The fate of UK citizens is currently hanging by a thread, as MPs fail to agree upon one singular exit deal. At the reluctance of some EU states, the UK has been granted several Brexit extensions. But even so, there is no clear resolution upon the horizon
On Thursday 21st March, there was a crucial vote that allowed Britain to request a fruther Brexit delay in order to negotiate a fresh deal. The UK was granted the extension of article 50 by the EU to formulate a new deal, but currently, the UK has no tangible plan for going forward.
There has now been a further extension until 31st October with the caveat that if the government can agree upon a deal, then the UK can leave the European Union much sooner. But this has done little to quell the nation’s sense uncertainty as various options continue to be exhausted in parliamentary debates.
The prime minister’s deal has consistently failed to muster enough support to be ratified by the Commons, however, May remains confident in her attempts to push forward. The remaining options are major renegotiation, another referendum and, of course, the potential of a no deal Brexit.
Despite the uncertainity, one thing remains clear: a hard-Brexit could have tremendous implications for the UK, from trade to employment- many citizens could be affected by this decision. As a member of the public, it can often feel as though you have no voice or say in matters as they unfold. But educating yourself on the possible outcomes can help you to be more prepared and more aware of how this could affect you. Below are just some of the ways a no-deal Brexit could affect you.
You May Need to Renew Your Passport Early
At present, the UK can enter ‘Schengen area’ countries with a valid passport that has 1 day remaining before expiration. However, in the event of a No-Deal Brexit, this will no longer be applicable. Instead, if you have 6 months or less remaining on your passport, you may be prohibited from entering another country.
EU Citizens Will Have Fewer Rights To Remain in the UK
Currently, there are more than 3 million EU citizens living in the UK. Despite Brexit, EU citizens can apply to remain in the UK by registering for “settled status” with the government.
However, in the case of a no-deal Brexit, immigration laws will become much stricter, as this will only be applied before 29th March. Ultimately, UK Immigration Law will now be based on a skill-based level and free-movement between the UK and the EU will be halted.
Supermarkets Could Run Out of Food
UK supermarkets are currently stockpiling food in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This is because of the growing concern that trading deals could be severed between the EU and the UK if no deal is agreed upon.
In December, it was revealed that there could be a disruption in the supply chain in the event of a hard Brexit. Because of this, local supermarkets and fast-food chains such as KFC could be disrupted for up to a month, some reports suggest.
Lorries Could Take Over the Motorways
It’s been warned that in the event of a No-Deal Brexit, the motorways (such as the M20) could be backed up with lorries leaving from the Port of Dover. Operation Brock was initiated during the lead up to Christmas, to simulate deliveries in the event of a no deal Brexit. The delays would be caused by delays at the border.
The Dover Harbour Board chief has warned that there could be lorries stretching for over 17 miles, should May fail to secure a deal before the UK leaves the EU. This would also mean that one side of the motorway would be solely for lorries.
Perfumes and Everyday Medicines Will Cost More
At present, ingredients in everyday medicine can be traded within the EU without needing a license. In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK will need to acquire a license, which will result in added expense to the consumer.
Without an exit deal, firms who want to trade these popular chemicals with the EU will have to register with the Home Office, which will come with the added expense of £109-£3,655. In addition to this, firms will also need an import and export license which will cost £24. Experts believe that this added cost will be reflected in an increased retail price.
Cheap Coach Holidays Could Face Cancellation
UK coach drivers could be restricted from entering the EU, which could put a stop to cheap coach holidays. At present, the EU is part of an “Interbus Agreement”, which allows coach drivers to frequently enter the various countries in the EU with holiday makers.
The UK government is currently planning to rejoin this agreement as a third party user, in order to reduce any delays or cancellations that this could cause.
Local Hospitals Could Run Out of Medicine
It’s been revealed that NHS chiefs fear local hospitals could run out of medicine in the event of a no Deal Brexit. If ports are gridlocked, patients could be deprived of life-saving drugs and medical equipment. However, the Cabinet minister has stated that officials are currently working to reduce this.
Civil Unrest Could Take Over
In an unlikely scenario, social unrest could erupt and take over the streets after Britain has left the EU. The government has hired crisis professionals in the event that this becomes a reality.
You Could Notice More Troops in the Streets
It’s been revealed that over 3,000 troops are being held at readiness in case there is a disastrous no-deal Brexit. This will be a combination of reserves and full time employed army people.
In the event of a hard Brexit, the UK will be classed as being high risk, so the government has put measures in place to minimise any damage or social unrest that occurs during this instance.
