Brexit Outline: What is the UK Government’s Plan for Brexit?

Brexit Outline: What is the UK Government's Plan for Brexit?

A Quick Recap on Brexit

Back in June 2016, the result of a referendum was that 51.9% of voters chose to Leave the EU. David Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister of the UK, and Theresa May replaced him. She triggered Article 50 on 29th March 2017. This legislation means that the UK has two years to negotiate our withdrawal with the rest of the EU states. However, the deadline is fast approaching. The UK is due to leave the EU at 11pm on Friday 29th March 2019. Theresa May has finally drafted an agreement with the EU, as well as a political declaration outlining future relations. UK Parliament will be voting on the agreement on 11th December 2018. It will then go to a vote in the European Parliament if it passes. If not, the UK could face leaving the EU with no deal, which would result in chaos. Formal negotiations on any official Brexit deal will only get underway when Brexit officially happens in March. This is what is happening and what could happen to affect the path of Brexit between now and then:

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Unemployment Claimants Fall after Brexit

It was the vote that rocked the nation, but as the majority of Britain decided their country would be better off leaving the EU, fears and rumours surrounded the country about just what would happen once we severed our ties with the rest of Europe. One of the main issues up for debate was of course unemployment, an issue that has plagued Britain for decades , with many feeling that a Brexit would worsen the rate of employment, with experts predicting that employment would fall by about 9,500 after the results were announced. It seems that in true British fashion, its people have done their best to prove the predictors of their fate as wrong, and employment levels have in fact risen in the past few months. The results have been determined by the drop in claimants for the unemployment benefit Jobseeker’s Allowance with the claimant count falling to 763, 600, which is a huge 8, 600 in July and is the first monthly drop since February 2016. People at a new job after Brexit

It seems that UK unemployment has never been higher as for the past three months the average employment rate has stayed steady at 4.9% with the average weekly earnings rising by 2.3%, and imporvement on the previous 2.2%. The number of people not in work but actively seeking employment has emerged as 1.64 million which is the lowest it has been since March – May 2008, maybe Brexit wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Could it be argued that the fear for our economy after Britain left the EU has scared people into seeking employment? The huge rise in employment rate for 16-64 year olds is explained by the fact Britain has now left the EU, with the 74.5% employment rating being the highest it has been since 1971. It seems that speculation of a failing economy and a jobless Britain was nothing but that, speculation, as Britain thrives in its new (and improved?) environment. With two unfavourable factors that were predicted top come with a Brexit, proved wrong, could this mean that Britain isn’t in for as rough a ride as people first thought?!

Not over yet

Maybe not. UK economists are warning that we are not out of hot water just yet. The risk that Brexit poses to the economy, and the chances that investments will freeze means that employers are putting hiring on the back burner, meaning there are in fact going to be less jobs available in the upcoming quarter. Whilst some might opt to put a few hiring decisions on hold, some will completely stop headcount altogether. If there are no businesses to hire employees, then there are fears that this great rise in employment will soon come crashing back down. As much as it is important for workers to keep and find jobs, it is also understandably important that business owners take everything into consideration, including the rising annual wage prices which could have a huge effect if the post-Brexit economy is damaged yet businesses still decide to take on more employees.

Conclusively, as time goes on, it is becoming apparent that the bomb that David Cameron had warned was under the economy hasn’t exploded as expected as Britain are seeing little if any effects of a failing economy as of yet. Now we wait to see if it will appear.

Keep Calm and Carry On – HMRC Assures Panicked Taxpayers

A shock EU referendum result has rocked the UK in the past week, and the effects that will ensue are concerning the majority of its citizens. There is no doubt that tough times are ahead, particularly where the economy is concerned, and it seems people are fretting over just how much of our system is going to be affected. HMRC has issued a message to reassure the that nothing has changed…yet.

HMRC were quick to issue a ‘carry on’ message that stated that no laws were changed since the result was released and a Brexit confirmed. The message is cleverly recorded and played out when the helpline is called. The audio assures callers of no change to any taxes, tax credits, general HMRC services or child benefits as a result of the referendum. Although it is somewhat of a given that financial services will change in the future, in the immediate aftermath, nothing has, or will be altered. Those that didn’t vote for a Brexit, or even those that did, are desperately anticipating the political changes that are in store. As chaos ensues, HMRC stresses that there is no need to contact HMRC as a result of the referendum as everything will run as normal.

There is no denying that the country is now at a risk of recession after leaving the European Union, and when the bigger picture is viewed, there will almost certainly be changes to tax laws and benefits, but if people start jumping the gun and ignoring tax deadlines, a financial deficit will come much sooner than expected.

Following the controversial result of the referendum, was the resignation of Prime minister David Cameron, which plunges the UK into further uncertainty. As a result of the UK’s departure, article 50 must be put into place, David Cameron has announced that it will not be triggered until a new Prime minister has been elected and there is a clearer picture of the country’s future. He wants to leave the dealings of article 50 (rules that apply to how a state leaves the EU) to his successor, as he notoriously campaigned for a ‘remain’ result. It is now left to decide who is strong enough to actually get things under way, with the risk of the collapse of a country on their shoulders. With so much at stake it begs the question, will the UK actually leave the Eu at all? The process has yet to begin and will definitely be a slow and lengthy one.

