The Davis Downside Dossier

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“...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”.

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Currently showing ALL dossier entries. Click 'SEARCH' to see search options. There are 1930 DDD entries.

The downsides

July 2024Bootstrap
1891.
Citizens
Rights

Research by UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE) shows that EU citizens, who are not given a physical ID card but rather need to navigate an online process to use and prove their status, have reported on frequent glitches in that system. But, according to UKICE, even when it is working in a technical sense, the system does not work well for marginalised and vulnerable EU citizens, including many Roma, who often struggle to independently generate a ‘share code’ to prove status to an employer or prospective landlord.

1890.
Citizens
Rights

The Court of Appeal has ruled that two Albanians whose applications to settle in the UK were refused under the EU Settlement Scheme had their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement breached and that their appeals should have been allowed. Their passports had been stamped with the words “Admitted to the United Kingdom under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016” and the Home Office had argued this did not give any right of residence. The Court found that it amounted to facilitation of residence within the meaning of Article 10(2). It’s not known how many other applicants to the EUSS were wrongfully rejected.

1889.
Economy
Taxes

While 52 out of 56 countries worldwide are expected to see a rise in the number of millionaires resident, the UK is forecast to lose 17%, more than any of the other four nations where a fall is forecast. This is according to a recent report by the Swiss bank UBS and reported by the FT. The research also revealed that more millionaires had been leaving the UK than arriving over the past decade, with the UK suffering a net loss of 16,500 millionaires between 2017 and 2023. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU was said to be a factor.

1888.
Economy
Impact

According to the FT, Labour's plans for closer alignment with the EU to boost trade and economic growth is not a simple or immediate fix to the problems caused by Brexit for several reasons, not least because there is no consensus in affected industries about what benefits different models of alignment might achieve.

1887.
Health
NHS

An article in the London Review of Books by an anonymus GP about the shortages of medicines in the UK claims that in order to overcome trade barriers erected because of Brexit, the NHS is now paying extra costs to a private company – the international logistics firm Kuehne and Nagel - to circumvent those barriers. The National Supply Disruption Response was introduced in 2020 to give clinical providers access to an ‘express freight’ mechanism.

1886.
Education
Research

In a recent interview on BBC Radio 4, the government's new chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: “Brexit was definitely a problem for science. We were part of a very successful European funding scheme with very large collaborations, right the way across Europe.” He added, “You can’t do the type of science that everyone’s trying to do and make progress in isolation. You need brains that come with other backgrounds, other thought processes, other training.”

1885.
Economy
Impact

Research by Gavekal, a Hong Kong based financial services company, shows that since the 2016 referendum, Britain has gone from the best performing major economy to among the worst. They claim that the UK's growth, productivity and living standards will continue to be weighed down by the structural handicap of Brexit. Gavekal say the obvious way to accelerate Britain’s dismal post-2016 growth rate, would require Labour to commit to rejoining the European customs union and then preparing for membership of the single market and a return to free movement of labour.

1884.
Northern Ireland
Transport

Andrew Baxter, CEO of Europa Worldwide Group, who supported and even campaigned for Brexit, has admitted that it is “preventing the seamless transportation of goods for British businesses” and has increased complexity by “impacting transit times, increasing the amount of customs paperwork required, and could have costly and time-critical implications.” He has now introduced a scheme to help 'export' goods to Northern Ireland with a team of 34 in Manchester and 8 in Liverpool to help support “exporters” across the North West.

1883.
Economy
Regions

The FT's Martin Wolf says a new report (see DDD entry 1941) suggests the UK's overall output losses due to Brexit (relative to a synthetic counterfactual) are at least 5% of GDP and that Brexit has reduced regional inequality, not by levelling up, but by “levelling down” — that is, damaging Britain's previously prosperous regions more than less prosperous ones.

1882.
Citizens
Border checks

UK government officials are said to fear tailbacks and chaos at UK ports in three months unless the EU again delays plans to introduce a biometric travel registration scheme requiring facial and finger scanning, according to The Guardian. A recent survey by the Transport Department showed that 69% of the UK public had not heard of the European entry/exit scheme, and 15% said it was likely to make them travel less.