Your Job Could be at Risk
Many international businesses that have UK offices have announced that they are planning to move from the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Instead, many jobs will either be outsourced to non-UK citizens. For example, Airbus, which employs 14,000 people in the UK has threatened to move elsewhere.
It’s feared that investors will be hesitant to invest in the UK, meaning that future generations will also be affected.
Your Divorce Could Be Halted
In the event of a hard Brexit, the UK will cease to be part of the EU family courts, which means that midway through divorce or child custody cases involving another EU country, could be left in limbo.
Smokers Will Have to Pay More and Cigarette Packets Will Become More Graphic
Currently, the images that are used in the cigarette packages are copyright owned by the Europeans Commission. So in the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK will be replaced with the Australian version of packets, which are notoriously more gruesome in their nature.
You Could Lose Your Consumer Rights
Currently, all of your consumer rights are protected under EU law, which will be revoked in the event of a hard Brexit. The UK court is not recognised as an arbiter for consumer rights, so Brits could be potentially stripped of their current consumer rights too. Therefore, if a product is faulty or dangerous from outside the UK, it will be much harder to take any legal action or to make a complaint.
You Could Be Stranded On Your Package Holiday
Flights to the UK could be grounded and holiday makers could be left without any legal representation or protection if the firm they booked with goes bankrupt. Under current UK law, Brits currently have insolvency protection, however this will cease to be the case if no deal is agreed upon.
Your Data Roaming Charges Will Spike
Almost 2 years ago, major UK mobile providers slashes data roaming charges, meaning that Brits could use their phone without any additional charges inside the EU.
Mobile companies, including EE, O2 and Vodafone have expressed that they have made no plans to increase data roaming charges after Brexit.
Blackouts Could Be Experienced
The UK could experience blackouts, especially in Northern Ireland. No Deal Brexit could scupper the ‘All-Island’ electricity, which is shared between Northern Ireland and the Republic. This could mean that there is no legal basis. In this event, Ireland must rely on fall-back arrangements for electricity.
Hiring A Car in the EU Will Be Much Harder
At present, renting a car in the EU is a simple process, however, this could become more complicated. Instead of being able to use your UK driving license, you would instead have to get an International Driving Permit. Experts predict that these sales will increase into the millions should this policy be enforced.
Using Popular Sites Abroad Such As Netflix and Spotify Could Be Stopped
While travelling to EU states, UK citizens may be banned from using Spotify and Netflix. This is because the “portability regulation” will be stripped from Britons who are travelling to EU states. This means that these content providers will not be required to offer cross-border access to their services.
Airport Security Will Become Much Tighter
UK citizens may have to undergo two security screenings, being checked in the UK and then again in the EU state before getting on a connecting flight. Currently, the UK aviation security system is recognised by the EU as a credible source, however the EU could refuse to recognise the UK as a credible security source after Brexit.
Your Holiday Flight Could Be Grounded
There is a possibility that airlines and travel companies go bust in the event of a hard Brext, which means that thousands of Brits could be left stranded on holiday, or in the UK.
The government has also admitted that the UK would have to win permission from every individual country in the EU to be allowed to fly there from the UK. However, the UK drums up a large proportion of tourism in popular countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy, so it’s unlikely that this will be the case.
House Prices Could Fall
If the stock market crashes, then the value of properties could plummet in the UK. This means that anybody who is looking to sell their house could be faced with massive financial losses. House prices have already plummeted since the referendum in 2016 and property experts are urging first-time buyers to hold off on securing a fixed rate mortgage, as prices are likely to drop.
Your EHIC May No Longer Be Valid
After Brexit, UK citizens will no longer be allowed to renew their EHIC card and if the UK leaves without a deal, then the existing cards will no longer be valid. The UK currently has 27 million EHIC cards issued, which cover pre-existing medical conditions as well as emergency care within the EU.
The government has instructed that in the event of a hard Brexit, UK holiday makers should purchase holiday insurance just as you would in ant non-EU country. Currently, the UK government is not known to have made many agreements in terms of healthcare at present.
Your Travel Insurance May Not Cover You
The general consensus is that prices for European travel insurance will eventually rise. Several insurance companies have claimed that they could not guarantee cover for disruption caused if we crash out of the bloc.
UK citizens are being advised to check with their individual insurance companies when travelling abroad after Brexit. UK nationals could also face additional questioning at passport checkpoints, which could cause huge delays in the meantime.
There is still a huge amount of uncertainty as to what is going to happen after Britain leaves the EU. However, it’s important as a UK citizen, to prepare for any scenario that may arise.
About the Author
Alice Porter is an avid writer who works closely with the Immigration Solicitors in order to help prepare everyone for the outcomes of Brexit.