BREXIT … the time is now!
Whilst writing I decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the information we had available back in May 2016 before the vote to leave…
We talked about the government gaining the ability to implement a different migration policy, with criteria probably set according to people’s skills and professions, rather than where they come from. Accordingly, the quality of migrant labour could rise, boosting Britain’s productivity performance and plugging labour shortages in specific sectors.
The United Kingdom should also be freed from many of the European Union’s restrictive regulations (such as the Agency Workers’ Directive, which gives temporary workers the rights of full-time workers).
Trade and the manufacturing industry
Official trade statistics from 2015 showed that the European Union is the destination of about half of all British goods exports. The share was a little lower if services exports are included too but is still a sizeable 45%. Given that total exports account for 30.5% of British output, this means that the value of all goods and services exports to the European Union are equal to 14% of the overall United Kingdom economy. However, The Office for National Statistics estimates that exports that pass through the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam are counted as exports to the European Union, but are bound for re-export outside it. The trade statistics show that 7.9% of Britain’s goods exports go to the Netherlands and 4.3% to Belgium /Luxembourg, but the true figures of exports with these countries as the final destination will be lower than this (Office for National Statistics, Newport, 2015).
So let’s take a look at the current picture …
Source: Office for National Statistics
Notes:The arrow direction indicates whether a component has increased or decreased, while the colour denotes the impact the direction of a movement has on the trade balance. For example, an increase in imports is denoted by an upward red arrow, as a rise in imports has a negative impact on the trade balance. An increase in the trade in goods deficit will be indicated by an upwards red (dark) arrow as this would have a negative impact on the balance.
The trade surplus widened in the three months to November 2019, driven by rising exports. We can see below the three month change in goods trading with EU and non EU countries …
So which countries is the UK mainly trading goods with, let’s take a look at the figures for 2018 …
UK TRADING WITH
Source: UK Trade Statistics, Office for National Statistics
Source: UK Trade Statistics, Office for National Statistics
Clearly there are advantages for both sides in continuing a close commercial arrangement post BREXIT. Given the scale of trade interdependence between the United Kingdom and the European Union’s members, and the advantages of maintaining a close commercial arrangement, there would be little to be gained on either side from hostile trade relations after Brexit.
Financial services and the City
London’s pre-eminent position as a global financial centre predates the single market. The City possesses intrinsic advantages, including Britain’s legal system, the English language, a convenient time zone perfectly placed between the working hours of Asia and New York, openness to immigrants, a large pool of skilled labour and a critical mass of expertise in support services such as accounting and law.
Even if exports to Europe did suffer, these losses could be offset over the long term by the greater opportunities to boost trade with non-European Union countries.
CHANGE – UNCHARTERED TERRITORY FOR EXPATS LIVING IN SPAIN
There are approximately 1.2 million UK nationals living in other EU countries, with the lions share living in Spain (an estimated 310,000) with the majority living in the coastal areas. The demographics and geography of our expats are that whilst Barcelona for instance host the younger working expat population, the Costas (Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol) tend to be the places most populated by retirees who like the close proximity to the UK when it comes to their ability to visit family and vice versa.
Concerns over migration have formed a massive part of the BREXIT campaign, leaving many UK nationals living in other EU countries feeling very vulnerable.
At the time of writing, the UK is due to exit the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement on Friday 31 January 2020.
UK nationals and their non-EU family members who are legally residing in Spain before the end of the transition period of 31 December 2020 should maintain the right to reside and work in Spain. They will continue to be treated as EU citizens for the duration of the transition period and thus maintain the full right of free movement within the EU in line with Directive 2004/38/EC.
During the transition period the UK/EU are to negotiate the future relationship.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY – HELPING OUR EXPAT COMMUNITY THROUGH THE CHANGE
As always there are those who seem to seize the opportunity to ‘declare’ that they have all the answers and full knowledge of how BREXIT will impact our expat community. However, we feel that the sharing of accurate information is much more important.
Communication is crucial and I urge anyone in our expat community to think about their own situation, residency, tax and Driving Licence if still driving on a UK Licence. I strongly urge anyone to take advantage of our free financial review to ensure that you have all your ‘ducks lined up’ by the end of 2020 … ignorance is not always bliss!!!
If you would like assistance from us contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Speed Financial Solutions are a highly qualified financial services provider looking after clients throughout Spain and the UK. We provide a discreet and comprehensive service to individuals, and our service is tailored to suit your needs taking advantage of tactical opportunities as they arise in respect of your pension planning. We seek innovative solutions for our clients and employ our skills, based on many years of experience, to apply tax legislation to your advantage. Our relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. We are ready to answer your questions, giving you the confidence you want when dealing with a sensitive issue such as discussing your pensions, investments and savings.
Our Principal, Andrea Speed, is a qualified Discretionary Investment Manager specialising in Investment and Risk, and a qualified Pension Specialist among other areas, including Taxation and Trusts. Andrea is also a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), which is the world’s largest professional body for insurance and financial services in the world.
Fellowship is the highest qualification awarded by the CII and is universally regarded as the premier qualification. It is a major achievement in the financial industry and demonstrates the acquisition of skills and knowledge at the highest of levels.
Along with a Fellowship, Andrea is a CII Chartered Financial Planner.
Please take a look at our website – www.speedfinancialsolutions.com
For further information contact us on Tel 951 315 271 or 951 318 529
We are happy to discuss your own situation in more detail. One of our advisers would be pleased to spend some time with you either in your home or at our office to review your current savings, investments and pensions, so do call to make an appointment. Our Financial Review is completely free of charge and without obligation. Follow us on Facebook for regular updates.
The contents published are not recommendations or decision aids for your investment decisions and they do not constitute any type of advice. We are not tax advisers and independent tax advice should always be sought.
Andrea J Speed FPFS (DM), M.A.
Principal, Fellow and Chartered Financial Planner
Speed Financial Solutions
30 January 2020