So the result is in, and now the British government needs to begin negotiating with the rest of the EU the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the union. It may not exactly be a walk in the park, especially considering that Parliament is still divided over the issue of Brexit.
Over the last few weeks, the country’s economy has been faced with uncertainty. International investment has fallen, the value of sterling has crashed and it’s currently unclear how Britain will continue to trade long-term. It’s still too early to say how the industries of commercial vehicle construction and fleet management will shape up in post-Brexit Britain, but there are several factors to keep monitoring as the negotiations go on.
In the wake of the Leave vote last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) concluded that vehicle manufacturers would face instability, with Britain’s future access to the European single market coming into question. While mainly focussing on the car industry, the chief executive of SMMT Mike Hawes said that because of the vote’s result: “the industry now faces new challenges.”
He notes that previous successes had been largely due to unrestricted access to the single market. Other countries have access to the single market through various trade deals and regulations, and it’s likely that the UK will be able to follow suit. However, any future deal Britain can strike with the EU post-Brexit is likely to have certain restrictions in trying to access the market.
The outcome of trade deal negotiations will also impact other businesses carrying various goods in and out of Europe. Of course, once a new Prime Minister is in place – following David Cameron’s resignation – it will then be up to them to begin the two-year long withdrawal process. How the UK continues to trade with our European neighbours will be vital for many.
As the pound continues to tumble against the dollar, we also face the cost of fuel going up. At the moment, fuel prices are holding steady but increases in duty could well be on the cards as the Chancellor looks ahead to sort out the nation’s fluctuating finances.
Altogether, everything is still up in the air until the negotiations begin with the new Prime Minister later this year. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that we’re certain to see some lasting effects in all aspects of operations in the years to come.