With Theresa May’s Brexit deal being voted down (again) by MP’s, the seemingly ever-lasting feeling of uncertainty around Britain leaving the European Union (EU) looks set to continue. As it stands, Britain is set to leave the EU on the 29th of March 2019 and have voted against leaving with no deal at that time.
However, this vote is not legally binding, meaning we could still leave without a deal in place further down the line, even if Brexit is delayed. But is a no-deal Brexit worth considering at any time? For this post, we’ve looked into the consequences of a no-deal Brexit to find out.
The result of the 2014 Scottish referendum for independence from the UK was 55% in favour of remaining a part of the UK. A key factor in Scotland’s decision to remain a part of the UK at this time was so they could retain their status as a member of the EU. Since the beginning of Brexit, however, calls for a second Scottish referendum have increased rapidly. It’s also important to note that, during the 2016 European Referendum, 62% of Scottish voters voted to remain in the EU. So even if Britain leaves the EU with a deal, it seems another Scottish referendum would be likely to happen. And if we leave without one, surely it would be a dead certainty?
Immigration and people
If Britain leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would be able to set its own immigration controls. However, the EU would be able to do the same for Britain. This could lead to long delays at borders due to increased checks at customs. With 1.3 million British expats living in the EU and 3.7 million Europeans living in Britain, there’s also no certainty over either group’s rights to work and live.
Lower house prices
Mark Carney, the Governor for the Bank of England, believes that house prices could fall by as much as 35% over a three-year period, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Whilst this sounds like it could be great for any first-time buyers but not for homeowners, this could also see mortgage rates, the pound and inflation fall sharply.
Under a no-deal scenario, the EU has said that the UK would have a ‘third country’ status. Essentially, this means that any trade between the UK and the EU will become subject to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules for imports and exports. Under WTO rules, tariffs could be as high as 38%, which would make almost everything more expensive.
Massive reductions in Gross domestic product (GDP)
The Confederation of British Industry warned that a no-deal Brexit would cause GDP to shrink by up to 8%. Not only would this put thousands of jobs at risk, but the new tariffs facing business firms and the disruption to UK ports that is likely to occur means business owners could be set to lose out on millions.
The only thing that’s for sure with Brexit is that nothing’s for sure. The tumultuous nature of events that have succeeded the 2016 referendum have provided less certainty on what comes next as they’ve occurred. But whilst we may not know what is yet to come, it seems that a no-deal Brexit should not be a possibility. Whether or not this is the case, however, there simply is no way for us to know.