October 16, 2018

Have you considered these 10 things about Brexit?


1) Cigarette packets will feature new photos and graphics.

 The European Commission owns the copyright for the pictures and words on packets.  In the event of a no-deal Brexit with Europe, Australia has agreed to allow Britain to use its warning labels on cigarette packets. The Australian photos are even more graphic with photos of ill babies affected by smoking whilst in the womb, ulcerated and infected body parts, and blind eyes.  Legislation in place in 2009 dictates that tobacco manufactures must publish stark health notices on the items.

2) Food and livestock could be delayed at Britain’s borders

95% of vets working in the UK’s abattoirs are from the EU. Around 25% of total UK vet workforce is from overseas, with the majority of these vets from the EU.  All of these vets are trained and registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the veterinary regulator.  Those working in abattoirs have also undertaken additional qualifications which enable them to carry out work on behalf of the government. Vets are required to sign off certificates confirming the health and safety of slaughtered animals, and livestock travelling overseas. There are significant fears that EU vets may leave or will be difficult to recruit in the future following Brexit, causing the public health and meat hygiene sector to grind to a halt. There is a recruitment drive to employ more vets although commentators say the Government has left it too late.

3) Pharmaceutical companies are stockpiling medicine

The Government has told pharmaceutical companies to stockpile six weeks worth of medicines in the event that supply lines are disrupted after Brexit, particularly in the event of a no-deal. It is worried that extra checks at borders could cause a delay in the supply of vital medicines from the EU, like insulin.

4) Air Bus and Rolls Royce are stock piling parts for aircrafts

Both companies have been stockpiling parts needed for the manufacture and repair of aircrafts and engines. Rolls Royce began stockpiling engine parts from Europe as a no deal Brexit has become likely.

5) British passports and Driving Licences are getting a post-Brexit makeover – the first in 30 years

From October 2019, the burgundy passports which have been around since 1980 are being scrapped in favour of a glossy blue and gold cover. The new design will also obviously ditch the words ‘European Union’ - which are inscribed at the top of the document.

However, one element of the new passport that looks set to retain a strong tie to continental Europe is its production. According to the Home Office, this is likely to be handled by Franco-Dutch firm, Gemalto.

6) International Driving Permit

Travellers and lorry drivers going to Europe may need to obtain an international driving licence as the UK driving licence is unlikely to be recognised by the EU in the absence of a Brexit deal. Expats that moved abroad may need to re-sit their driving tests in their new home country.

7) Champagne goes flat…but not for the UK sparkling wine market

Some 140 million bottles of fizz including Champagne and Prosecco were drunk in the UK in 2017. The UK consumes one third of the Italy’s production of Prosecco. But bad weather last year led to a reduction in sales in the UK.

But it’s not all bad news, the UK market is cashing in on Britain’s taste for fine wines and this may just give the home market a boost. In 2016, there were 503 commercial vineyards registered in England and Wales and 133 registered wine producers. The south of England’s chalky soils and climate are similar to that found in the Champagne region of France, meaning Britain has ideal conditions to make sparkling wine in the traditional method.

The success of these wines has led Champagne houses, like Taittinger and Pommery to buy land and invest in UK vineyards. Companies like Weatherspoon have already begun replacing Champagne and Prosecco with sparkling wines from the UK and Australia, as well as German beer with beer from UK breweries.  There is likely to be additional taxes on imported alcohol following Brexit, which could accelerate a transition into UK options.

8) Changes in Duty-Free

Sticking on the subject of alcohol, the days of the Calais booze-cruse could be numbered. Buying alcohol in France has been traditionally much cheaper than buying booze in the UK due to the huge amount of wine they produce and low taxes.

After Brexit, it’s rumoured that UK citizens will only be allowed to personally import 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of Beer in comparison to the current allowance of 90 and 110 litres respectivly.

9) UK fashion returning post-Brexit

90% of British designers wanted to remain but are now trying to Brexit proof the fashion industry. Fashion makes about £30 billion for the UK economy and Brexit is likely to push up costs of transporting European brands to the UK. Three quarters of materials used in the UK are also imported.

But there are some rays of hope. The Brexit crash in the value of the pound has seen surging numbers of Chinese, Arab and American fashion tourists coming to the UK to splash their cash on fashion. The fear of escalating import costs have triggered some manufacturers to set up in the UK; with the big supermarkets investing in local manufacturers.  British made brands have all reported an increase in international sales. Investments of £4.8m in cotton mills and £1m textile production grants in the North suggest confidence is growing.

10) Brexit is a song and a dance for British music artists

Touring in Europe gives artists access to big audiences; and some of the world’s biggest music festivals take place in continental Europe. But with the prospect of visas, and additional costs for working and touring in Europe, it is likely that emerging artists won’t be able to afford to tour, and music companies won’t want to risk increasing costs to publicise unknown talent. Additional costs are likely to push up ticket prices as well.

On the bright side, there are signs that the demand for music will create more local music venues and more festivals in the UK. There were more than 1,000 festivals in Britain last year, and the trend looks likely to grow as going to a festival as become a rite of passage for Britain’s youth.

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