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Hello. “No realistic path” for a quick vote on the $ 2,000 stimulus checks, said Mitch McConnell. The US vaccination campaign is getting off to a slow start. But first: Brexit.
More than four years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, new travel and trade rules will come into force tomorrow, concluding a saga that has divided the British and dominated British politics .
The two sides reached an agreement last week, after nearly a year of trade negotiations. Yesterday, the British Parliament approved the deal. Tomorrow marks the end of the free movement of people between Britain and the EU
I spoke to Mark Landler, head of the London bureau of The Times, about what this all means and what will follow. (Our conversation has been edited for brevity.)
CLAIRE: How will Britain’s new relationship with the EU affect people’s daily lives?
MARK: The purpose of the 1,200-page trade deal between Britain and the EU was to avoid very disruptive changes, such as tariffs and quotas. But there will be an array of other bureaucratic requirements that weren’t there before January 1.
People will not see a sudden change in the price of fresh fruit and vegetables in London supermarkets. But it will have an impact on Britons who, for example, want to take their dog on holiday to the continent or who want to find a job somewhere in the EU.
Trade. Trip. Nothing else?
Britain withdrew from the Erasmus exchange program, which allowed UK students to study in EU countries and vice versa. This is a very visible example of things that will change in the post-Brexit era.
Another thing, which may take a little longer to materialize, is this idea of separatism and independence. Scotland, for example, was against Brexit, and that could fuel a new impetus to break away from the rest of Britain.
What will this mean for the UK economy?
A lot of things still have to be negotiated. One of the main drivers of the UK economy is the service sector, including legal, financial, advisory and other services. Almost none of this is covered in the trade agreement yet.
How has the pandemic affected the process?
Without it, the trade deal negotiations would have been the country’s greatest story. But Brexit has been almost completely eclipsed by the coronavirus. Britain is concerned about this health crisis, which will stifle the immediate effects of Brexit. But over time, these will become more visible. Which means the Brexit debate may not be over in the country.
Will this result in the “Global Britain” pro-Brexit activists hoped for?
One of the main arguments in favor of Brexit was to get rid of the shackles of the EU, so that Britain would become that nimble, vibrant and independent economy that could make deals with everyone in the world. But the rise of protectionism and populism has made it more difficult to conclude free trade agreements. The “Global Britain” arguments seemed more valid in May 2016 than in January 2021. In a way, the Brexit vision is four and a half years too late.
THE LAST NEWS
From the review: Here are the big trends that have affected Americans this year, visualized in 11 charts by Steven Rattner, a former Obama administration official, and our colleague Lalena Fisher. They range from political polarization to job losses (pictured above).
Lives lived: Dawn Wells beamed all-American healthiness as Mary Ann on the 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.” She stuck with the role even after the show ended, appearing as Mary Ann on several other shows, including “Alf” and “Baywatch.” Wells died of complications from Covid, aged 82.
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The year of the fandom
BeyHive by Beyoncé. The BTS army. Lady Gaga’s little monsters.
In 2020, loving a singer doesn’t just mean loving music. That means keeping up with your favorite artist’s streaming stats with the zeal of die-hard sports fans. It means organizing online with other fans to increase album sales. It even means raising over a million dollars for charity to match a star’s donation.
Over the past decade, social media has helped turn fandom into 24-hour work, writes Times cultural journalist Joe Coscarelli. And unlike admirers of sprawling franchises like “Star Wars” or the Marvel Universe, music fans often devote all of their efforts to one artist or band.
It makes it a lot more personal. “You see yourself in your favorite artists – you associate with them, whether it’s just the music or their personality,” a Lady Gaga fan told The Times. “So when someone insults your favorite artist, you take it as a personal insult and then you find yourself spending hours trying to convince someone in China that ‘Born This Way’ was their best album.”
To understand how the pop music fandom got here, read the rest of Joe’s article here.