Brexit talks are at crisis point this week, and it’s all balancing on a knife-edge. If an agreement can’t be settled on, we could find ourselves on the receiving end of a No Deal Brexit.
There are endless debates about whether Britain will align with the EU after December 31st. That’s the date when the transition period ends. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed that he will leave with No Deal if he has to.
But what does that actually mean in real terms?
Holidays might be a little different
You can still go on holiday once we leave, as both sides have said flights will continue. Before Brexit Brits could travel around Europe as much as they pleased. This will change unless a deal is struck, with a limit of 90 days a year. If you’re looking to holiday for longer than that or plan to work or study, you might need to get a visa. You might need to show proof you have a return or an onwards ticket, and also show you have enough money to cover your trip. It’s similar to the process you might experience visiting the US. You might also have to join a longer queue at border control. From 2022 Brits will need to buy a Visa-waiver for £6, that lasts for three years.
Food might be more expensive.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said this week that we may experience “some impact” on food prices. It depends on if the UK fails to get a trade deal with the EU. Pork and beef would be hardest hit, he admitted. He said: “Obviously if we don’t have a trade agreement with the EU we will be applying tariffs to some of those imports and that’s likely to mean that in the short term there would be a small, modest increase in food prices.”
When the Brexit referendum result was first announced, many feared the worst for a house price crash. The Bank Of England released a report in 2018 warning a No-Deal Brexit could lead to the economy shrinking and a forecasted fall of 30% for houseprices. Since then though, a stamp duty holiday has been put in place until March 2021 which has been helping. House prices have seen a rise of 7.6% this year. The bigger question than Brexit is whether the stamp duty holiday will be extended.
One of the iconic images that the Leave campaign referred to was changing the passports to a British one. Instead of the current burgundy with the European Union written on it, any new or renewed passports will now be blue without reference to the EU.
The free EHIC health insurance cards will no longer be valid for most
Before Brexit, you could apply for a free EHIC health insurance card, that entitled you to the same treatment at state-run hospitals and GPs that locals receive, at the same cost. EHICs won’t be valid for travel from 1 January 2021 onwards. Some people will still be eligible, including expat pensioners and students studying in the EU and Switzerland who are studying there on December 31st 2020 and it will last for as long as they continue to be covered by the withdrawal agreement. It’s now very important to make sure you have suitable travel insurance before heading on holiday.
The music industry fears a No-Deal Brexit will be “catastrophic” for British touring artists
Many music industry insiders believe that a No-Deal Brexit will create a ‘glass ceiling’ for bands when it comes to touring, making it difficult for new bands. Jeremy Pritchard of Everything Everything told NME: “The glass ceiling is getting higher and higher all the time the more the prospect of a No Deal Brexit looms. There’s a huge swathe of artists in the lower to middle tier, which includes rising talent, my own band and loads that are more successful than us, where touring Europe just won’t be a viable option any more. It would shrink the industry and only privilege the very wealthy and already successful. It would be catastrophic.”
“It’s not as simple as saying, ‘We can’t trade live music with Europe any more so we’ll just have to do it in this country’. There are only so many times you can play in the UK before it becomes ever-decreasing circles. There are going to be more people competing for fewer jobs. That’s a famously depressive economic situation…. We’ve done American tours before that have cost us £30-40,000 because of the visas, the distances, the travel, and the minimum number of crew you take with you – it just spirals. The same thing is going to happen just 12 miles across the channel.”
Images via Alamy