UK after BREXIT

NO CHANGE

NO CHANGE

  • Pensions
  • Refugee crisis
  • Effective regulation of banks
  • Cooperation on Climate Change

MINIMAL CHANGE

MINIMAL CHANGE

  • International status and importance – UK has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and has a significant position in  NATO, OECD, the G8, the G20 and the Commonwealth
  • In the case of the economic impact, the UK would have the same or slightly less influence on international relations after Brexit

CHANGE ?     

Prices

Prices will probably remain at the same level (there may be a slight increase in the cost of telephone calls to EU countries). Problems with the import of goods could lead to a price increase of some products.

This situation would only be reflected more significantly in the medium term. Nevertheless, there is also a large number of variables, so the answer to this question is not clear.

London city sign on United Kingdom flag

Immigration

Immigration: It would depend on the new relationship between the UK and the EU regarding free trade agreements. There is a high probability of problems and a low willingness of the EU to meet the needs of the UK, as in the case of Norway and Switzerland.

Nevertheless, after Brexit, the UK would probably be less attractive to citizens of EU countries who intend to work in the UK. But the UK is still attractive to a large number of people seeking employment (English language, English culture, large immigrant communities, etc.). But the UK would have more options on this issue.

Impact on British citizens living in EU member states

About 2 million Britons live in the other 27 EU countries. Some are British pensioners, and a total of roughly 1,000,000 live in Spain alone. However, there are various agreements, so this might not have such a big impact. Nevertheless, there will probably be stricter rules for British citizens for residing, studying or doing business in EU member states.

It is possible that the UK will conclude agreements with all EU member states, or at least with a large part of the EU. In Spain, where many British people (pensioners) reside, it will be particularly important to arrange cooperation in the healthcare sector and also in other areas.

It is uncertain now what the outcome will be. It is possible that some EU member states will want to agree on intergovernmental arrangements with the UK, but there will be pressure from other EU states (probably led by France) not to enter into an agreement with the UK.

Skyscrapers in City of London, ( Lloyds of London, Tower 42, Aviva and the Gherkin)

The City of London

London as a financial centre of global importance is more attractive to other countries and investors if it is the entrance gate to Europe for them. Some banks will possibly relocate to other EU countries, but probably only to a limited extent. They might establish branches in EU states, but their headquarters will still be in London.

The infrastructure that provides London with financial services can not be replaced in a short time. So the importance of the City of London would be retained. The City of London would probably lose slight importance, but not a significant amount.

Intelligence services

Inferior information sharing between intelligence services in Europe. This is very important and necessary at the time of terrorist threats in the contemporary world. However, perhaps in order to maintain European and international security cooperation, it would continue in this area as at present.

It should be noted that, even in the present situation, this issue is not entirely problem-free. On this subject, let us mention that in the war against terrorism, there is an exchange of EU criminal records and passenger records.

Cooperation will certainly continue, as it is important for all European countries. It is possible that the collaboration „stagnates“ slightly and becomes a bit slower, which will be problematic in some cases.

Energy

Declining collaboration in the energy field. This should impact only in the long term. In the short and medium terms, there would be no major problems. For example, in the case of natural gas requirements, it can be imported from the US.

The „shale gas revolution“ in the US created an oversupply of liquefied natural gas, which is ready for export. In the long term, however, Brexit might cause a problem in this issue.

Big Ben at night, London

MINIMAL CHANGE    

International status

If the UK left the EU, its international status and importance would not be increased within the current system of international relations. The UK has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and has a significant position in  NATO, OECD, the G8, the G20 and the Commonwealth. It is presently clear to all actors in international relations that the UK has a long-term specific „reserve“ in the EU core — France and Germany.

The UK plays a leading role in the Commonwealth and has a „special relationship“ with the US.  The UK has never been considered as a typical continental European country, not only for geographic reasons, but due to the history of the British Empire. It has good relations with countries such as Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada.

