Brexit has loomed over British culture for over three years now. So far, the Conservative government is having trouble delivering on Brexit. Theresa May famously insisted that a plan for Brexit would be delivered by the deadline of March 29, 2019. No deal that she presented to Parliament could be passed. Then the deadline was pushed back to October 31, 2019. Now, a new PM, Boris Johnson, is struggling to craft a deal that Parliament will accept.
All of this back-and-forth is proving to be bad for business. Estimates are that the UK’s economy has been held back due to Brexit. Estimates are that the economy is 1.5 to 2.5% smaller than it would be if Britain had voted to remain in the European Union.
Small and medium businesses are also worried about what will happen when and if Brexit goes through. Leaving the European Union means potentially losing a large market for export. This won’t just affect sales; small businesses will be hurt on the import side, too. Brexit will mean paying VAT upfront. Other duties will also be added to the price of goods from the EU.
Brexit will also affect the level of investment in British businesses. British entrepreneurs have benefitted from the European Investment Fund. This organization was designed to help grow small and mid-sized companies throughout Europe. Since the EIF works through banks instead of making direct loans, it’s not well known among the public. Since 1994, the EIF has committed more than 2 billion pounds to UK ventures.
The UK’s film and entertainment industry could be particularly hard-hit by Brexit. Leaving the EU means losing the benefits that come with being a part of Creative Europe. Britain is starting to have a significant footprint in the world of art again, and it would be a shame to lose any momentum.
Most of all, the lack of a deal is starting to make it hard for businesses of all sizes to operate in Britain. No one really knows what will happen to corporate taxes post-Brexit. Some multinationals are considering relocation to the mainland. Small business owners don’t have that option. They are having to make big decisions with little indication of what the future holds.