Advances towards a future Covid-19 vaccine have buoyed markets and people ahead of Christmas, but continuing restrictions, uncertainty over the impact of a Christmas relaxation, as well as Brexit cast something of a cloud on the horizon.
As we enter into the final weeks of the Transition Period and still with no deal, there are significant concerns over the movement of goods across the UK border. A test of no-deal systems by France’s Police Aux Frontières (Border Police), caused a five-mile tailback along the M20 in Kent, as the new immigration scheme means lorry drivers have to present passports, proof of means, destination, and length of stay. The process takes 70 seconds per passenger.
Announcements of lorry parks of significant size in Kent, compared to much smaller ones elsewhere could suggest that the pressure at other ports might be less.
The Chancellor’s Spending Review contained some silver linings: investment in infrastructure, housebuilding, and net-zero carbon. However, it also held some troubling messages about the UK economy and a warning that no deal could impact the UK’s growth for the next five years, and that the UK would have to find ways to pay down the Covid debt.