Domanda. What practical changes for the country could Britain’s exit from the EU result in?
Risposta. In practical terms, the UK would need to re-negotiate all its trading deals with European countries. There is no reason to suppose EU countries would be in any hurry to do so, or inclined to offer favourable terms. We could end up like Norway, outside the EU but still subject to regulations we no longer have any power to influnce.
Markets hate uncertainty. Already the UK financial and property markets have stalled, and would take time to recover. Recession is a distinct possibility, according to all senior economic commentators, including the Governor of the Bank of England.
UK workers would lose the practical benefits of being subject to EU legislation on working practices and human rights
More generally, the UK’s influence in the world is likely to shrink, and of course we would lose the opportunity to work with other countries within the EU to improve it.
Domanda. Would it lead to any changes for British residents living in Italy?
Risposta. For the past few months, we have already seen a marked decline (at times almost 10%) in the value of the £ Sterling against the € Euro. This can be expected to continue, and worsen if the UK left Europe, with a significant impact on all UK citizens living and/or working in Europe who are paid in £Sterling.
On a personal level, we are likely to face more bureaucracy, losing the privileges of being a EU citizen – easier access to healthcare and residency rights, recognition of our driving licences, etc as we become “extra comunitari”. Probably not disastrous, but tiresome.
Again, on a more general level, I feel we would lose the respect of fellow Europeans. We are probably accustomed to being seen as “semi-detached” already, but to be totally “detached” would remove our voice in European affairs, a voice which could – and should – have been used for the benefit of Europe and all Europeans.
All the major political parties in the UK are in favour of remaining in the EU. The referendum is a pointless exercise, a pathetic attempt to deal with divisions in the ruling Conservative Party. Instead it has already probably exacerbated them.