On Thursday 26th June 2016 the voters of the United Kingdom cast their ballots in a simple in-or-out referendum to decide whether or not the country would withdraw from the European Union. Contrary to what many experts predicted, 52% of voters selected in favour of leaving and the government began planning the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The formalising of the bill is reaching its latter stages and Prime Minister Theresa May has now confirmed that the Brexit bill will be triggered on March 29th 2017. Once activated, the United Kingdom will have two years to complete negotiations on its withdrawal from the EU, to leave the country in the best possible position.
Whatever your feelings on the vote, and many people are still divided and debating to this day, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is a cold, hard fact. Despite almost endless speculation about the consequences of leaving such a vast economic and political union, nobody can really be certain on the outcome. However, it is that uncertainty which is causing a slowdown in the growth of the economy as businesses and consumers look to safeguard their futures. At The Insurance Emporium, we want our customers to be able to enjoy life’s adventures without the worry of what tomorrow might bring. That’s why we’ve put together a short guide to help you to understand Brexit and what the implications might be.
Again, as with most things Brexit-related, there is no substantiated evidence for this, but some experts have hypothesised that leaving the EU could see a rise in UK unemployment. Large multi-national corporations such as Microsoft, HSBC and General Motors have warned that they could pull their operations out of the country, leading to large job losses. What is certain is that your wages might not go as far when buying goods imported from Europe, such as groceries. If your monthly shopping bill goes up, you will definitely see an effect on your disposable income.
Many people predicted that mortgage rates would rise in the wake of the referendum result and, in fact, they were wrong. They actually fell, helped in part by the Bank of England cutting the leading Bank Rate in August 2016. However, inevitably, the rates began to rise again and they’ve gone from an all-time low of 0.99pc to the current low of just slightly over 1pc. Once the UK leaves the EU, there is a chance the rates could continue rising, so it could be worth looking at re-mortgaging now while they are still relatively low.
Nothing is certain in life, except death and taxes. So, unfortunately Brexit won’t be taking that burden off your hands! In the week before the referendum, the Chancellor at the time, George Osborne, warned that leaving the European Union could mean an increase in tax. As of the Spring Budget, on the 8th March 2017, there was no increase from the current standard of 20% for the basic rate and 40% higher rate, but that the economic impact from lower trade, investment and tax receipts from the EU could mean a 10p in the pound increase on both.
Saving rates tend to be less reactive than the stock market and exchange rates. They don’t respond to predictions as much as actual facts and results. Article 50 merely signals the start of the negotiations between Britain and the rest of the EU, the next two years should give a clearer indication of what the future holds. As of March 2017, savings rates seem to be rising rapidly, but this is only because they hit record lows following the referendum result. It could be prescient to closely monitor the financial news during the Brexit process to protect any investments you might have.
The strength of the pound is not only an indicator of how healthily our economy is performing but it also dictates how and where we can enjoy our leisure time. It’s a known fact that our little island can suffer from some drastically unpredictable weather during the British summertime. Brits love heading abroad but a fall in the value of the pound will make holidays more expensive, and not just to the EU. This isn’t just while you’re abroad either, both Ryanair and Easyjet have said that flights will have to become more expensive. It might be time to start exploring some of the UK’s hidden gems instead…
What has become clear, post-Brexit referendum and prior to the triggering of Article 50, is that nothing is clear! We will only really know the impact once negotiations are completed and the UK formally leaves the European Union in 2019. However, unpredictability breeds uncertainty and it can leave you worrying about your finances. Should money be tighter than it was before, then an unexpected event could leave you and your family struggling financially.
The Insurance Emporium offer Income Protection* that could help to protect you in the event of an unfortunate incident. With three different types of insurance, Redundancy, Accident & Sickness and Mortgage Protection, the Emporium could provide you with peace of mind and help you to get on with enjoying life and all of the adventures it holds!
* The Insurance Emporium income protection insurance is arranged by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd. ActiveQuote Ltd. is an aggregator not an insurer. They generate quotes from a panel of insurers.
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