UK businesses join with expats in Brexit panic

Published:  2 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UK, Ireland, Jobs, Euro, England
As the scandal of the stalled Brexit negotiations staggers on, UK businesses are feeling the panic already being felt by expats.

Brexit negotiations are due to kick off again next week, with British expats in European countries only slightly pacified and EU expats in the UK now worried about the effects of the new NHS rule aimed at defeating medical tourism. A cause of concern for expats and business owners alike is the government’s refusal to release their assessment of damage to the economy likely to be done by a hard Brexit.

The dossier covers 58 separate industries, most of which are certain to be employing EU expats. Opposition lawmakers will continue to press the government for the document’s release, but no-one is expecting any miracles. Experts from a number of industrial sectors have their own views, and have been making them known ever since the referendum.

A major concern is grounded flights, with specialist lawyers in the field suggesting all EU member states’ airlines plus those of 17 other countries would be affected. Chief financial analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation Jonathan Weber calls it unthinkably disruptive.
Straightforward customs procedures would end, causing massive gridlocks at ports and Ireland’s border with the Republic, and Dover officials are warning only two minutes’ more processing time for trucks would cause 17 mile-long queues.

Prices of imported EU dairy products would almost double due to tariffs, meat products would be 37 per cent more expensive, and prices of imports from non- EU countries would also soar. Should free trade deals not be established with European power suppliers, the cost of domestic and industrial electricity would rise, and the UK’s ageing nuclear reactors might need to shut down due to a lack of imported parts, threatening the stability of the national grid.

In the worst scenario, both UK and EU expats would immediately become illegal residents and, although it’s unlikely deportations would begin the next day, uncertainties in their statuses could stop them changing or getting jobs as well as renting accommodation. Drastic changes to the open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic would affect the 30,000 people and 13,000 commercial vehicles passing through each day. Policing would become a major headache, and the fragile peace on the divided island might even break down.
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