The United Kingdom held a referendum vote on its relationship with the EU in 2016. It was a shock to many that ‘leave’ won by 52% to 48%. The impact of the surprise vote caused uncertainty for citizens of the UK and the EU, and industries alike. The UK could still leave with no deal if the withdrawal agreement is not approved by 31 January 2020.
Over the last few months in the UK, Brexit has been the most talked about topic due to the uncertainty and frustration of what the future holds. The recent British vote resulted in Boris Johnson being elected as Prime Minister of the UK. With preliminary talks ongoing about Boris Johnson’s new Brexit proposals, the deal is ‘essentially impossible’ according to The Telegraph.
The Impact of Brexit on the Electronics Industry To Date
The result of the referendum vote caused the pound to drop dramatically. A weak pound is bad for the country since it makes imports more expensive; this applies to electronic components too. Within the electronics industry, a slowing down in shifting electronic components affected distributors, suppliers as well as manufacturers simply because less people were making purchases.
The Ways Brexit Could Impact the Electronics Industry in the Future?
It’s difficult to predict the future related to Brexit since there’s so much uncertainty around it. However, I believe that it will not only be more expensive to import/export electronics to and from the UK, but more time-consuming as well. For example, the electronics companies across Europe were able to shift products throughout the EU borders without the need for custom checks. This was due to the ‘Freedom of Movement Act’ in 1993. However, if the UK officially leaves the EU, which is most likely – there will be increased border checks which will impact the cost and the time frames.
Many large companies have also expressed concern about pursuing their operations in the UK. If these large companies were to transport their business/workplace elsewhere, this could lose jobs dramatically and affect the economy.
The electronics industry needs highly-skilled workers to ensure success and safety within the workforce. Many electronics workers come from overseas because of their skills. With future uncertainty in place, we are not sure whether this will affect workers sourced from the EU.
All in all, I believe that Brexit will have a negative impact on the electronics industry not only UK based, but globally.
I’d suggest purchasing electronic stock from UK-based manufactures to avoid costly import duties and shipping costs, which may rise depending on the result of Brexit.
Did You Stockpile Because Of Brexit?
According to the Guardian newspaper, UK manufacturers’ stockpiling for no-deal Brexit hit record levels. This is because there was a high concern that there would be border gridlock which would slow down the process of transportation of goods globally. The concern of border gridlock was caused by ‘no deal’ Brexit which led British manufacturers to increase their stockpiling efforts.
In my opinion, I think stockpiling prior to Brexit was a clever move as there was strong uncertainty of how the vote would affect the economy. Some of the products we’re accustomed to having all year round could be harder to come by or cost more to buy. So, it would have been a good idea to buy the items to be sure you have easy access to them and at a good price.
I also think that this could have affected companies negatively. I believe it because they may have stockpiled high quantities of products and then may not necessarily be able to shift them as quickly as first thought, resulting in excess stock.
Amy Leary, Marketing Manager, eBOM.com