For example, in the case of Germany, it does not seem that its position in international relations is somehow negatively affected by Berlin’s membership of the EU. It is similar in the case of the UK. So leaving the EU would not result in an increase or decrease of the UK’s international prestige.

The importance of „soft power“ must not be forgotten. English as an international language, the current lingua franca, is a very important aspect of the global position of the UK. Furthermore, the English culture, internationally popular sports such as football, rugby and cricket, the English system of Law, etc., all create the overall impact of the UK throughout the world. In our opinion, the UK’s global impact is neither significantly increased nor diminished by Britain’s membership of the EU.

Downing Street in Westminster, London

International economic relations

In our opinion, in the case of the economic impact, the UK would have the same or slightly less influence on international relations after Brexit. The UK has never been considered a state striving to extend European integration or to accept all the regulations from Brussels, Paris and Berlin/Bonn.

The proof is in the lateness of advancing European integration, keeping its own currency, citizens having a less pro-European attitude, non-participation in the Schengen Agreement and various other exceptions (opt-outs). The UK, from an economic point of view, is already the least regulated country in the EU.

Important global economic and political players are very well aware of these facts. Brexit would not be such a „shock“ to them, compared with countries such as Italy, Spain or the Netherlands leaving the EU.

NO CHANGE    

Pensions

In any case, countries will have problems with pensions. EU membership would not have a huge influence on this issue.

Refugee crisis

With regard to the current refugee issue, it is important to note that non-EU states (e.g. Norway) are also facing this problem. EU member states such as Germany and Sweden are just more attractive to migrant citizens than other countries outside the EU.

EU member states, such as the Baltic States, have a minimal number of people applying for asylum or permanent residence. The EU is not responsible for the refugee crisis and the thousands of citizens who are trying to enter Europe.

Effective regulation of banks

This is a global problem. This problem is not satisfactorily resolved in the US or other non-EU countries. Brexit would not have an effect on it.

Cooperation on Climate Change

Cooperation on Climate Change would remain on a similar level as that of the present.

Referendum 2016, Great Britain leaves the eurozone

                                          friendly Free Trade Agreement…?

Opponents of the UK remaining in the EU argue that, after the UK leaves the EU, there will be a friendly Free Trade Agreement concluded between the UK and EU. This is absolutely not definite. It is also quite possible that other EU countries will not welcome the UK leaving the EU. A rapidly negotiated Free Trade Agreement, although it would be the best solution for the UK and the EU, would not be a simple or quick issue.

The main reason is the fear by the EU that the UK could be followed by other EU countries. If these countries could see that, when leaving the EU, they could quickly negotiate a favourable Free Trade Agreement, they would certainly begin considering this alternative (Sweden, Denmark).


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          Norwegian and Swiss-style association agreements…best solution for the UK…?

The Norwegian and Swiss-style association agreements are not the best solution for the UK. Norway has to pay huge sums of money to the EU budget. Norway must also allow free movement of persons for access to the free market. There is also the possibility of abusing the welfare system by workers from EU member countries. For example, Switzerland has more than 100 separately negotiated treaties with the EU. Furthermore, the EU has already declared that the framework for relations with Switzerland is complicated, and has reached its peak.

The EU might be afraid of a domino effect. But on the other hand, EU leaders led by politicians from Germany and France, might fear that, if a substantial proportion of EU workers (mainly from Eastern and Southern Europe) returns from the UK, it will affect the labour market in other EU countries. So the attempt to weaken the UK in the economic area would  appear to be counterproductive and dangerous to the EU in the medium term.

The question is whether this outweighs the „economic“ view, or the feeling of resentment at the UK for leaving the EU. Possibly because of the domino effect, the EU, led by France and Germany, will strive to „deter“ other countries that consider the same step as the UK. For countries like France and Germany, the fact that, after Brexit, the UK keeps workers from the EU states on its territory, means an advantage and less pressure on their labour markets.