Just picked up on my name, Frank.I suspect there will be the usual ‘I hate my country‘ BS on here from one or two - thankfully the Ignore option is working for me. It’s also almost impossible to make this comparison by not conflating economic impacts of a pandemic. In many cases it will be difficult to know the root causes - more likely a combination (it is particularly unhelpful though to roll tax rises etc. into the Brexit argument IMO).
So taking an objective view. There are two major impacts I see - there is definitely a skills shortage in some areas - and not exclusively low paid jobs. But is this Brexit or is it also companies/orgs dialling back during the pandemic and finding it hard to recover? As I say probably a combo. Secondly, there are shortages of certain items. I have seen gaps on shelves but not empty shelves as some would claim. This is in part due to a knock on shortage of lorry drivers but also likely supplier related as well.
Conversely, I know many people who have taken the opportunity to look to buy more locally. If sustained that would have a positive effect on UK producers (though offset by impacts on exports for example). Any ‘buy local’ approach is also long term good for the environment of course.
In truth though it would be a stretch to say there are clear benefits at this early stage.
Speaking from purely personal experience - and others will have their own - Brexit may as well not have happened. I had one delayed shipment from the EU in the early days and that’s about it. I’m talking about my place as a consumer here. As I say others may see differently but I have never had a relation, friend or neighbour say ‘Ever since that bl@@dy Brexit ….’. Everyone I know seems unaffected, or at least unbothered (as consumers I hasten to reiterate).
Would be interested to hear from Ave_IT and Greenrod on this though. From a business perspective I recall the former was fearful in terms of supplies and trade, while the latter was more optmistic about new opportunities. Would be interesting to know if those views have changed at all.
Although retired I am still in touch with business leaders in the capital machinery manufacturing business.
Exports into Europe of spare parts and new machinery is steady - it hasn’t made too much of a difference as CE self certification in accordance with EU directives and compliance is automatic anyway.
Export and customs documentation is already carried out on global exports by these companies.
Although EU business is steady, the global order book is booming.
Having said that it very much depends on the type of business, innovation, demand and competitiveness.
If anything Covid has had the biggest effect on business with design and sales engineers working from home and shop floor manufacturing and assembly off and on depending on lockdown requirements.
What we desperately need is more engineering apprentices and graduate engineers in the system.