Top 10 Perils of a Hard Brexit
Whilst there is no question that Britain is set to leave the UK, the manner in which it will leave remains to be seen. The number one point of debate is whether it will be a “soft Brexit,” implying the retention of some trade links, freedom of movement and cultural ties with continental Europe, or whether it be a “hard Brexit,” which would mean complete separation from the structures of the EU.
A “hard Brexit” will have much wider repercussions for Ireland, The UK and Europe- some of which we will explore here:
A hard Brexit may negatively impact the retail industry who will have to continue to import the same goods, but burdened with heavier levies.
2. Food Supplies
Both supermarkets and farmers unions have warned that a hard Brexit may have a dramatic impact on food supplies. This is not just due to lack of access to the EU market, but also as EU migrant workers are vital to the food production industry.
3. Housing Crisis
A hard Brexit will inevitably mean less funding for infrastructure in the UK, much of which comes from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This will make affordable housing much harder to develop.
4. Northern Ireland
A hard Brexit could potentially result in a hard border being reinstated in Northern Ireland. This will lead to difficulties for those working cross- border, and it has also been suggested that it may inflame sectarian tensions.
5. Shortage of Skilled labour
A large proportion of NHS and university jobs are filled by EU nationals. With highly skilled individuals unable to obtain travel rights, areas such as healthcare and research may no longer meet their currently high standard.
6. Repercussions for wider EU
Britain’s departure from the EU has sent ripples across Europe. With more nationalistic parties gaining traction it may not be long before other countries start to question their future within the Union.
The UK has been investing heavily in renewable energy. With less access to EU funding and the European energy market, a hard Brexit may compromise the UKs climate change ambitions.
8. Irelands Economy
The potential impact of a hard Brexit to the Irish economy cannot be underestimated. With the reinstation of tariffs and an end to free trade, the agricultural industry in particular is vulnerable to damage.
9. Financial Industry
Many financial firms are already looking outside of London in preparation for a post- Brexit future. Cities such as Brussels, Paris and Dublin may reap the rewards with large office spaces already being purchased by companies such as JP Morgan and Citi Group.
10. Political Uncertainty
If the recent general election proves anything it’s that Brexit has polarised British politics. This is largely due to the turbulence caused by Brexit and which can only be exacerbated by a “hard” departure.