Comment: Mend it, Not Brexit

The UK is facing its biggest crisis in 70 years, yet few seem to care – or even know what they are heading for. So what will happen when you wake up on March 30th 2019 and realise that the headache you suffer from is not due to a hangover, but because you forgot to apply for a job overseas and sell the house in time?

It is now widely accepted that the UK is probably heading for a “No deal Brexit” on March 30th 2019 – unless some miracle can be achieved during negotiations with the EU this Autumn. It is seen as the most likely outcome by leading UK government Ministers, Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier, The Governor of the Bank of England and the IMF – which predicts it will knock 4% off potential economic growth for both the UK and the Irish Republic. The UK Chancellor has also admitted that it will cost the UK economy over £80bn.

What surprises me is the almost total lack of information given to the UK population about the implication of a “No Deal Brexit” and also the seeming great indifference that HR professionals have about the subject. It is as though the lemmings are on the march , you see them tipping over the cliff face and are happy to stand too in line waiting your turn to jump.

So what will happen on March 30th 2019 if there is no deal? It is extremely likely to end up that way – so let us consider it as objectively as possible.

  1. UK nationals will have to join non-EU queues at airports and other border crossings
  2. UK nationals will need a Schengen visa to enter most of the EU
  3. It will be more difficult for company vehicles to enter the EU – with tail backs to the M26 expected and driver costs/stress increased.
  4. The geographical cover of company vehicle insurance will need to change to reflect that the UK is not part of the EU
  5. The existing facility in the EU for vehicle accident claims in another country to be handled by a special agency to simplify their processing and resolution will end.
  6. The UK driving licence will be invalid in the EU/EEA
  7. The EHIC health card will be invalid in the EU/EEA
  8. A1 Social security exemption forms will become invalid
  9. Finance sector “passporting rights” will cease.
  10. The UK “city” finance sector will lose its prominence as a major international trading hub – with a consequent impact on the balance of payments.
  11. Arrangements for the mutual recognition of qualifications between the UK and EU will cease.
  12. Recent job posting directive amendments will not apply to UK workers.
  13. The UK will not benefit from recent trade deals between the EU and Canada, Japan, and Mexico.
  14. The UK will no longer be an “adequate” country for EU personal data transfers.
  15. It will become far more difficult to attract workers from the EU.
  16. Talented individuals from abroad will be less attracted to work in the UK.
  17. Companies will lose the right to use the “EU” internet domain.
  18. EU trademarks will no longer cover the UK
  19. The value of the pound Sterling will fall sharply against the euro – thus adding to inflation and a potential decline in economic growth. International travel will become more expensive.
  20. Supply shortages and new tariffs will also lead to higher inflation and consequent wage demands.
  21. Food and other shortages will give rise to riots, other social unrest and maybe higher levels of industrial disputes.
  22. The residence and other rights of UK nationals living in the EU/EEA will become uncertain.
  23. The Irish border status will remain unresolved – with all its consequent implications
  24. Support for independence in Scotland will grow rapidly and threaten to split up the UK.
  25. EU grant funding for regional, social and employment projects will cease.
  26. The UK will become more culturally and economically isolated. UK citizens’ status abroad may be diminished.
  27. The European Court of Justice will no longer be the court of last resort in employment law cases.
  28. It will become very difficult for a future UK government to seek re-entry to the EU without paying all the outstanding contributions owed to the EU over the intervening period.

…And these are only a small selection of all the things that those living in the UK will have to contend with. Happy apathy to all those who do nothing and remain indifferent. Doing nothing is also a decision and you get, I guess, what you deserve.

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