In agreement with David Cameron, Leave campaigners such as Boris Johnson and George Osbourne have agreed that Article 50 should not be triggered immediately, with a slow and careful exit of the EU being safer and more logical. Whilst assuring us that the economy was in a strong enough state for what was to happen, he told people to expect a hard process of adjustment and uncertainty as this will be inevitable. He has, however, been sure to say that relationships with the EU will not change overnight.

Brexit and Benefits….What Might Happen

The EU Referendum is now a matter of days away, and with the odds so close on either side, it is impossible to call whether, by the 24th June, Britain will be in or out of the EU. With as good a chance as any that Britain will back independence after Leave voters top the polls, what might this mean for poorer families claiming benefits from the state? How are their rights affected? Will there be negative consequences for those that are most vulnerable?

Although claiming benefits is undeniably surrounded by stigma, a lot of people genuinely need financial support from the state in times of need, whether it be Job Seeker’s Allowance through unemployment, child tax credits to support a young family or disability allowance due to an unexpected accident. We all may need to rely on state support sometime or another, but will it be as readily available after a Brexit?

The main concerns should a Brexit occur are understandably employment, housing prices and wages in general. But what about the benefits that thousands of Britons need each year? According to pro-remain MP’s, being a part of the EU is beneficial for welfare, and a Brexit poses a big risk to this. However, Leave Campaigner and former secretary for the Department of Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith suggests the opposite. He claims that instead of having the duty of sending out benefits for migrant’s children, some who are not even living in the UK, the government will have the means to focus on our country. He calls the actions of providing for migrants an ‘absurd practice.’

Although benefits are ultimately controlled by the UK government and provided by them, the EU has also had its say in the way benefits work,l and with a Brexit, this could amount to big changes. It is likely that the government will go further in their quest to cut benefits to migrants, which may on the surface appear beneficial, but if the government goes into recession following a Brexit, they will have less money in the first place. As a result of this, a rise in benefits may not occur as the government will not have the capacity to be more generous, even if they wanted to.

It has also been warned that low income households may see a financial burden should Britain leave the EU and in a worst case scenario could lose over £5000 a year in tax credits and benefit payments. This is due to nothing other than a knock on effect. Leaving the EU would mean lower tax receipts and it is believed that a cut to benefits will be their first money saving tactic. Households will be affected when a Brexit worsens trade.

A lot of the attraction to vote Leave is because of a promise that less benefits are going to go to migrants leaving outside of the UK and instead will be handed to people in Britain. Whilst this appears to be a logical and fair solution, many people are saying that leaving the EU will not solve this and the solution is not as simple as some are making out.



What Would a Brexit Mean for your Employment Rights?

With the referendum looming, there has been a lot of discussion over what would actually happen if we were to leave the EU and go our separate ways. A topic that many people understandably have concerns over is our employment rights. Will they still stand should a Brexit occur? Or will we be left in the lurch when it comes to our jobs? In the past, many basic rights that we perhaps take advantage of in the workplace, such as maternity leave, holiday pay and the right to work free from any discriminations have been neglected from debates. The debates tend to focus on migrant welfare and child benefits, so what will really happen to our rights in the workplace that supposedly exist because of our EU involvement, if we decide to go?

The laws within the work place such as maternity leave, were introduced to the UK in the form of directives from the EU, but then implemented with new laws in the UK, so if they were to be overturned, they couldn’t be without parliamentary permission. This basically means that our employment rights may not be in as much danger as some might think. In fact, our rights in the workplace often exceed what is the EU minimum, maternity leave for example being 52 weeks in the UK, a big difference to the minimum of 14 weeks that the EU requires, leaving it doubtful that much change would occur should we leave. The same goes for holidays, with UK exceeding what is required in the EU.

Little to no change

Brexit know that any changes to these rights would be extremely unpopular with the British public and is not likely to swing voters, so they are keen to show how things will not change. We have strict discrimination laws within our workplaces and any changes to these would not be met with open arms. If things were to change, and Vote Leave won the vote, the withdrawal from the EU would be a lengthy process, and the status quo is not likely to change during this time. Although no-one knows what a Brexit would mean for the UK’s relationship with the EU until it happens, it is likely that the UK government will be required to stick to existing employment laws. Although sometimes forgotten/taken advantage of, a worker’s basic employment rights such as the right to breaks and paid holiday is important to them, and a government that dares mess around with something that is so ingrained into the way the UK works, would be an unpopular one – something of which they are extremely aware. Needless to say, if any unlikely change to rights did occur, aspects such as the minimum wage do not derive from our EU membership and so would not be affected.

Up for review

However, there are some rights that hang in the balance ahead of the big decision, such as  holiday entitlement to those that go off sick, workers may not have the right to carry their holiday entitlement to another year. Redundancies may also be affected, with a Brexit meaning workers may not have the right to be informed or consulted of redundancies before they occur. As it stands, compensation can be provided to anyone that successfully files a discrimination report, with no caps or restrictions, leaving the EU may restrict this. The treatment of agency workers at the moment, are expected to be the same as those in permanent employment, as well as requiring record keeping, that is a pet hate with employers. It is believed this right may suffer in the hands of a Brexit.

Life after the EU

Life after the EU, should Britain choose to leave, is pretty much unknown at the minute, but it is unlikely that a relationship built over 40 years, will completely breakdown. At a minimum, it is expected that some form of trade relationship will remain, and there would be a possibility of alternative set-ups such as a unique relationship between the EU and the UK. All of this being said, it seems that there should be little concern over what will happen to our employment rights should a Brexit occur, as things probably wont change much from what we already know.