So – we’re out. On Thursday, June 23rd, the British people made the decisive decision to leave the EU for good. You may have got tired of seeing “Brexit this”, “Bremain that” over the last few weeks – I did – but the reason it saturated our press was because the outcome of the Referendum was a bloody big deal.
Many of the consequences, however, seem far removed from the everyday lives of young British people. The two regrettable campaigns, at best, skimmed around the edges of the reality of an out-vote for our generation. Brexit will undoubtedly change your life, but not in the way they said it would.
Here’s how (as told by a Bremainer – you may be able to tell).
About that cheap summer holiday….
Bad news on this one. The damage done to the pound means that – short term at least – exchanging currency and buying things abroad will be a whole lot more expensive. The value of our currency should gradually recover as the markets stabilise, but for now, that cheap holiday is not looking so cheap.
About that year abroad…
One of the stalwarts of the Lisbon Treaty was to guarantee the free movement of people between EU nations. The most prominent reason Britons voted to leave was was to stop this, and curb the influx of EU immigrants “taking our bloody jobs”, as the saying goes. On the streets of Britain, then, it is likely there will be less newly arrived men and women from the EU. Make of that what you will.
On the flip side, it will make moving to mainland Europe more difficult for Brits. Short trips may require visas, and longer stays could be limited in terms of duration or require application processes (much like travelling to the States). This will have a huge effect on the hordes of young Brits who move to vibrant international cities like Barcelona, Lisbon and Berlin each year. It will also effect studying abroad, as the much-loved Erasmus study abroad scheme is fundamentally linked to EU membership.
About that job…
It remains to be seen whether international businesses will stick with the UK when it is no longer part of the commercially beneficial single market. If they decide to leave, there will obviously be a huge impact on employment prospects. Whatever happens, Britain will need to develop new statutory rules to guarantee workers’ rights, which was previously ensured by the EU. If you work in an organisation that relies heavily on trade with European nations, the coming years are likely to be marred with uncertainty, and if Brexit has a detrimental effect on our economy (as it currently looks like it will), that will in turn lessen job opportunities. Great.
About those January sales…
More so than any before us, we are a consumer generation. Us Brits love to shop. In a globalised world, many of our products come from abroad. We will now have to renegotiate trade deals with countries that put goods on British shelves. If tariffs or taxes are added to imports coming into the country, it is likely this will knock-on into higher prices for shoppers. It has been estimated that just under 30% of what is in your corner shop comes from the EU. These products will now face different rules upon being imported, and therefore face price hikes. So the £5 munch may become the £5.50 munch, 110s may become 120s.
British diversity, yeah, about that too…
There are a lot of things we don’t participate in, but are nonetheless effected by. Leaving the EU may make buying European players more costly or difficult, which could affect the talent within the Premier League. Depending on new immigration rules, it may also mean less European nurses and doctors to staff our NHS, which would have dire consequences. Over the coming years, you are likely to see things change around you, and ask why. The answer to a lot of those questions will be Brexit.
There is, as you may have noticed, a lot of ifs and maybes peppered throughout this piece, this whole EU shenanigans in fact. A bit like breaking up with a partner, after our emotive and dramatic decision, no-one can be certain exactly what the ramifications will be. Just that they will be big, and we might just come to regret it.