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Next phase in Brexit talks

It is now expected that Brexit talks will move on to the next stage. After a frosty few months in which little progress appears to have happened, we now, finally, have some movement in the negotiations. Both the EU and the UK have struggled to get their act together so far in the long and complicated negotiations. There appears to be little movement from either side in the negotiation with the UK seemingly wanting a "have your cake and eat it" custom package. This has been rebuffed by EU negotiators who insist that there will be no custom deal for the UK and that they must pay what is owed.

Divorce Bill sorted?

The money appears at least for now to be sorted. The so-called "divorce bill" from the EU is thought to be around 50 billion Euro. The UK had tried in vain to reduce that amount but has now agreed to meet its future commitments so that talks could move onto the vital subject of trade. The EU countries have a good trading partnership with the UK and it is hoped that the relationship can be maintained, but it seems unlikely given the current distance between the two negotiating teams.

The UK has also been courting trade from further afield. Countries such as Australia and India have been actively courting investment from the UK and an enhancement of the trade between them. While this is good news for the UK, the two countries had also been seeking enhancements in visa rights for their citizens looking to move to the UK. This puts the British government in a tight spot. The Conservatives have twice put a reduction of immigration in their manifesto, a significant change that would allow a huge influx of immigrants would be politically devastating for the Conservative government.

The UK has some difficult times approaching. Brexit is going to be a challenge unlike the UK has ever seen. Upending four decades of EU membership is going to be an arduous task. The British legal system is fully integrated with EU laws and it will take a mind-boggling effort to create a raft of new laws in time for Britain's exit from the EU in 2019. It now seems more likely than ever that a transitional period of at least two years will be in effect. With such little progress made so far, many fear that two years will be nowhere near enough to get even close to a smooth transition.

Is the picture clearer?

With a confused picture moving forward, it seems a difficult time to be considering moving to the UK. But I would urge foreign nationals thinking of making the move to still consider the move. Britain is an economic powerhouse and although Brexit is likely to damage that, Britain is still likely to remain a great place to live and work. It has a self-sustainable economy and a vibrant job market. The UK is also one of the World's best places to live, even if the future looks more than a little uncertain.

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