Given the time of the year and the widespread uncertainty, it is no wonder we are all looking for hints of what 2021 is likely to bring.
When I first wrote this article, it was hardly mid-December: UK businesses had all but lost hope of reaching a trade agreement with the EU, but the population was taking comfort in the fact they would be allowed to celebrate Christmas with family or friends beyond their own household, even if just for three days. A week down the line, that reassurance had been replaced by a ban on travel, a mere 24-hour window to meet with no more than one other household, and a new COVID-19 variant leading infections in the country on a vertical rise.
On the plus side, on Christmas Eve, we received the gift announcement of an agreement between EU and UK, which would put an end to the looming threat of trade tariffs for supplies moving between the two sides. The relief wasn’t long lived, as come January, UK traders realised what a burden the required documentation now was, generating costly delays not just at the borders, but within the originating business itself.
Consumers painfully discovered that the usual items...