As a small business we are already being affected in what we can plan for, as is every business that trades with other countries. We do import specialist components, as do our suppliers. We also export large wooden crates filled with chandeliers every month to the US, Middle East or Europe.
We spent a lot of money last year exhibiting at our one Annual Trade show, 100% Design in London (this year, by the way, it’s Grand Designs Live, London in May). We were busy with both new and old clients, all of us inexorably tied into the luxury housing sector. We were told by many people that the majority of completed projects were not selling due to, yes you guessed it, Brexit uncertainty. The world is holding off making any decisions until this is sorted. Hmm, various sources say this could be from 5 and 30 years.
Our lead installer, Brett, resides in France and can usually be with us in the time it takes to get from Shropshire to Kent. Together with 1,999,99 other Brits, he is VERY concerned about his future in France. Will he will need a ‘carte de sejour’ to benefit from French health cover and to be working as a self-employed person in France. He may well require an international driving permit; his eligibility may depend on whether he is granted the carte de sejour. Whatever, he will need to totally reassess his rights in France. He and his wife recently attended a public meeting in their local town hall and mentioned that he had never seen 500 people look so depressed.
Obviously one can invert this scenario and see how ‘migrants’ here might feel.
That’s what it is – depressing.