What does Brexit mean for you?
How will you be affected by Brexit?
On Thursday, the UK voted for Britain to leave the European Union. This decision will have a huge impact on all of our lives and much has already been said about what changes we might see in the coming weeks and months.
For those struggling financially, any level of uncertainty can be worrying. Turn2us will continue to keep you updated on any changes that might affect welfare benefits or any other support. In the meantime, here are some frequently asked questions about the result of the referendum and what we know so far.
Are we still in the European Union (EU)?
Yes. Leaving the EU is quite a complicated process and one that will take some time to complete. The referendum itself is not legally binding but the government has made it clear that it will comply with the outcome of the vote. The government can only start the process of leaving the EU once it enacts a piece of legislation called Article 50. Once this happens, the UK will have two years to negotiate a deal with the EU regarding the terms of separation. David Cameron, who has said that he will stand down before the Conservative Party Conference this October, would like to wait until a new leader has been chosen before this happens. Over the weekend, European leaders have said that they would like this process to start as soon as possible. However, it is the government’s decision when this will take place.
What impact will this have on welfare benefits and tax credits?
The short answer is none right now. Welfare benefits and tax credits are set by the UK government and therefore there is no reason for any change. EU nationals living in the UK and receiving welfare benefits or tax credits may see changes as part of the negotiating process, but any changes brought in are unlikely to take effect until the two year process is complete.
Am I more likely to lose my job as a result of these changes?
Both sides set out very different visions for how jobs would be impacted if the UK voted to leave the EU. Many on the Remain side argue that large job losses are inevitable whilst representatives from the Leave campaign think that the reverse is true. The reality will be that different employers will be affected in different ways and only time will tell what impact this decision may have on the economy and jobs.
How is this going to affect my mortgage repayments or rent?
A lot of this depends on how the UK economy performs over the coming months and how the government and the financial services sector acts accordingly. Many predict that house prices may decrease, which could create a situation where people find themselves in negative equity (when someone owes more money on a mortgage than their house is worth.) On the other hand, some believe that the Bank of England might reduce interest rates if it believes that the economy is slowing down, which may make mortgage payments cheaper. At present it looks unlikely that there will not be any immediate impact. However we will keep you updated if this looks likely to change.
Will EU nationals have to leave the UK?
No. There are currently no proposals for that to happen and it is likely that any future changes to free movement laws will only impact upon new applicants after the two year negotiating period. The government will also consider joining the single market. If this is the case, it is likely that free movement may be on the cards, but this decision will not be made until the end of the negotiations.
How will this affect my pension?
State Pensions are the responsibility of the UK government and so there is no reason why the referendum result would have any direct impact here.
Private pensions are a different matter as they are impacted by the value of the investments that make up pension funds. After the result, there was a great deal of market volatility and this did have an impact on the performance of some pensions. However this is short term and in itself will have little impact. Long-term performance in pension funds depends on a great number of different factors such as the underlying state of the economy, retirement ages and other factor.