The Brexit fallout gathers pace

5th March 2020 / United Kingdom
The Brexit fallout gathers pace

By TruePublica: The news of Britain’s economic and political well-being just gets worse and worse as each week parades by. There simply isn’t any Brexit sunlight at the end of any tunnel to bring us news of renewed prosperity and optimism. Project fear is now project reality. Leaving aside the collapse of inward investment, the worst productivity in over 100 years, an emphatic fall in the currency and other solid economic indicators that Brexit is causing real problems to our future – there’s some more news out – and to be fair, it’s just the same old stuff.



Mass resignations after the Brexit vote have compounded health staffing shortages. Nearly 13,000 EU nationals have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum, including well over 5,000 nurses. Recent figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council show that the number of nurses arriving from the EU dropped by 87% from 2016-17 to 2017-18. It’s simply not possible to overstate what a disaster this is turning out to be.

And, as the NHS emerges slowly out of its now normal annual crisis of the winter months, it hardly needs saying that an epidemic will not be coped with, no matter what the government says. Appeals by the government for retired doctors to step forward to help combat the Coronavirus crisis is not only desperate, it jeopardises their own health – you know, being in the highest mortality group of the virus and all that.


Heavens above

British attempts to rival the European’s Galileo satellite navigation system – hailed as a symbol of post-Brexit independence – has fallen flat on its face after a series of disagreements over the costly space project.

The government had intended to rival the EU’s Galileo system, which will have 24 satellites orbiting the earth to serve satellite navigation systems, as well as high-level encryption services for public service authorities and the military.

One of Johnson’s first acts in office was to back the proposals. “Let’s get going now on our own position navigation and timing satellite and earth observation systems – UK assets orbiting in space with all the long-term strategic and commercial benefits for this country,” he said.

However, space industry insiders have been claiming that there was little understanding of what was actually involved and the Financial Times reports that the costs have risen from approximately £3 billion to £5 billion.

“The problem is that this programme was launched in the political environment of Brexit, but there has been no discussion among stakeholders about what the requirement is,” one space industry expert said.

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Work harder

A Tory MP has called for the government to review the EU’s working time directive after Brexit to fill labour expected shortages.

Appearing on the BBC’s Politics South West programme, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall was asked about how the government will solve the problem of shortage of workers once the Brexit transition period ends and the new points-based immigration system is introduced.

Mann admitted that the impact Priti Patel’s proposals will have on the workforce is “one of the biggest challenges has at the moment”. Mann went on to explain how the problem could be solved – “I genuinely think we need to have a serious think looking at the working time directive.” It was then pointed out by the host that these laws were there to protect vulnerable people from excessive hours. Ahh, well, there is that.


Peugeot to sue the government

Peugeot could demand compensation from the British government to keep its Vauxhall factory in Ellesmere Port open in the event of a bad Brexit deal, its chief executive has said.

Carlos Tavares, the head of Peugeot’s owner, PSA, said the carmaker’s European workers should not be forced to bear the costs of “customs barriers” between the UK and the EU when the transition period finishes at the end of the year.

The Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire, employs about 1,000 people and all of their jobs are now on the line.


Far-right resurgence now mainstream

Brexit is causing far-right views on immigration and identity to be drawn into the mainstream, a report has warned this week.

Research by Hope Not Hate found that Britain’s departure from the EU has fuelled discussions of loyalty, elitism and patriotism, “drawing people who might have otherwise have been attracted to the far right back into the mainstream right”.

The blurring of these boundaries has seen mainstream politicians and commentators using language and rhetoric that was previously found only on the far right [and] seen anti-Muslim prejudice, demeaning rhetoric on migrants and refugees and notions of a ‘cultural war’ against social liberalism increasingly being adopted,” the group’s annual report said.


British retailers

This week, the Retail Gazette confirmed that British retailers have to act in order to save their businesses. Multiple threats to retailers as a direct result of Brexit come from additional paperwork, increased delivery times, currency fluctuations, tariffs and what they see as their biggest problem – staffing.

