I Know You Don’t Want to Hear It, the Dreaded B Word, but I’m Going to Say It Anyway… Brexit.
Understandably, people of Britain have had this word crammed down their throats since 2016 and, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. And neither do its consequences.
It is easy to get caught up in the pedantic waffle of irate MPs, screaming over one another in the Houses of Parliament, or to completely switch off by closing our eyes and hoping this has all been one long, horrendous nightmare. However folks, it is not a nightmare. It is real, it is happening and the clock is running out.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has continued to cling on to her position by battling it out with the European Union, the Labour Party and many of her own Conservative peers. It has been a painful process, with many politicians resigning and backstabbing their own leader. The government is in a state of flux, making it difficult to differentiate who stands with whom.
Such a complicated and unclear process has many of us questioning the here and now, and what is currently happening in Parliament, without giving much thought to what may happen from 29th March 2019, the day of no return…
So here we have it, a brief explainer of what we may face in the imminent future.
NO DEAL BREXIT: As it stands, this is where we are at. Mrs May has had her Brexit plan rejected by 432 to 202 MP votes in a brutal defeat, meaning that the deal she agreed with the EU has at present been blocked. In response to this, the Prime Minister simply stated: “The House has spoken and the Government will listen”. Well, without an entire Parliamentary revolt, this is the only option she could take. The PM will be going back to Brussels tomorrow to discuss Brexit further. So, what is a no deal Brexit, I hear you ask. A no deal Brexit means the UK would immediately be omitted from the EU on 29th March, with no formal withdrawal agreement. This means that there would not be a transitional period for businesses and consumers and new trade deals would need to be rectified with individual countries, which could take years. Laws and trade deals would be left with no adjustment period.
HOLIDAYS & EU CITIZENS: This could all disappear overnight, quite literally. Britain would be able to put a limit on immigration and in turn, Europe could hit back. This could also mean that British citizens would require, and be charged for, visas to visit neighbouring countries, which at present we are able to move freely between. Have you ever travelled with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)? These health-cards provide Brits with the exact same health cover as a citizen of that country – well, you can kiss goodbye to that! We’ve already had a preview as to what our new post-Brexit passports shall look like, which, in case you forgot in the jargon of it all, will be a dark blue and produced by a Franco-Dutch firm after they won the contract over Britain – a contrasting effect if ever I’ve seen one! Also, our beloved UK driving license may not work abroad! You may too have to spend quite a while longer in the coffee and sandwich shop rather than some of our best loved grab-and-go spots like Costa, Pret and Starbucks, as these survive hugely due to well-trained and quick service provided by citizens from the EU.
BUSINESS: “Uncertainty is the first concern of British business, uncertainty about supply chains, export markets, regulatory co-operation and keeping and attracting staff – the fundamentals of their business models”, comments Paul Hardy, former senior EU legal advisor to the House of Commons, in an interview with Financial Times. He goes on, “The second is the real risk of a cliff-edge Brexit: significantly, both the UK and the EU acknowledge that no deal is a possible outcome.”
Larger businesses in the UK are in a more likely position to be able to set out a contingency plan in case the UK is to crash out of the EU. However, this may be difficult for smaller businesses due to lack of resources and funding for such a niche area, or for what if’s and maybe’s. It is feared that many smaller businesses may be forced to close if they do not put measures in place to ensure that they are protected from whatever the outcome may be, with many calling on the government to provide funding.
INFLATION: Yes, the rumours are true, some of our favourite foods are more than likely going to get more expensive should there be a no deal Brexit, including: dairy, meats, poultry, fish, gin, wine, bread, fruit and veg (especially broccoli and tomatoes!). In a piece by The Guardian, the Bank of England has warned that Britain leaving the European Union without a deal could trigger a recession worse than the 2008 financial crisis, and we all remember that all too well?
Global Seven News