1881.
Citizens
Travel

The Dutch airline KLM says it is still unsure about Britain's post-Brexit passport rules, three and a half years after they took effect. The carrier claims the rules are “very confusing and interpreted differently depending on who we speak to”. It comes after KLM turned away a passenger from two Birmingham-Amsterdam flights on the same day in November 2022, even though she had a valid passport. Ms Zielinski said: “I’m really upset even 18 months later. It felt like a huge waste of finances and expenditure on this trip, and it was devastating missing out on seeing my friends who live abroad.”

1880.
Transport
Border checks

The M20 contraflow scheme known as Operation Brock introduced initially to prevent chaos in Dover as Britain exited the EU, is set to return next week, accompanied by new permits to prevent lorry drivers from bypassing the system. Many truckers have been skipping the system and taking alternative routes to the Port of Dover, worsening congestion in the area. Kent and Medway Resilience Forum (KMRF) will issue new permits to truckers at the front of the Operation Brock queue between Junctions 8 and 9.

1879.
Borders
Border checks

The FT has been told that non-EU goods entering the UK through Dover and supposedly checks using the new border control post at Sevington, Kent, are now entering with weaker checks or none at all, according to three agents. Communication issues and delays have beset the post as it struggles to implement the new import control regime. Before Brexit, the UK relied on the bloc to carry out official controls on goods coming into Europe. The UK carried out its own checks on those arriving from non-EU countries entering the bloc.

1878.
Economy
Impact

Using five different methods, a team of academics at Bath, Oxford, Bonn and New York have estimated the cost of Brexit to the regions of the UK. Their estimates suggest that England's economy in 2022 lost between £70-95 billion in economic activity owing to Brexit. The Scottish economy was on average £8.5 to 14 billion smaller. The Welsh economy is estimated to be up to £4 billion smaller. The only region not to see an impact was Northern Ireland, where no costs of Brexit have materialized to date.

1877.
Agriculture
Horticulture

The Horticultural Trade Association, representing 1,400 garden retailers and growers in the UK, has combined with several European trade bodies to write an open letter calling for urgent solutions for the new post-Brexit border checks, warning the new system was adding more than 25% to import costs. The HTA say a significant number of deliveries are being delayed at the border, sometimes for as long as 44 hours, while difficulties carrying out inspections were increasing the chance of harmful pests and plant diseases entering Britain.

1876.
Food
Fishing

A Peterhead fisherman feels he was sold a “pack of lies” in 2016 and thinks Brexit has been a “total shambles.” James Stephen, who has spent 44 years at sea, said: “We lost some of our markets because we couldn’t supply them, or the fish was being held up. For one truck, it used to go through with one set of paperwork. There are 42 pallets in a truck. Now, each pallet must have its own paperwork.” Mr. Stephen, who still thinks Brexit was the “right thing to do”, claimed in the first months after Brexit, goods were perishing in lorries, and “people lost a lot of money in that respect.”

1875.
Agriculture
Potatoes

According to The Times, the UK no longer has any small or medium farms growing new potatoes. Guy Singh-Watson, the founder of one of the country’s biggest vegetable box schemes, said it was the first time it has been impossible to source British early potatoes for his boxes. He called it part of a wider “tragedy” of smaller UK fruit and vegetable growers quitting in the face of low returns, post-Brexit labour shortages and extreme weather.

June 2024Bootstrap
1874.
Northern Ireland
Fishing

Jim Allister, founder of the political party Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) in Northern Ireland claims the government's 2020 Fisheries Act, the UK’s first major domestic fisheries legislation in nearly 40 years, does not apply fully in NI because Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol limits the amount of state aid that can be provided. Brussels is able to cap funding to the local fishing industry under the Windsor Framework which Mr Allister claims makes Stormont’s agriculture minister “but a slave” to the EU.

1873.
Citizens
Travel

A Paralympic swimmer due to compete in this summer’s Olympic Games in France has said his career is at risk after a post-Brexit policy change barred him from flying in and out of the UK with his guide dog. Mar Gunnarsson, a visually impaired Icelandic national has been unable to fly to sporting championships to represent his country because his guide dog is not recognised as a service animal by the UK authorities.

1872.
Immigration
Ireland

Workers from Ireland have dropped out of the list of top 10 nationalities seeking jobs in Britain, according to data from a recruitment site, marking a dramatic reversal from the situation in 2016 when Irish applicants ranked second. The data suggests that job seekers from across the Irish Sea are drying up after Britain’s departure from the EU and amplified by a growing anti-immigrant tone coming from politicians.

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.