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What Will Brexit Mean for Contractors?

So, the election is over and (hopefully) everyone is looking forward to Christmas and a new year ahead of us. At this time of year, we like to reflect and review and plan for the coming year.

But, we now know that Brexit will happen. After virtually years of speculation, we know without any doubt that it’s happening. And it will have massive ramifications for the contractor market.

Already some European contractors, notably those in the IT and programming sectors are voicing that they will be making plans to pack up and return home. This will create opportunities, but create problems too. If you are working as a contractor who is based in the E.U., this too may cause problems. Now is the time to have conversations with them to understand what their plans are, if you haven’t already.

The financial services industry too could be hit. Britain is hoping to have some kind of passporting regulations in place that will allow banking to continue to happen between the E.U. and the U.K. without restrictions, but if this doesn’t happen, we can expect to see some foreign banks either leaving the U.K. entirely, or relocating a lot of their work back to their home country or elsewhere. 

If you commute to Europe regularly for work, you may see your airfares increase, as the E.U. puts extra tariffs on non-EU airlines. If you drive through the tunnel or take the train, expect initial delays while border control issues are resolved.

On a positive, the lack of foreign workers coming to the U.K., could see an increase in the fees that contractors can charge, due to scarcity of resources. Lack of EU regulation on working time and possible new regulations that benefit businesses could also come into play and benefit British contractors. While the dust settles, employers may be reluctant to hire permanent staff, meaning there are more opportunities for contractors. Likewise, new trade deals being made for Britain could create new opportunities in markets that haven’t been available up until now.

As previously, it feels that there is still going to be a good deal of ‘wait and see,’ but at least now we know that it is happening, we may finally find a little light at the end of the tunnel and a glimmer of hope somewhere on the horizon.

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