Whilst Britain may have Brexited on the 31st January, we’re still far from the finish line as negotiations for trade-deals continue (or start…). But, what does this mean for the 40 million licensed vehicles in Great Britain, the millions of holiday-makers, and workers who fly to and from Europe, or the haulage companies that import and export goods? The short answer is, we ultimately don’t know, and it may take decades for the long-term implications to be fully known, however, there are a few clues that can help inform us.
As discussions continue throughout 2020, the UK is currently part of the EU. This means there are no tariffs on cars imported from the EU. However, depending on the deal negotiated at the end of the transition period, your car valuation may be impacted. If there is a no-deal Brexit and the UK leaves the EU without a trade agreement, a 10% tariff will apply to finished cars imported from the EU.
In addition to the cost of cars rising, drivers from EU countries working in the UK for British and European haulage and logistics firms may be affected by restrictions, including 90 day working limits, as well as constraints on green card cover. They may only equate to around 10% of the UK driver workforce but it’s still enough to have an impact on many businesses.
Currently, the single aviation market allows UK airlines the right to fly between EU countries, as well as within an EU country. Leaving the EU will have an immediate affect with UK airlines having to renegotiate EU airspace. Furthermore, it would not be possible to fly between the UK and a member state if the airline is based in a third member state. For example, a French airline would not be able to service routes between the UK and any EU country besides France. This will significantly restrict competition and air traffic from the UK resulting in increased flight costs and potential job losses for airport and airline staff.
Whilst domestic vehicles are already seeing an impact on Brexit at ports with increased ferry crossing prices and longer queues, it’s the maritime industry in general that will be affected the most, as the UK’s ports are responsible for handling around 90% of the UK’s trade.
Under Brexit, the UK would lose the ability to trade freely with EU member states, unless a deal is brokered. It is likely that whatever the deal, the UK trade would be subject to tariffs and import duties, as well as an increase in administrative costs.
Whatever side of the debate you sit on, there can be no doubt there will be some tough times ahead, as we navigate unchartered waters (and airspace) – and we may never know the true impact of Brexit, not only on Great Britain, but on Europe too.