With Brexit ostensibly “done”, all that remains it seems is to pick up the pieces. This week all eyes are on Northern Ireland, as disputes continue between the UK and EU with both sides eager to avoid further violence but neither it seems keen to giveaway ground.
We are also beginning to witness the impact of Brexit on business in the UK, with the banking and car industries already facing ramifications. Whether these losses will eventually balance out, only time will tell.
Northern Ireland in crisis
Recent weeks have seen violence in Northern Ireland rise to its worst level in many years as clashes between republican and loyalist groups, and the police continue.
The riots in Belfast, made up mostly of teenagers, had a number of causes, but are certainly underscored by concerns around the country’s future now that the UK has left the EU. Whitehouse’s Lucy Hannon takes a closer look at the driving factors behind the disruption here.
In a conciliatory move, talks between the UK and the EU have been accelerated in an effort to ease the tensions, and have been described as “productive” by Brexit Minister David Frost.
Exodus in the city
In a blow to London’s reputation as a financial hub, new figures compiled by the think tank New Financial have revealed that 440 banking and financial firms have relocated parts of their business post-Brexit, moving around £900 billion worth of assets to the EU.
Dublin and Paris have been popular destinations, with banks such as BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and HSBC transferring part of their operations there. The investment bank JP Morgan have also warned they are considering leaving London.
There is hope however that in the future European businesses will open offices in the UK redressing the balance.
Jobs at risk
A car parts firm in South Wales is considering closing its Ystrad Mynach site in Caerphilly county, with 200 jobs at risk.
Kautex Textron said that provisional conversations about staff reductions had begun with union leaders, blaming Brexit and Covid as key reasons for the move.
Experts have been warning for a long time that the UK’s exit from the European Union would be especially challenging for the car industry.
Don’t come fly with us
Pigeon owners in the north east of England have expressed their concerns that their birds could face three-week quarantines for races under new EU rules.
The new legislation, to be introduced next week, would require birds entering France for races to be detained for quarantines, before they could be released in the EU.
Racing enthusiasts claim this would them unfit to compete and The Royal Pigeon Racing Association is seeking an exemption.
The former Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned that France could be the next country to leave the European Union if President Macron did not take lessons from the UK’s departure.
Ahead of next year’s presidential elections in France Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party, is currently leading opinion polls.
Barnier told a conference on Brexit and the future of the EU that “We could draw some lessons from Brexit for ourselves. It’s now too late for the UK but not for us.”
The Whitehouse team are experts in the impact of Brexit, providing political consultancy and public affairs advice to a wide range of clients across the Member States of the European Union and the United Kingdom. More information about our Brexit experience can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse.