The Davis Downside Dossier

Yorkshire Bylines
 

“...there will be no downside to Brexit at all, and considerable upsides”
David Davis

In October 2016, David Davis, the then Brexit secretary, told the House of Commons that “there will be no downside to Brexit at all, and considerable upsides”.

DDD meme

DDD Logo
This article and list are reproduced with the kind permission of Yorkshire Bylines.
Search
Sort
Download (CSV) spreadsheet
Currently showing ALL dossier entries. Click 'SEARCH' to see search options. There are 1845 DDD entries.

The downsides

May 2024Bootstrap
1806.
Construction
Shortages

Tim Leiweke, CEO of US-based Oak View Group (OVG) which owns Co-Op Live, the UK's largest indoor arena located in Manchester has told the Financial Times that the root cause of the delays, which saw shows cancelled and fans turned away at the last minute, was a shortage of construction workers caused by Brexit and the pandemic. He described the past few weeks as “hell” for OVG after the 23,500-capacity arena was ridiculed by angry ticket holders, and said the experience had made him reconsider plans for a second UK venue in London.

1805.
Food
Fishing

The BBC reports that a lobby group representing small boat owners, the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA), was disbanded last month, because it can no longer see a future for the industry because of the foreign fleet's ability to catch huge quantities of fish. Martin Gilbert, who fishes mainly for shellfish out of Newquay harbour and voted for Brexit said the current deal had "sold us down the river,” adding: "The French, the Belgians and the Spanish have still got the majority of the quota."

1804.
Agriculture
Animal welfare

Experts are warning that new rules intended to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming in the UK are too lax and weaker than their equivalent under EU laws which have been in force since 2022. The new UK rules ban the routine use of antibiotics on farm animals, and specifically, their use to “compensate for poor hygiene, inadequate animal husbandry, or poor farm management practices” take effect from today (17 May 2024). Experts, however, say there are loopholes in the legislation that are closed off under the equivalent EU regulations.

1803.
Education
Student numbers

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), a lobby group including leading firms and UK universities, has sharply criticised the government's higher education strategy in a letter to Rishi Sunak. NCUB are 'deeply concerned' by reports of growing research and teaching funding gaps, as well as sharp declines in international student applications resulting from the government's post-Brexit immigration policy. They warn it risks undermining the positive impact that international students have on our skills base, future workforce, and international influence.

1802.
Education
Student numbers

The annual report from the Office for Students says that Universities in England face a looming funding crisis as a result of a fall in student applications. The Financial Times says the findings follow government plans to restrict the number of lucrative international graduate students who come and study in the UK. The government has removed the right of overseas graduate students to bring family members, and increased the salary threshold for skilled workers from £26,200 to £38,700, contributing to a sharp drop-off in applications.

1801.
Government
Research

Britain's attempt to rejoin ITER, the EU's world-leading experimental nuclear fusion project in France, without being affiliated to Euratom, which the UK left on 24 January 2020 as part of the Withdrawal Agreement, has been rebuffed by Brussels, the FT reports. The UK has asked to continue with ITER as an outside partner, an arrangement already granted to Australia. But the EU has said it must join the Euratom research scheme within months or risk being locked out. Australia has a cooperation agreement with Euratom.

1800.
Financial Services
Impact

The increase in the salary threshold for skilled worker visas has caused HSBC and Deloitte to withdraw job offers to foreign graduates in the UK. The two businesses have recently told dozens of incoming staff that their job offers had been revoked. Another big employer, KPMG, cancelled contracts for some foreign graduates last month. The government has increased the salary threshold for skilled worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700, and to £30,960 for people under the age of 26 as of April, as part of its efforts to cut record levels of legal migration.

1799.
Food
Border checks

After a government IT system went down last weekend, trucks carrying perishable food and plants from the EU were held for up to 20 hours at the UK’s busiest Brexit border post. Businesses have described the government’s new border control checks as a “disaster” after consignments of meat, cheese and cut flowers had their shelf life reduced, prompting retailers to reject some orders. One importer of Italian goods said that 18 of their 23 lorries that came through the Port of Dover were sent to Sevington, and delayed between nine and 20 hours before being released.

1798.
Economy
Regulation

The Daily Express complains that UK manufacturers are being forced to implement 'pettifogging' new EU rules that all plastic water bottles sold within its territory must be equipped with tethered caps, starting this summer. Running separate production lines for the UK and EU markets would incur unnecessary costs, making alignment with EU regulations in the UK the obvious choice for businesses. The move, it reports, “symbolise the futility of Brexit in escaping EU product standards.”

1797.
Agriculture
Horticulture

The price of imported garden plants has increased due to costs related to Brexit according to Emma Gibbons, stock manager at The Palm Centre in Richmond, London. Ms Gibbon reports that as of 30 April, phytosanitary tests are being carried out by inspectors on site as part of a pilot test to see if checks can be made away from the border. She claims it involves very complicated and time-consuming paperwork. With the extra costs, a plant that sold for around £5.95 before 2021 for example, is now £8.95.

1796.
Northern Ireland
Legal

The High Court in Northern Ireland has struck down the application of key parts of the UK’s Illegal Migration Act in the province. Mr Justice Michael Humphreys ruled that human rights provisions of the act contravened the post-Brexit Windsor framework. He also ruled that other provisions were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The passage into law of the Illegal Migration Act last July barred anyone entering the UK without prior permission from claiming asylum.

1795.
Education
Student numbers

The number of international students paying deposits to study at UK universities has “plummeted” according to the FT using figures from Enroly, a web platform used by one in three international students for managing university enrolment, falling 57% year-on-year as of May. It follows restrictions on education visas introduced by Rishi Sunak last year. University and industry leaders say the move will inflict significant damage on a sector that relies on foreign fee income for more than a fifth of its revenues.

1794.
Northern Ireland
Funding

The minister of finance in the NI Assembly, Sinn Fein's Dr Caoimhe Archibald has told the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, that : “The replacement of locally administered EU funding with Whitehall funding has failed to deliver a complete replacement, either in quantum, scope of intervention or duration. The lack of understanding of devolved and local government structures here has been a significant contributing factor to the slow delivery and to the limited impact this funding has had on the ground.”

1793.
Economy
Trade

Emily Fry at The Resolution Foundation says the UK's performance in goods trade, relative to similar economies, has been dismal. Since 2019, the UK’s goods exports have grown by just 4% compared with OECD countries’ goods exports growing 23%, and has fallen to thirteenth on the rankings of world goods exporters. Ms Fry concludes that the first step to addressing it needs to include a reduction in UK-EU trade frictions.

1792.
Health
Rights

A British man settled in Italy who has a rare cancer has been unable to receive the free healthcare he is entitled to because local officials don't understand the details of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Graham Beresford, 61, said: “Brexit is the cause of this. Brexit is an absolute disaster, an act of self-harm of the worst kind for absolutely nothing. I don’t know why anyone voted for it.” Local authorities claim the withdrawal agreement gives health rights only to British nationals who were in the country for five years before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

1791.
Environment
Rivers

A report from Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) claims England’s rivers are likely to remain in a poor state for years to come because the government is failing to put in place EU clean water laws post-Brexit. The OEP say not enough monitoring taking place. Under the EU's Water Framework Directive a national chemical and ecological survey of rivers was conducted annually but since 2016 these have taken place every three years. Ministers are said to be planning to stop assessing water quality under the WFD.

1790.
Borders
Gibraltar

The Daily Mail reports that Britain is set to “cave in” over proposed post-Brexit rules in Gibraltar in a “serious diminution of UK sovereignty.” The European Scrutiny Committee has this week raised 'serious concerns' that British negotiators are close to conceding plans to carry out Schengen border checks required by the EU  will take place on British soil at the peninsula's airport. This would mean British visitors undergoing passport checks while those arriving across the border with Spain will not.

1789.
Services
Tourism

The UK ski operator Alpine Action has announced that it has ceased trading. Based in Sussex, the company operated 10 ski chalets in Meribel and four in La Tania in France. An article on the ski news website PlanetSki blamed the closure on the “continuing fallout” from Brexit and Covid, noting how the chalet market had been particularly badly hit because of its small margins and reliance on British staff.

1788.
Health
NHS

Mark Dayan, Brexit programme lead for The Nuffield Trust, an independent health think tank claims that by nearly every available indicator, since 2021 we have experienced a “once unthinkable level of medicines shortages again and again.” The crisis jumps between products and conditions, with no sign of slowing down.” He added that while other western countries such as Italy and Germany were also being hit by disruptions to supply, “Brexit creates some extra obstacles for the UK because our market is now partly separated from the wider European pool of supplies.”

1787.
Economy
Trade

Gita Gopinath, deputy MD of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Britain’s exit from the EU’s single market and customs union in 2020 showed the harmful consequences of breaking up trade ties, hurting economic growth and reducing cross-border investment. “Imposing restrictions on trade would diminish the efficiency gains from specialisation, limit economies of scale, and reduce competition,” Ms Gopinath said, citing Brexit as a useful example.

The ‘considerable’ upsides

April 2024Bootstrap
39.
Education
Taxes

Plans by Labour to scrap the VAT exemption on private school tuition fees announced last year would not have been possible under EU law. If Labour win the next election they intend to charge private schools 20% VAT, as well as ending business rate relief, to raise about £1.7bn.

38.
Economy
Inflation

The government has announced a temporary suspension of import tariffs on around 100 different products not covered by free trade agreements, until 2026. A report by Allianz Trade, a business insurer, suggests the move would cut import costs by £7bn. The list includes some agricultural products but also cars, fuels, metals, and other non-food goods. Allianz says the products represent 45% of total UK imports, it would have the effect of reducing overall inflation by 0.6 percentage points over the next year.

January 2024Bootstrap
37.
Agriculture
Animal welfare

The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill, introduced in Parliament in December last year will ban the export of live animals including cattle, sheep, and pigs, legislation only possible after Brexit. The government says law will ensure that animals are slaughtered domestically in high welfare UK slaughterhouses, reinforcing te UK's position as a world leader on animal welfare, boosting the value of British meat and helping to grow the economy.

36.
Food
Wine

From 1 January, as a result of Brexit, UK wine producers will be allowed to sell 'piquette', a French term which sometimes refers to a very simple wine or a wine substitute, described by The Oxford Companion to Wine as a “wine-like beverage.” Piquette cannot be sold in the EU. The term has also been used as a nickname for French wine of low quality. The UK the government has also removed the need for imported wines to have an importer address on the label, reducing administrative burdens for businesses.

December 2023Bootstrap
35.
Economy
Increase

A think tank, The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts that the UK economy is set to grow more quickly than France in the coming years, making it almost 20% larger by 2038, and narrowing the gap with Germany. The report also suggests the UK is likely to maintain its position as the sixth-largest global economy.

34.
Economy
Regulation

In May this year, the business secretary, as part of the government's de-regulation drive, announced changes to employment law which she claimed could help save businesses around £1 billion a year. Kemi Badenoch said her department would consult on cutting unnecessary red tape on recording working hours, streamline engagement with workers when a business transfers to new owners, and provide up to 5 million UK workers greater freedom to switch jobs by limiting non-compete clauses.

November 2023Bootstrap
33.
Citizens
Consumer rights

Hailed by The Sun as a major change to Britain's drinking laws, champagne drinkers in the UK may soon be able to buy their favourite fizz in pints. Previously outlawed by EU regulations, government insiders say a consultation with the champagne and English sparkling wine industries is “imminent” and could pave the way for pint-sized servings for all wines “early next year.” A business department source said: “This is just the latest win from our push to ditch pointless and restrictive EU rules.”

October 2023Bootstrap
32.
Food
Trade

DEFRA has announced that following a 2021 market access deal with Japan, UK farmers' processors and suppliers will be able to export fresh and cooked poultry meat into the Japanese market. The industry estimates that this market could be worth over £10 million in the next 5 years. The agreement's implementation had been delayed by an avian influenza outbreak.

31.
Economy
Technology

The co-founder of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz, now the CEO of software company Asana, has told The Times that Brexit means the UK has the independence to be a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI). Moskovitz said Brussels’ heavy-handed approach to regulation meant it was “better that the UK is out of the EU”. Speaking ahead of Rishi Sunak’s AI summit at Bletchley Park, he said he was “far more concerned about regulatory friction” in the EU than in Britain.

30.
Government
Taxes

Moody's, the international credit rating agency has dropped its negative outlook on the UK, saying that "policy predictability has been restored" following last year's mini-Budget. The influential agency noted the UK's "more conciliatory" approach to EU trade and said increased friction due to Brexit had slowed the UK's bid to reduce inflation, which it sees returning to its 2% target in 2026. The move could mean marginally lower borrowing costs for the government's Debt Management Office (DMO).

29.
Food
Research

Qkine, a Cambridge biotech company that manufactures high-purity, animal-free products for life science applications has identified the cultivated meat sector as an ideal opportunity for post-Brexit Britain to surge ahead. One of the founders, Catherine Hyvönen, told The Cambridge Independent “Leaving the European Union means we now have the capability to take something to market in the UK without having to have the sign-off from every European nation.”

28.
Immigration
Skills

Research by Professor Jonathan Portes into the effects on UK productivity related to changes in immigration levels, reveals that “there is some evidence of a positive association between non-EU origin migrants and productivity, and the reverse for EU-origin migrants.” The analysis suggests that an ‘extra’ 1% of the workforce from outside the EU is associated with an approximately 1.5% increase in productivity, while results for EU-origin migrants are less clear. However, Professor Portes says, “the estimates never approach statistical significance, and are quite small.”

27.
Food
Fishing

The BBC report that Manx fishermen who have started to catch herring around the Isle of Man, for the first time in 25 years. The first boat has started landing the fish following a post-Brexit deal between the UK and the Manx government. Following Brexit, the UK gained a bigger portion of Irish herring quotas, part of which was then shared with the Isle of Man. An initial 100-tonne limit for 2023 is set to be increased in the coming years so more boats can take part.

July 2023Bootstrap
26.
Economy
Trade

The UK has formally signed up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) but the trade deal, according to the government's static economic modelling, will increase the UK's GDP by just £1.8 billion (0.08%) “in the long run.” Nikkei Asia, says analysts see little economic impact from the deal with the main obvious beneficiary being Malaysia, which stands to gain tariff-free acces to the UK for its palm oil.

May 2023Bootstrap
25.
Food
Wine

Wine. Scrapping retained European Union laws will “put a rocket under” the UK’s domestic wine industry and potentially boost vineyards by £180 million, according to the environment secretary. Therese Coffey said the changes being introduced through the legislation would give vineyards the “freedom they need to thrive”. The changes include using more disease-resistant varieties of grape and eliminating the need for foil caps and mushroom stoppers on certain sparkling wines.

24.
Citizens
Rights

Speeding fines. UK drivers caught on speed cameras in the EU could escape fines after Brexit when the Cross-Border Enforcement (CBE) Directive, which allowed the UK and the EU to share driving license information (it worked both ways) was revoked. However, the DfT say the 1959 Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (MLA), which permits the exchange of information and evidence on criminal and administrative matters, will continue to apply to the UK, so you may not be off the hook.

November 2022Bootstrap
23.
Economy
Trade

Northern Ireland. A report commissioned by Stormont’s Department for the Economy has suggested that the impact of the NI protocol will see the output of the NI economy rise by 2.2% compared to no Brexit. This is due to the province’s manufacturers maintaining preferential access to both the EU and UK markets and also because the sea border means local producers will face less competition from Great Britain, raising prices for consumers.

August 2022Bootstrap
22.
Economy
Reshoring

Reshoring. Data from BNP Paribas BNP for the first half of 202 2 has revealed a surge in demand for industrial floorspace and increased activity from manufacturing occupiers as they seek to ‘reshore’ activity back to Britain following the impacts of Brexit. Vanessa Hale, Head of Research and Insights at BNP Paribas Real Estate comments: “Reshoring is bringing ‘Made in Britain’ back to our products. There are a number of driving factors behind this including inflation, Brexit, the pandemic, the Ukraine war and the blockage of the Suez canal, which have massively impacted supply chains and overheads.

June 2022Bootstrap
21.
Citizens
Travel

Duty free goods. Before Brexit, travellers coming to the UK from non-EU countries were limited to personal duty free allowances as set by the EU. This was 4 litres of still wine, 16 litres of beer and either 1 litre of spirits over 22 % vol. or 2 litres of fortified or sparkling wine. Now the UK government has increased these allowances for all countries to 18 litres of wine, 42 litres of beer and 4 litres of spirits or liqueurs over 22 percent in alcohol. Duty free allowances for tobacco products remain broadly in line with the old EU higher quantities.

20.
Citizens
Travel

Import VAT. Travellers purchasing goods (not alcohol or tobacco) from duty free zones within the EU (in ports and airports) no longer need to pay country of origin sales taxes and will face no import VAT when arriving in the UK as long as they keep within the £390 limits (£270 if arriving by private plane or boat). This potentially saves buyers up to £78 per trip.

Remember if you know of any specific upsides or downsides, please email editor@yorkshirebylines.co.uk with a link to a confirming story from a reputable source.