Annual Forecast Scorecard.
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SnapshotsDec 8, 2020 | 17:55 GMT
Vehicles drive off a ferry at the Port of Larne in Northern Ireland on Dec. 6, 2020. The port, which handles travel and freight from Scotland, is expected to be building a new Border Control Post (BCP) as a consequence of Brexit.
The U.K. and EU Reach a Deal on the Irish Border Dispute. What’s Next?
The United Kingdom has announced that it will drop the clauses of a bill that would have given London the power to violate its 2019 Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union. This reduces the probability of the introduction of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, no matter what happens with the ongoing EU-U.K. trade talks. It also serves as a gesture of goodwill toward Brussels at a time when those negotiations are at an impasse. On Dec. 8, U.K. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said he had reached an agreement in principle with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic on all the outstanding issues connected with the EU-U.K. Withdrawal Agreement, which allowed the United Kingdom to exit the European Union in January 2020. As a result, the plans to introduce customs controls at the Irish Sea (a necessary condition to keep the land border open)
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PodcastsDec 1, 2020 | 21:03 GMT
Pen and Sword: The Nine Lives of Pakistan
In this episode of the Pen and Sword podcast from Stratfor, a RANE company, Emily Donahue speaks with Declan Walsh, who served nearly a decade as the chief reporter in Pakistan for The Guardian and The New York Times, about his new book, "The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State."
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SnapshotsDec 1, 2020 | 17:48 GMT
Protesters with Scottish Saltire flags attend a march calling for Scottish independence in Glasgow on Jan. 11, 2020.
A Renewed Push for Scottish Independence Takes Shape
The issue of Scottish independence is re-emerging ahead of the country’s May 2021 parliamentary election. The U.K. Parliament’s opposition to a new independence referendum will create debate over how to react, though the Scottish government remains unlikely to push for unilateral secession. On Nov. 30, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that if her Scottish National Party (SNP) wins the country’s parliamentary elections next year, it will push for an independence referendum “in the early part” of the new legislative term, though she did not provide a specific date. According to Sturgeon, the U.K. Parliament cannot veto Scotland’s “inalienable right of self-determination.” This means U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, which controls a majority of seats in the U.K. Parliament, will face pressure for another Scottish independence vote less than a decade after the 2014 referendum.
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