In pursuit of clarity over the UK’s decision to leave the EU in June, the UK Government have been provided very little clues as to how the EU will tackle such a mammoth task, untangling 4 decades of social, political and economic ties will affect everyone, and is unlikely to be dealt with in any swift manner.
The EU have made clear that no negotiations will take place before the UK hand its notice via Article 50, leaving British expats in the dark over their future rights in their new country of residence. There is however, one aspect of Brexit that is not up for negotiation.
The UK faces an exit bill estimated at £40bn, these figures are relatively modest in comparison to what the UK could face if it adopts a hard Brexit position. No EU subsidiaries for the likes of our British farmers and top scientist programs, no access to the EU’s core market for almost 50% of the UK’s trade, and more worryingly, a financial sector that no longer has access to Euro clearing.
The real cost of Brexit is estimated at £220bn over the next 5 years, and when you put this into context, this figure could fund the NHS for 2 years (as opposed to saving the NHS £350 million a week as promised by the Leave campaign), 4 years of education budget, 7 times the cost of the UK’s military and not least, 25 times the cost of public transport.
The UK has all of this to look forward to once it hands its notice in March, unless some form of transition can be implemented.
But even still, any hopes of a free trade agreement is unlikely to formalise in the framework of Article 50, for one, new agreements cannot be actioned until the UK leaves the EU which is expected to take place in early 2019. Furthermore, free trade agreements don’t happen overnight, one only needs to look at CETA – the EU/Canadian free trade agreement – to understand just how difficult and time consuming such a deal entails.
The UK is set to become significantly poorer if these figures hold any truth, and in an almost ironic twist of events, the poorest people (who were more inclined to vote to leave the EU), could in fact be significantly worse off as a result of such a vote.
The Treasury analysis of Brexit put each UK citizen £4,300 worse off as a result of the Referendum in June, and as we approach the deadline for Article 50 in March, the reality of the UK’s divorce will put the Pound in even muggier waters.