Retail is one of the many sectors that relies disproportionately on international employees, the majority of whom are from the EU and who have previously been able to enter the UK without any visa or requirement for particular qualifications or measurable skills,” said Shara Pledger, an associate at Latitude Law.

This isn’t to say this workforce isn’t skilled, just that the government doesn’t treat it as such.” Pledger went on to warn that – “The government’s points-based immigration system is set to have a significant impact on the retail industry.”


Forms, forms and more forms

Also, this week comes the news that the government now face having to hire and train up 50,000 people in the next six months to process Brexit paperwork for border operations.

But experts have warned it will be a challenge to train enough people in time to be competent in the complexity of customs declarations and the second layer of red tape involving entry and exit declaration forms that are mandatory for trading with the EU.

The Road Haulage Association has warned that the number of declaration forms for tariffs alone will rocket from the current 50m a year to 200-250m a year.

In addition, the exit and entry forms introduced after the 9/11 terror attack in New York to ensure safety on ferries and planes will involve another 100-125m forms being processed every year.

And the extra taxpayer cash required for that – just £1.5billion – each and every year.


UN -“post-Brexit exports could fall by $32 billion

Potential losses under a “no-deal” Brexit from tariffs are estimated at between $11.4 billion and $16 billion of current exports – and the new study says ‘Non-Tariff Measures’ would double those losses.

The study also projects that even if a “standard” free trade agreement were to be signed by the parties, the UK’s exports could still drop by nine per cent, a cost of $32bn.

This is because standard trade deals normally focus on reducing or eliminating tariffs rather than NTMs and Britain has already indicated it will diverge from the EU in terms of regulation.

As the EU market accounts for 46 per cent of the UK’s exports, a no-deal Brexit would deal a major blow to the UK’s economy, according to the study by the Geneva-based agency.


Too few cooks spoil the…

EU citizens make up about a quarter of the 3 million workers in Britain’s hospitality industry, the country’s fourth-biggest employer, according to a KPMG report just out. In London, about 75% of waiting staff and 25% of chefs are from the EU.

Since the Brexit vote, annual immigration from within continental Europe has fallen by more than half.

In response, the Home Office said – “Employers will need to join our mission to level-up skills and economic growth across the whole UK so that we deliver a high-skill, high-wage and highly productive economy.” No-one understands what that means in the hospitality industry when the shortage is so great with no-one to replace the losses. Paying upwards of £26,000 to a waiter might sound good news to waiter’s but not having any restaurants to work in might prove problematic if they all go bust.

Mark Jones, the chief executive of Carluccio’s which runs a chain of Italian restaurants, said he is “hugely disappointed” by the proposed immigration changes. Jones said more than two-thirds of his employees currently come from the EU.


But, but…

Blue passports can be obtained from next month. Embattled Home Secretary, Priti Patel – still clinging on to her job by the tips of her talons said: “Leaving the European Union gave us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path in the world.”

So, we rejected a British manufacturer and went for a European-designed, polish printed version where the profits are routed through Denmark to the bank of a munitions manufacturer in Paris. Daily Express readers were incandescent with rage over this and are demanding the passports are made in old Blighty. In fact, 96 per cent of them in their own poll conducted by the newspaper to their own readers agreed-  according to a completely unbiased journalist.

One devastated reader said – “For the love of mercy, absolutely, how can we be a sovereign nation and NOT produce our own passports!!?? HOW?”

The British company that lost out has now made operational cuts of £20million as the news saw its share price plunge. Soon afterwards, the CEO Martin Sutherland, said there would need to be a big shakeup including a reorganisation of the workforce and then promptly resigned.

Oh and don’t mention the words – ‘farmers’ or ‘fishermen’ – because the government just confirmed this week that they mean nothing to the UK and will be sacrificed in trade negotiations.


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