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Brexit harms business
23 Feb, 2019

The single market enables British jobs

Under the single market with freedom of movement British citizens may easily establish businesses in other EU countries. Our correspondent, Penny Howard, did just that. She set up Beyondtheyelladog as a company providing tourists with artistic and cultural experiences to enable them to deepen their experience of Italy. Brexit threatens the feasibility of such businesses. Penny Howard's business is now facing closure.

The Leavers Lament is always "Why can't you just accept that you lost and deal with it!". The Remainers' problem with this suggestion is that it is not so simple! Leavers woke up on 24 June 2016 looking towards what they see is a brighter future but more than half the population now doesn't.  

In particular, British business owners trading in Europe under the predication that as a business registered in an EU country they were allowed to trade in any or all other EU countries awoke to a nightmare. They faced the challenge of no longer being legal after 29 March without changing their business structure and their office location for that part of their business. 

Businesses are also losing valuable members of staff who decided to go home because they felt unwanted, or possibly having to fire staff who didn't meet future residency requirements.    To this can be added legal costs, the uncertainties of not knowing whether or not we would get a deal which allowed some additional time during the Transition Period, whether their expatriate staff would be allowed to stay and work in the overseas business locations, finding out whether the 'Deal' would cover all these points, and even whether they had spent all that money unnecessarily! 

Many, even now, are still hoping for the best. However, bigger companies, and niche firms such as that owned by Jacob Rees-Mogg, have already changed their EU trading address, or have established a new business based in an EU country to which they will attach new European staff as necessary. So we have redundancies (and lower tax revenue) in the UK and new jobs for Europeans within the EU! Did anyone vote for that? 

Smaller private businesses like mine, in which I am the owner and the only employee, cannot afford two locations.  My commercialista in Florence couldn't recommend that I did so, having a low income and still lower level of profit! I didn't set my company up with the expectation of becoming rich - all I wanted was to keep on working after an early redundancy. I have no desire to 'retire' and I have managed to created my perfect job. I enjoy organising Italian activities for small groups of guests in Florence or London working with my talented Italian friends to teach Fresco or egg tempera painting, silver point drawing, Florentine paper marbling, Etruscan plate painting, Tuscan cooking, wine tasting and Italian garden tours.

It breaks my heart that some of the 52% of the voters in 2016 seem to believe that leaving the European Union will somehow make Britain Great again. What will keep our country 'Great' is having people brave enough to look at the facts, adverse human experiences and reconsider their options. 

We need a People's Vote!



The London4Europe blogs page is edited by Nick Hopkinson, Vice-Chair. Articles on this page reflect the views of the author, not necessarily of London4Europe.