The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168430   Message #4069673
Posted By: DMcG
26-Aug-20 - 03:58 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit
I think many of them were, but were dismissed as 'Project Fear'. The main difference this time is that it is the current government considering them, which is of course very much a "Leave" government.

How likely they are will vary. A shortage of some foodstuffs in December seems very likely to me, as we all remember the Great Pasta Shortage at the start of the virus outbreak. I can see that being repeated with a much wider set of foods fairly easily. Power cuts seem less likely to me.


I have been thinking a little about the fabled cliff edge, which has not been mentioned for some time. As with so much to do with Brexit, it is remarkably ill defined, so let me tell you how I think of it.

Let's start with the concept of a 'transition'. In the ideal world, we start with a known situation (for example set of rules and regulations) and a destination (with its spelled out set of rules and regulations.) During the transition, firms have, say, two years to implement the IT systems, carry out staff training and whatever so that at the end of the transition period they are ready to go under the new system.   The less time they have to do this - one year rather than two, say - the more difficult it is.   We are currently in the position that with four months to go, very little is known about the final state. Consequently, it is extremely difficult for anyone to have the appropriate IT, training and other preparation.

It turns out that whatever we have called it, we have not had a 'transition period', as few if any firms has had a chance to transition. We have simply had an extended negotiation period and called it a 'transition period'.

This to me is 'the cliff edge': it is not primarily economic. It is the need for firms to adapt to a substantially different way of working with little or no notice. An announcement on 31 December of the new rules that people have to follow from 1st Jan, or even with three months holiday from one side but not the other or whatever, is a cliff edge.

Trying to cope with such changes will almost certainly have significant economic effects, but they are consequences of the regulatory cliff edge.

Given we are still trying to negotiate a trade agreement, the regularity cliff edge is looking inevitable to me. Others may, of course, disagree.