It is just over a year since the UK voted to leave the European Union, and as the dust has settled over the last twelve months we’ve seen the UK economy hold its nerve fairly convincingly, albeit with some notable adjustments.
Take the value of the cash in our pockets. Those of us lucky enough to be jetting off on summer holidays don’t need reminding that sterling has fallen significantly against foreign currency over the last twelve months: down around 15% against the US dollar and 13% against the euro.
That devaluation will probably make you wince when buying your holiday spends, even if you can squeeze a small tip of your sun hat to the fact that your pain at the exchange supports UK exports and inward investment.
There’s still a long way to go until we get to Brexit showdown on the 29 March 2019 (that’s assuming our date to leave the EU stays on schedule). And in rural communities like ours, many families are faced with added uncertainty around what leaving the EU will do to the UK’s farming industry, from labour markets to subsidies, food costs to exports.
But do we really need reminding of all this potential gloom just as we’re skipping off on our holidays?
Well yes, because to each yin there is a yang, and as we pack our bags (albeit temporarily) and grumble about currency exchange rates, let us lighten the mood by considering some of life’s Brexit winners and how we might share in their glory.
1.Tourists from overseas
Tourists visiting the UK from overseas are big Brexit winners. More overseas visitors came to the UK in 2016 than ever before, with around 37.6 million visitors spending £22.5 billion (figures according to Visit Britain). If the Brexit pound stays weak against the euro and the dollar there is no reason why the number of overseas visitors to the UK won’t continue to grow. Inbound tourism is a happy, healthy and robust sector right now.
2.UK businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector
The marked increase in overseas visitors to the UK has a significant trickle-down effect on our economy: good quality UK attractions, leisure facilities, holiday accommodation and hospitality are all winners here. And overseas visitors are venturing much further afield than just the capital – Lonely Planet put North Wales on the map this year (in its Top Regions to explore in 2017) and tourism pioneers like Zip World and Surf Snowdonia have helped Wales bag a large share of international visits and prestige. Other regions, beyond London and the South East, are doing similarly well.
3.Brits who decide to holiday at home
Our Brexit staycationers get all the perks of our overseas visitors, without the drawbacks of getting lost in the time vortex of airport security checks and transfers. It works particularly well if you have leftover currency from last year’s holidays to convert back into sterling for your stay-at-home jollies. Potentially you could cut yourself quite a tidy deal. Enjoy the spends, as per above.
4.Those who invest in UK holiday property
In times of economic uncertainty, property remains one of the safest places to invest your hard-earned cash. Those investing in UK holiday property can benefit from tax benefits ( see our blog on second homes ) as well as a healthy inbound market of overseas tourists looking for somewhere nice to stay. Not to mention an increasing number of UK staycationers. This could actually be the Brexit jackpot.
In conclusion, we think we should all keep looking on the Brexit bright-side this summer. And a holiday might be just the place to do it. Wherever you’re headed, enjoy.