|Goodbye, Au revoir, Auf wiedersehen: the UK says farewell to the EU: or begins to. Image courtesy of MW Finn. |
So, it’s finally happening. After years of rancorous debate, the UK will finally cast off from Europe at 11pm GMT tonight. History will judge whether this, indeed, marks what Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises to be “the dawn of a new era”. Or something ultimately less palatable for Britain. Much is at stake for the country, it’s people and its $2.83trn economy, as measured by gross domestic product.
And how will casting off 47 years of close economic and political ties with the EU impact superyachting? By common consent, Brexit will cause business disruption but how much and for how long? Will the freedom to strike our own trade deals kickstart the economy?
Everything changes but very little changes
From tonight everything changes but very little changes. The UK will remain in the Customs Union during the transition period until December 31st 2020. So, we are not so much leaving the EU tonight, as moving ourselves firmly into the departure lounge – ahead of a final severance at the end of this year – may be.
Much depends on the nature of the trade agreement negotiated with the EU. Thorny questions remain to be resolved for those passionate about superyachts. While international maritime law provides a framework for a seamless regulatory transition, what about the arrangements regarding VAT and the tax and immigration status of crews cruising between British and European waters?
Insights on these topics and many others – ranging from the role of banks in yachting to crew welfare – will be on offer at next week’s Superyacht Investor London 2020 conference. (A few tickets are still available). So, perhaps, see you at The Landmark on Wednesday, February 5th and Thursday, February 6th.