Brexit: What Future for the UK?

Brexit has been relatively good to Trajectory, with uncertainty across industry creating a desire for some semblance of a potential reality as negotiations take place, and as the British government and European Union posture over the severance package.

Many theoretical options for the circumstances of our departure still remain; with the models of Canada, Turkey or the European Economic Area still on the table, with 6 sets of negotiations standing in the way of a final resolution. Transition arrangements, new trade agreements, new individual memberships of global bodies like the WTO, replacement trade treaties with the 53 countries that have EU trade deals, and the creation of new trade deals with new countries such as the US, India, and China all stand in the way of figuring out whether Brexit means Brexit.

The consequences will be significant, affecting our foreign policy, security, funding for academic research, and whether or not planes will take to the skies, and the house of cards of negotiations can fall down at any time for any reason.

These are the realities, but this debate has always been more about what we feel than what we know. Those who voted to leave the European Union remain significantly more optimistic about the future than those who voted to remain, and are significantly more positive about financial outlooks, both on national and household scales. This comes despite highly pessimistic projections about the future of the UK economy post-Brexit, with GDP set to be up to 6% lower in the next 15 years than if Brexit were not to happen.

Quantifying Brexit serves to further expose our sub-national divides, however. While London and the South East emerged relatively strongly from the financial crisis, many UK regions have experienced a lost decade, and while the trials and tribulations of financial services industry may not impact their lives noticeably, significant changes to smaller industries like fisheries and farming could have life altering consequences for entire communities elsewhere in the UK.

For Trajectory’s view on Brexit and the likely consequences, download our breakfast presentation.