As a consequence of Brexit, the UK is no longer a member of the EU. This has implications for the relationships between the UK and EU members, including Denmark. Here is a look at how Brexit will affect trade, migration, and other important matters between Denmark and the UK.
The UK is one of Denmark’s most important trading partners. The UN Comtrade data from 2019 tells us that annual exports of Danish goods to the UK are valued at EUR 4.9 billion. Denmark’s imports from the UK are worth EUR 2.9 billion per year. This accounts for 5.5% of Denmark’s global exports and 3.7% of imports. The UK is the fifth-largest importer of Danish goods. It is also the seventh-largest exporter to Denmark.
After Brexit (effective January 31, 2021), the UK will no longer be a part of the EU single market. This will impact the trade links between Denmark and the UK. Fortunately, the parties have ratified the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), guaranteeing free trade between EU members and the UK. This means that while customs formalities will have to be fulfilled, no tariffs nor quotas are imposed. Economists don’t foresee a decline in the export-import activity between Denmark and the UK due to Brexit.
Before Brexit, UK nationals could vote and stand for municipal (local) government positions in Denmark. Danish nationals could do the same in the UK. After Brexit, the voting rules will become somewhat complicated. The UK electoral commission still extends to Danish nationals’ right to vote and stand for local government elections in the UK. However, UK nationals will not automatically have this right in Denmark anymore. As stated by the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and Interior, since the UK is no longer an EU member, UK citizens who become Danish residents after January 31, 2020, are considered third-country nationals (meaning neither Danish nor EU citizens). Hence, they can only vote and stand for municipal and regional elections after residing in Denmark for 4 continuous years.
While voting rights are affected by Brexit, Denmark and the UK’s overall relationship will remain largely unchanged. Each country still has an active embassy in the other. Denmark and the UK will continue to be active members of the Council of Europe, an organization to uphold democracy, human rights, and the rule law in Europe. This shows that they are committed to the same causes.
Since the UK is no longer a part of the EU single market, it does not have guaranteed access to the EU security database (such as the Schengen Information System (SIS)). This means Denmark and the UK will no longer share the same security database system. However, as stated on the UK government’s official website, both countries are committed to working closely to optimize security, specifically against terrorism. Denmark and the UK will also remain active members of the military alliance, NATO. They will continue to cooperate on regional security issues.
Millions of migrant professionals live and work in the UK and Denmark. Most send remittances to families in their home countries regularly, using trusted services like the nationals abroad and foreign (EU) nationals in the UK. 22,000 Danes are living in the UK, and 15,510 British are living in Denmark. The UK government’s official website states that Danish citizens must apply for residency to continue living as residents in the UK. Similarly, UK citizens have to apply for Danish residency to continue living in Denmark. A Danish citizen resident in the UK can still claim cash benefits and pension. Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that UK citizens residing in Denmark would continue to have reciprocal rights.. Things will remain much the same for third-country nationals. Brexit will primarily affect UK
Short-term and tourist visits will change too. Denmark passport holders will be allowed to stay in the UK for 6 months without applying for visas. UK passport holders can visit Denmark for 90 days without visas. Overall the movement of people between Denmark and the UK will remain relatively quite free.
Brexit does create some restrictions on trade and migration between Denmark and the UK. However, the overall effects of these restrictions are quite mild. The 2 countries continue to enjoy a positive bilateral relationship.
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Hemant G is a contributing writer at scuba dive, and watch documentaries.. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel,