Brexit in Bristol: small independent businesses fear the outcome

Brexit in Bristol: small independent businesses fear the outcome

Independent business owners of Bristol fear the worst for the outcome of Brexit.

Although a finalised agreement hasn’t been agreed on, owners who import goods are worried that it will have critical impact on their livelihood.

On Glouscester road there is a small shop that sells toys, and books from Scandinavia. Owned by Swedish born Kerstin Pierce. Kerstin have been living in Bristol the last 45 years, and fear that Brexit will have an impact on her shop, as well as her personal situation. “I do not know what will happen to me after Brexit, will they knock on my door and ask me to leave?”

Mrs. Pierce invited her friend Greet Pauwilijn, an author from Belgium over to talk with us about her concerns of the outcome of Brexit. “I am an author from Belgium, and I write for kids in English. I have New Zealand citizenship, I can not vote in the UK, but I have the residence and fear that the outcome of Brexit will take my business to the ground with all my products being taxed on”.

As a member of the EU, UK citizens benefit from freedom of movement across the continent. Considered one of the four pillars of the European Union, this freedom allows all EU citizens to live, work and travel in other member states.

In regards of trade, the EU is a single market where there are no tariffs that are imposed on imports and exports between member states (28 members).

More than 50% of British exports go to EU countries, and with the UK leaving the EU it will have consequences on the economy. Eurosceptics argue that the vast majority of small and medium-sized firms do not trade with the EU but are restricted by a huge regulatory burden imposed from abroad.

The politician behind the leave campaign, Boris Johnson, suggested adopting a ‘Canada-style trade, which would mean access to the single market. Boris Johnson was quoted by the The Week saying ”I think we can strike a deal as the Canadians have done based on trade and getting rid of tariffs“ and have a ”very, very bright future“, he said.

The referendum in 2016, Great Britain voted leave, and on the 29th of March 2019 the UK will leave the European Union, and many immigrants fear for their future in Bristol because of the result.

Many of the immigrants living in Bristol have businesses where they sell products coming from mainland Europe, and fear that the divorce will have an effect on their businesses, and on them personally.

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