1,318 days ago the UK voted if not unanimously, majoritively to end a 43-year common relationship with Europe.
Of course, for many this relationship was and still is, a trade club, brought about to end the trade wars of a post-war Europe and to signify the unity of the continent that had been torn apart only 30 years earlier. For many, characteristically those who were born post-1980, Club-Europe stood for much more, it stood for the post-Maastricht Europe, free movement, common rights and working across ‘virtual’ boarders.
However, whatever camp you sat in, the last three and a half years’ have shown nothing dissimilar to the stages of grief.
1. Shock and denial.
This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings, shown by all. Remainers, as they came to be known, showed ardent disbelief that the vote had been to leave, Leavers were left numb that there was a severe lack of National celebration.
2. Pain and guilt.
Both sides leaders, political or otherwise went national, viral even, in trying to show the pain that not everyone felt the same, and guilt voters into feeling shame for their opinion.
3. Anger and bargaining.
Anger from the EU towards the attempted negotiations and bargaining by the UK to leave with a deal.
The Markets – Specifically in manufacturing, trading and buyer confidence, not only in the EU, but the shockwaves were felt further afield in Europe.
5. The upward turn.
Then came the Dec 2019 UK election and the strong majority Conservative Government, markets rose overnight and confidence has begun to return.
6. Reconstruction and working through.
New deals done, Brexit acts passed, we’re all looking forward not back….hopefully
7. Acceptance and hope
Today is the day, the day of acceptance and all being well, hope.
At 11pm on 31 January 2020 the UK will officially leave the European Union and cease to be a member state. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will then enter an in-between period during which time the UK will abide by EU rules despite no longer being a member. This transition period will allow businesses (and the government) to prepare and adjust to post-Brexit arrangements and is designed to prevent a sudden change to trade rules, laws, immigration and regulations which could have caused significant damage to both the UK and EU.
So for the time being, whilst the statutes and provisions are re-written, it’s business as usual, at least until 31.12.20, after that it’s Noel Edmunds’ boxes, deal – would undoubtedly include a loose free trade agreement and some-sort of customs union, no deal – the UK would rely on WTO terms for trade and the UN for security.
Today 31st January 2020 could be in 100 years’ time heralded as the UK’s greatest or worst day in history, but unlike June 2016 vote we won’t decide that, history will.
Of course the Motor Trade has not been unscathed by the Brexit debacle, confidence of both customers and manufacturers has led to some worrying numbers, statistics and of course news stories. However, during the Brexit Years we have continued to serve this industry, winning Automotive Recruitment Agency of the year in 2016,17,18 & 19, and as we did during the 2008-10 financial crisis that hit the UK we have continued to strengthen our service. And like that period when we saw and assisted the UK Retail Motor Trade bounce back, we’ll be here tomorrow in the Post-Brexit UK to assist where we can.