It has been uncertain times in the UK following the public decision to formally leave the European Union last June. Everyone knew then that it would take time for the effects of Brexit to be felt, but following the triggering of Article 50 — which began the formal divorce from the EU — we might just be seeing the first signs of a post-Brexit UK. Below, we take a look at five areas in which the prospect of Brexit is already beginning to have an impact.
There were voices on both sides of the Brexit argument that said jobs would be a big issue if we left the European Union. Leavers were saying more jobs would be created as it would be easier for businesses to get underway; remainers pointed to the many companies — and their jobs — that would say ‘adios’ to the UK if it were no longer a player in the European market. So far, it is the remainers that have been correct. Though there’ll be many industries that face job losses, the biggest announcement so far has been the 9,000 banking jobs that will be shipped out of the UK in the next two years by the world’s biggest banks.
To many millions of people across the UK, Brexit came down to just one single issue: immigration. There has already been a slowing down of European immigrants coming to the UK, which has resulted in gaps in the labour market that are unlikely to be filled anytime soon. The next big issue will be whether European nationals who already live in the UK can stay here, which will likely result in a battle between immigration lawyers and Theresa May’s intentions (if she ever reveals them). For businesses and EU nationals who call the UK home, it might be about to get messy.
The Brexit vote was one of the biggest political shake-ups this country has ever seen, as was the ascendance of political party UKIP. Large areas of the country were fertile ground for their message before Brexit, but with many Leave voters now having ‘voter regret’, UKIP’s rise may be about to falter. They were gearing up towards a big vote — Brexit — but now that that has passed, where do they go? In the recent local elections, they lost all but one of the seats they were defending. Maybe it’ll be a return to the centre ground after this vote.
It was always going to take a while for the day-to-day impact of Brexit to show itself, but we might have just found it. The annual report of Sainsbury’s has shown a stark rise in food prices, as a result of higher costs and a pound that is struggling to compete with the Euro. Up ahead we might find that other living expenses start to rise too as a result of higher import charges.
Of course, all these factors changed relatively quickly — and may change back again just as fast. As ever, still, no one knows what impact Brexit will have. Watch this space.