The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

Economy

Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 01 Jul 2021

What is divergence?

Divergence is the opposite of alignment. Where Brexit is concerned, it refers to the UK’s ability to change the rules governing different economic sectors once outside of the EU. The May government’s Chequers proposals foresaw alignment in goods through agreeing a Common Rulebook but divergence on services, allowing the UK to decide its own rules. The Johnson government wants to maintain the right to diverge for Great Britain on goods and services, although the Northern Ireland protocol contains a list of EU rules to which Northern Ireland will have to continue to stay aligned to avoid the need for any regulatory checks at the border with Ireland.

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