How will Brexit affect the next generation?

Many people have expressed concern about how the country is going to cope once it officially departs the EU.

The pound is weakening against the Euro, while the Bank of England has reduced its base rate to 0.25% to get the economy going again. It looks like younger Brits will be the generation most affected by the referendum result, with some companies threatening to move their headquarters out of the UK to rejoin the single market, putting jobs and opportunities at risk.

So, what are the consequences of Brexit that may await the younger generation?

Will there be fewer jobs in the UK?

It remains to be seen how the job market will be affected by the decision to leave the EU. After all, the UK will not leave the EU officially until up to two years after the now-infamous Article 50 has been triggered, and even that will apparently not happen until 2017 at the earliest.

At the beginning of August, the Financial Times reported that the REC’s index for permanent job placements fell from 49.3 to 45.4 between June and July. The Student Bunker site of discount voucher portal MyVoucherCodes also reported a drop in the number of jobs posted after the EU referendum result.

However, this fall could also simply be attributed to the initial shock of Brexit. It would be unwise to jump to conclusions about the state of the job market so soon after the result, and there is a very good chance that the situation will stabilise and even improve long before Article 50 is triggered.

Will companies start leaving the UK?

The EU provides access to the single market, which makes importing and exporting goods and services easier. However, there is no doubt that the UK has historically been a great place to trade on a global scale – London, in particular, is one of the world leaders in business, banking and fashion. With Barclays and HSBC, for example, both pledging to keep their headquarters in the capital, as reported by Business Insider, we may not get the mass corporate exodus that many on the Remain side had predicted.

Will studying abroad be made harder?

At the moment, we are still officially a member of the EU, meaning that young people can continue to live, work and study in another European country without having to obtain a visa. If the UK does indeed trigger Article 50, youngsters may have to get a visa to move abroad, which could restrict the pool of graduate jobs open to them.

To help tackle this problem, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has even gone as far as suggesting that UK youngsters who live in Germany, Italy and France could be offered dual-nationality to remain part of the EU, according to the BBC.

Young Britons can study at different universities throughout the EU – either through the use of worldwide relationships developed by their UK university, the Erasmus Programme or by applying directly to a European university straight out of sixth form or college.

If the UK decides to activate Article 50, it could make those global relationships more strenuous, reduce the UK higher education system‘s access to internationally-funded research and make it more difficult for British students to apply for admission to European universities.

While all of this may be true, the UK still boasts some of the most prestigious universities in the world, and students come here from all over the globe to study. Furthermore, even a statement on the website of the Erasmus Programme admitted that “It is not clear at this early stage what the impact of the recent UK vote to leave the EU will have on the Erasmus Programme.”

Will Brexit make it harder for young people to get on the housing ladder?

Housing is a massive issue for young people. With increasing costs, rising demand and a growing economy, it’s only right that youngsters have concerns about how they are going to get on the housing ladder.

If certain predictions are realised and companies start to move job opportunities away from the UK as a result of the vote, it will surely become harder than ever before for many young people to get a home of their own.

In August, the BBC reported that the average house price had increased by 8.7%, a significant rise that will make the housing market even harder to penetrate for the younger generation. Coupled with suggestions that Brexit could eventually trigger a rise in interest rates, there are fears that getting a mortgage could be tougher than ever before.

However, The Guardian has reported that, in the long-term, it will be homeowners who suffer, not buyers. The newspaper quoted a leading property expert, Henry Pryor, who said that prices could fall by as much as 15%. This means that homeowners who are looking to sell may get a smaller return than they originally expected, but that younger buyers may find that those houses once out of their price range suddenly become attainable.

This goes to show how many differing opinions there are out there regarding the impact of Brexit. It seems that every expert has a different opinion on what the exact effects will be.

What will be the real effect of Brexit?

It’s the question on everybody’s lips, but it’s impossible to give a precise answer until the UK departs the EU. All of the predictions that you read in the news are exactly that – predictions. There’s no doubt that the younger generation will have to live with the consequences of the vote longer than the older generation, but negotiations are continuing to get a good deal for Britain.

Prime Minister Theresa May, her cabinet and business leaders have stressed the importance of remaining connected with the EU and the single market, so the terms of our exit are likely to change as the years go on.

Yes, the economy may remain volatile and there may be a great degree of uncertainty, but many of these worries will surely dissipate once it becomes clear just what kind of exit deal is realistic for the UK.