Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Impacts of Brexit

Government waters continue to roil in the wake of the Brexit referendum.  Every day brings a surprise resignation, a pointless pronouncement, a bit of high irony.
The best ongoing commentary has  been the Guardian’s Op-Rd pieces, where writer after writer ladles sarcasm, snark, and wit over the self-inflicted chaos.   and I especially agree with their six practical take-aways:
1 Stop calling for a second referendum: it’s a bad idea for exactly the same reason the first one was.
2 Forget about the Conservative party: another six months watching them would be just as dispiriting, as enervating, as distracting as it is now.
3 Show solidarity with immigrants and refugees: people being told to go home need you as surely as you need them.
4 Insist upon a snap general election as a matter of common sense: A government in which both sides openly admit to not having a plan cannot simply blunder on without one.
5 Get on and build: demand the existing parties find a way to work together in the service of the fundamental principles of international cooperation and creative solidarity.
6 Turn up: When you see an event based around ideas that you share – go to it.
Personally, I have a more interesting set of challenges.
  • Business exports:  With my manufacturing sites now firmly planted  in the UK, I’m suddenly confronted with only having the UK as a market.  Ultimately, if there is a complete break, I’ll have to re-qualify for EU markets by moving production to a Member country, or gaining a certificate of conformity for my products.
  • Clinical trials:  There are reports that scientific researchers are becoming reluctant to partner with British institutions and personnel.  It may be more local presence to get local collaborations.
  • Suppliers:   We do testing in France, Ireland, and the US to get data that, while required by the British regulators, cannot be done in Britain.
  • Taxes:  At the moment, I am a Dutch resident on expat assignment to the UK.  My business and personal finances, reporting, and taxes are based in the Netherlands.  That cooperation may end, and new rules put into place about paying in Britain for monies earned in Britain.
  • Domicile:  My British Passport may gain me little towards residing in the EU.  For residency, property, business ownership, or pensions, it is likely that it creates more long-term problems than it solves.  I may be better to put my US foot forward in the EU.  Helpfully, the Dutch have established an Information Point for Brexit in Amsterdam to help people through their options.
There’s nothing that needs to be done immediately, and things will likely work through in ways that address my own concerns.  But it’s a bit of a spanner into the gears, just as our products are coming to market, just as I am transitioning to something better.

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