By Sandra Khadhouri, Project Partner, Keeping Channels Open, supported by European Dialogue, Friedrich Naumann Foundation
This year’s coronavirus has taken the world by storm and created a sense of powerlessness among citizens everywhere. We have all had to be creative in finding ways to stay positive, productive and supportive of our local communities in the face of this unprecedented situation. Another area beyond the control of the average British person has been the course of the Brexit negotiations and the shape of the final deal. There has been little opportunity to influence a more constructive UK approach which safeguards precious trade and cooperation in a number of areas. Lobbying efforts by campaigners, opposition parties, and businesses has changed little, including the publicly-supported campaign for an extension to the transition period beyond 2020 in light of COVID disruption. This all begs the question – how do we proactively take action in the years ahead, rather than continuing to be a victim of circumstance, lamenting the damage to UK-EU trade and relations as powerless bystanders?