WHAT BREXIT MEANS FOR YOU
While the world still reels from the UK’s ‘leave’ decision, questions abound around political and sports deals, film rights and British unity
remain’s loss because, as a senior MP told The Independent, “our main striker often wasn’t on the pitch, and when he was, he failed to put the ball into the net”. This after voters in traditional Labour blue-collar strongholds went against the party in the referendum.
So instead of capitalising on the turmoil among the Tories, key Labour leaders are trying to suppress the revolt against Corbyn, who is highly popular with the party rank and file.
Prancing about are groupings such as Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party and the struggling far-right British National Party, which have had life breathed into them by the isolationist sentiment.
The result has left the mainstream of the Tories and Labour – particularly in England – worried about how they could have been so out of touch with the feelings of their voters, who elected them just a year ago.
The major sporting codes such as football, rugby and cricket have raised concerns about Brexit’s effect on them. Advantageous work permits have allowed player traffic into Britain, and British players into other parts of the continent.
Hardest hit will be English Premiership clubs. Currently, the rule that a player signed by an English Premier League (EPL) club must have earned a certain number of national caps in the previous two years is waived for those from EU countries who are regarded by the local league as home-grown.
This could mean future signings – for example, of players such as Dimitri Payet, who signed for West Ham before he became a first-team regular for France – would be in jeopardy.
It would also hit the development academies of English clubs, because international football governing body Fifa’s rules strictly regulate the signing of players younger than 18. EU membership has allowed EPL to use the home-grown rule to import talented teenagers from Europe.
The world’s most competitive and wealthiest league would be much the poorer for it.
The bustling British film industry was also holding its breath as the counting took place. This is because of the vast amount of money that the EU ploughs into the development of cinema in member states, as well as subsidies for economies in depressed parts of the EU. This incentive was conceived as a developmental tool and a way to offset Hollywood’s invasion of European culture.
Now the industry stands to lose millions of pounds in support and, industry players say, compel production houses to shoot movies where it makes better financial sense.
There was a big scare in the UK that the hit show Game of Thrones would be lost to Northern Ireland, where it is partly shot. With the withdrawal by Britain of its contribution to the EU purse – about 10% of the total budget – aid to developing nations will have to be significantly reduced. Trade agreements that the EU has negotiated with developing nations and blocs will also have to be revisited and negotiated anew. It is still a long way, but the work to offset the negative consequences will need to begin immediately.
The entry point for the relationship between the two continents is the Africa-EU Partnership, which came into being in 2007. It covers a range of areas, from economic development to climate change to human rights. This will also have to be revisited after Brexit.
The likelihood now is that Britain will want to strengthen its relationship with Commonwealth countries on the continent, and use this body as the access point for its relationship with former colonies.
In its reaction, the presidency moved to reassure South Africans that because of the two-year lead, there would no immediate implications for local exports into the UK and that existing “rights and obligations under the existing EU treaties will continue to apply during this period”.
It would use this period to examine affected treaties and explore options. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan agreed, saying there was a two-year period to ascertain and act on changes that needed to be made to treaties. But the markets thought otherwise, reacting strongly to the results. The immediate effect on South Africa is going to result from the uncertainty of the next two years, which adds an unnecessary burden on our stuttering economy.
Speaking to City Press on Friday afternoon, British High Commissioner to SA Judith Macgregor maintained that the UK’s exit from the EU would not immediately affect any trade agreements or movement between the two countries as “the process of our withdrawal from the EU will take place over a long time”.
“So, in the short ... and immediate term, effectively all that it means for trade agreements between South Africa and the UK is that it will continue. We have a very active trade and investment agenda and, obviously, we have just recently all signed the European Partnership Agreement, so the positions under the existing treaty will continue.”