The UK in a Changing Europe uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. We would also like to set optional analytical cookies to help us improve the website, but we will not set optional cookies unless you accept them.

The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

Politics and Society

Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What is Hard Brexit?

‘Hard Brexit’ was a phrase used during the Brexit process to capture the anticipated economic, social and political impact of a sharp break in relations between the UK and the EU as a result of the UK leaving the bloc. A ‘hard’ Brexit most often implied a radically different economic relationship between the UK and the EU than had been the case while the UK was an EU member. Most obviously, it came to mean a future relationship with the UK outside the EU’s single market and customs union, and trading with the EU on the basis of a free trade agreement.

But what about Soft Brexit? See our fact page here.

For varying analysis on Hard Brexit, try Guy Edwards’ negative piece compared to Jamie Whyte’s angle on how it could be good for tax.

More facts you may be interested in

When a new country joins the EU, does free movement apply straight away?

24 Sep 2020

What is the consent procedure?

24 Sep 2020

What is Article 49?

24 Sep 2020