Sunday, 07 May 2017 01:20

Article 50 triggered - we're out - now what for our students?

You must be getting fed up of all the Brexit talk. We know we certainly are. Despite the ongoing verbal onslaught of Brexit and Article 50 that we have been put under sufferance with, it is important for writers and bloggers like us to put into simple terms what changes the two are going to bring about in terms of the effect it will have on our lifestyle, and, more importantly, the impact it will have on our finances and future. 

Knowing the upcoming impact for the younger generation is especially important, as it is this group of people that are going to see the most with regards change.

We particularly want to focus on the impact it will have on young people’s finances and what differences can be expected for the next generation in terms of their place in the world and what changes will be seen on things such as home-owning and travelling.

The reason we’re re-visiting the whole Brexit issue is that it is now becoming even more of a reality since Article 50 was triggered yesterday. For the months and weeks prior to this, it seemed to be old news as nothing major was happening and people were getting fed up of hearing the same old what if’s. Now, though, it has taken on a whole new sense of realism as the ball is literally rolling with regards to exiting the EU. As of yesterday we’re on our way out.

Before we go on to what the whole process means for finances, we’ll firstly explain what Article 50 is and why it is being talked about with such prominence.

Article 50 is basically a part of a treaty that allows a country to leave if they so wish. So, for instance, in December 2007, the Treaty of Lisbon was signed and this was the latest constitution that all member states adhered to. Article 50 is the part of this treaty that a country triggers if they wish to leave, and this is what has happened with Britain. Article 50 is basically a letter that informs the powers-that-be at Brussels that a country wishes to leave and the timescale in which that said country will depart from the Union. It also highlights negotiations that they tend to have with the other member states and what hopeful outcomes will be. In Britain’s case, the letter triggering article 50 was 6 pages long and detailed some very interesting points on the ongoing relationships between the countries and how Britain hopes to operate out of the union.

So, more importantly, what does all this mean for our future, and the future of our children?

One of the first things that we think about is whether or not it will cost us financially to leave the EU. Will it make it harder or easier to buy a home? Will it be cheaper or more expensive to buy certain goods? In the next few months we will start to see some kind of picture forming and some answers to these questions becoming clearer.

Most people seem to think that buying a house will be easier. One of the reasons for this is that once the amount of people entering the UK is reduced, more homes will be freed up which will mean more houses are available for younger people to snap up. We are a little sceptical of this and don’t know if this is the way that it will pan out, especially not in the short term.

Whilst we here all wholeheartedly agree that Britain can make a real good go of things on our own, we are under no illusions that hard work is going to be needed and it will take time to get things in place – it certainly isn’t going to be easy.

We understand that there may be employment issues for a time, and this could see many youngsters worry. For instance, some employers have said that Britain may become too expensive and that their options are better elsewhere in Europe; this could see some people lose their jobs as their places of work move to the continent, but again, we feel that things will iron out and in the long term, employment, and in particular youth employment, won’t be affected too much.

As well as finances, another major headache for youngsters and something that made them wary as to existing the EU, was travel and the restrictions that an exit could have on people wanting to travel and see the rest of Europe.

They are right to have some of these fears as costs of travelling to Europe are quite likely to go up and a visa will be needed, even if it is just going for a long weekend to one of our closest neighbours. 

There is no denying that there will be some tough changes ahead, but we honestly think there is nothing really major to worry about in the long term. You shouldn’t forget that other EU countries have a lot of interest in Britain with regards imports and exports and they certainly won’t cut their nose off to spite their face. Yes, things may be tight for a while, but who’s to say the country isn’t going to prosper?

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