What would the consequences of a Brexit be for UK citizens?
Brexit is a massive unknown.
The pro~Brexit camp claim that nothing will really change and we’ll be able to negotiate a trading & residency agreement with the rest of the EU. Everything will be fine & well be able to make out own decisions about curved Bananas, criminal justice & god knows what else.
This ignores facts like the ECHR being separate from EU membership. (Legal obligations, multi-lateral treaties & law have been written into the UK’s legal framework since the 1950’s. The objection to ‘Europe interfering with British law’ are usually a misunderstanding of legal processed & an admittedly worrying lack of clarity over what is actually going on!). Brexis won’t change this.
It also assumes that the rest of the EU will be happy for what would become a competitor nation (who rejected the ‘gang’) retaining the benefits of EU membership without any of the obligations. Why should they do this?
In short term – almost nothing. Longer term, well that depends on the withdrawal treaty which the rest of the EU offers to the UK.
Article 50 – Treaty of Lisbon. It’s worth a recap of the Brexit procedure. Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon is the legal mechanism by which the UK will leave the EU. It’s never been used before, so we can’t be sure what will really happen. Article 50 provides for a 2 year time limit on exit negotiations, which can only be extended with agreement by all concerned. After negotiations and a qualified majority vote, the rest of the EU will offer the UK a withdrawal treaty.
So what will be the longer terms consequences of a Brexit for UK citizens ?
Freedom of movement – if the UK also leaves the EU single market, then freedom of movement may end for UK citizens, or more specifically UK citizens residing in the UK. For UK citizens residing in the UK, there may be restrictions on the right to live and work in the EU.
European Health Insurance Card – currently an EHIC lets you get state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. After we leave the EU, that may end.
Mobile phone charges – when travelling elsewhere in the EU, the cost of using your UK mobile phone is governed by EU rules. For instance, the cost of making a call while elsewhere in the EU is capped at €0.19 per minute. From 1 May 2016, that will be reduced to €0.05. From June 2017, EU roaming charges will be scrapped altogether. Once outside the EU, UK mobile operators will then charge their UK customers any rates they choose. To get an idea of how much, just look at the cost of using your UK mobile while travelling in non-EU parts of the Europe. If you’re with Vodafone and you’re in Serbia or Belarus, calls cost £1.65 per minute and texts are 35p. By contrast EU roaming regulations cap texts at €0.06 each.
Duty free – Once outside the EU, UK citizens will be able to buy duty free items while travelling to and from the EU. I’m willing to guess that Eurostar, the cross-Channel ferries and Eurotunnel will all offer duty free products for their international travellers. But duty free will come at a price. Once outside the EU, UK citizens will then liable to pay duty or taxes on goods purchased in the EU. As a guide to what might happen, here’s the UK’s HMRC guide on goods purchased outside the EU
Brexit scenario can lead to important changes in the UK and European economy, employment, trade, investment,politics, and more. When analyzing this possibility in terms of economic aspects, we can predict that the decline in direct foreign investment and foreign trade of the UK can cause a drop in GDP to 2-2.5% per year. Moreover, these losses can get to the level of 6-9% if we consider the probability of cancellation of the free trade agreement between the UK and the EU.
In addition, it should be noted that EU membership involves a number of valuable advantages in terms of employment. The EU membership is almost the first reason for which certain international companies, engaged primarily in the financial and automotive sectors, prefer to invest in the UK. In this regard, in case of Brexit scenario, the money flow from these companies will move to other countries. Under such conditions, about three million people could lose their jobs.
With regards to migration, the question requires special attention. Currently in the UK there are visa restrictions to reduce the flow of migrants from countries outside the EU. At the same time, because of all sorts of arrangements, it is not possible to limit migration from the EU member states. In these circumstances, the introduction of appropriate restrictions after Brexit scenario is seen as an opportunity to reduce the flow of migrants coming from the EU countries.
International banks and rating agencies also believe that the way out of the EU would harm the British economy. According to their forecasts, the pound sterling could drop by 5-10% against the dollar and the euro.European Association of engineers – CEEMET predicted that Brexit entail a reduction in trade volumes and industrial productivity. The result could be a slowdown in economic growth by 0.5% per year over the next 15years.
However, there may be some advantages for the UK, but they will be noticed in the long term. It is about managing the economy without any requirements from the “others”, introducing protective policies, and so on.