BREXIT: why it involves you
Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. This subject has dominated news channels for years now. The idea that Britain would soon leave the European Union is ludicrous! But after months of hearing the arguments over the details of Brexit, It is easy to see why so many of us are simply not interested in the subject anymore. It all seems to focus on economy and politics in such small details that nothing would seem to impact the daily life of a student here in the Netherlands. This however, may not be true. With discussions underway at the moment, all we can do is speculate. However, there are many factors in which Brexit may directly affect your life if it does in fact occur.
1. Products you may not be able to buy anymore
The Netherlands and the UK are extremely close in trade. A break in the European Union would have a big impact on UK imports. meaning that many products that have been imported from the UK will either no longer be available or will no longer be affordable. This will also greatly damage the business of the many British expat stores that are scattered over the Netherlands.
2. Travelling to the UK
Britain was never the easiest country in the EU to travel to in the first place, but ravel requires little documentation and no stressful borders. This may no longer be true in the case that Brexit takes place. Travelling to the UK may become more expensive and require a visa for EU citizens. This would also affect those who would like to study in Britain and move there from the Netherlands. As it will become more labor intensive and expensive, if it is still possible, however, it will be easier to move to britain if you have a university education already behind you. Luckily, as things stand right now, politicians are careful not to harm or change the lives of British expats living in the Netherlands.
3. The economy equals your money
As I mentioned already, the Netherlands and the UK are incredibly close trade partners. This relationship goes both ways and a large majority of the Netherlands’ exports go the UK. This means that a lot of its income also comes from the UK. In the situation of Brexit, The Dutch economy would suffer a major blow as they may have to pay fees in order to export products. What does this mean for you? Well, considering this is the case for many countries within the EU, it is possible that the euro loses some value, which means less bang for your buck when you travel. This also means that products may become more expensive here to compensate, which means less bang for your buck at home too.
Britain is also trying to reclaim its rights to the sea around it when it comes to fishing, and this means kicking out other European countries who fish on their own shoreline, particularly France and the Netherlands. This means that fish may not be as available anymore or that fish may have to be imported, causing a rise in prices.
5. Looking to work in the UK after studying
The Brexit deal has given guidelines to those from the EU who are looking for employment in the UK. If you are looking for a job in the UK at the time of Brexit, you will be allowed 6 months to do so after your arrival, after that, you will not be allowed to stay. Going forward, it is unclear what the process would be for someone who would like to look for employment after Brexit has taken place, but it will definitely be more difficult.
As a whole, Britain really is in uncharted territory. No one can say with confidence what the consequences will be. One thing that is clear is that the Netherlands and therefore our lives are involved in this mess as much as those who live in the UK.