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Analysis

9 ways Brexit could be really, really irritating

by Luke Lythgoe | 13.09.2018

The first batch of government warnings about crashing out of the EU with no deal described several nightmarish scenarios – exporters buried in red tape, expats losing access to pensions, billions lost in research funding. In contrast, the second batch reveals endless, time-consuming paperwork both for businesses and everyday tasks. Here are a few.

1. UK driving licences would no longer be valid in the EU. UK drivers would have to apply for one of two International Driving Permits (or both if, for example, you’re driving through France and Spain). These would be obtained for £5.50 from the Post Office – if it can keep up with the likely huge volume of applications.

2. Anyone with less than six months on their passports could be denied entry to EU countries.

3. Pharmaceutical companies would need new licences to sell “drug precursors” into the EU. These are chemicals that are used in commercial drug production but can also be used to make illegal drugs.

4. Organisations may struggle to share personal data if the EU doesn’t consider our data protection standards strong enough.

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5. Cosmetics companies may need to hire an EU-based staff member to carry out safety and other technical checks.

6. Car manufacturers will have to fill out extra paperwork to show their vehicles comply with EU safety standards.

7. People on the Northern Ireland border could be stung by “inadvertent roaming” charges if their network jumps onto a stronger signal in the Republic. The (potentially large) cost of this would remain “a commercial question for the mobile operators”, unlike guarantees given by the government to Brits travelling abroad to the EU.

8. The European Firearms Pass will no longer be valid for UK citizens. People wishing to travel with firearms (e.g. for sports competitions) would have to follow the rules of separate EU countries.

9. We’d have less warning of space debris crashing to Earth because we’d be outside the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking programme.

The examples above are mostly annoying rather than a threat to lives or livelihoods. They show that, put together with previous warnings, crashing out of the EU would clearly be both disastrous and tedious.

However, it’s also worth bearing in mind the government might have an ulterior motive in flagging up all these no-deal dangers and irritations. The worse “no deal” looks, the more appealing Theresa May’s miserable Chequers proposal – or even a vague Brexit deal with none of the details in place may look to a relieved public and MPs. Hugo Dixon has written about the dangers of this trap for InFacts today.

Both no deal and a vague deal are awful. Thankfully there’s a third option: a People’s Vote on whatever May manages to bring back from Brussels.

Tags: Categories: Economy

6 Responses to “9 ways Brexit could be really, really irritating”

  • What the hell is going on?
    When are we going to WAKE UP to the fact this is madness, Alice’s ventures in Wonderland were nothing compared with the trip we’re about to embark on!
    There is absolutely nothing good coming out of this.

    Please spread the word “People’s Vote”, it’s the only thread of reality we’ve to hang onto.

    Nick Hart

  • Now is the time to start pointing out to all our potential European holiday makers all the difficulties that Brexit will cause. I have spoken to people who will say “Oh lets get on with it” until I point out all the difficulties mentioned above plus the queues at immigration and customs they will face when arriving in European countries plus the likely necessity of visas in the future. The usual response is ” surely it won’t be like that” . It seems to me that most people think that those things will stay the same when we become what will be a foreign country to the EU. As a retired Airline Pilot who flew into Europe many times before we joined the EEC I saw all those queues, and I do not want my children and grandchildren to be subjected to that. We must keep on drawing peoples attention to those things which will affect them directly.

  • Sadly Brian far too many people think everything will be the exactly same as they have known for decades, but we just won’t be part of the EU. Many people are going to get a severe shock, but by then it will be too late.

  • Gove rather let the cat out of the bag today when he said the Chequers plan was right “for now” but a future Government could change it. Given his well-known views on a Hard Brexit, this can’t be seen as anything other than a not so subtle message to staunch Brexiteers, to accept any deal for now, just to get over the 29 March 2019 finishing line. If I was in the EU’s shoes, I would want to bear this in mind when coming to any agreement with the British Government. Would any agreement be any more meaningful than Hitler’s message for Chamberlain?

    Without a general election, we are pretty much in the hands of Conservative members, who they decide they want as leader, and therefore our PM. If we end up with Gove or Boris as PM that could create alot of bad blood with our EU neighbours and could screw up our relationship badly for the long term. Therefore, the sooner the anti Brexit forces get their act togther the better. The next couple of months will be crucial. Once we’re out, the EU themselves will just want to finish the process off, as further delay just prolongs uncertainties on their side.