How might Brexit affect personal finance?

Whatever your personal view on Brexit, what cannot be disputed is that it will affect areas of our lives – personally and in the world of business.

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. However, with the one-year transition period now over – with an agreement reached on 24 December – the tangible consequences of Brexit are now taking effect.

Here are some of the ways the UK/EU Brexit deal could impact your personal finances:

• Property

Avoiding a no-deal Brexit scenario has certainly removed a large degree of volatility which could have impacted the market. While at a corporate level Brexit will have an impact – access to workers for example – the facts are that people will always need to buy and sell property and secure and adapt mortgages as their personal circumstances change.

Brexit and personal finance

The proof will be in the pudding in terms of how the property market will fare in 2021, but Brexit should not unduly put off individuals looking to move up or down the property ladder, although seeking professional advice is recommended. When all is said and done, it may be your own personal financial situation that is more pertinent when it comes to property than Brexit repercussions.

• Motoring – importing/buying European cars, driving overseas

Following the formal UK/EU trade agreement, Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), commented: “We welcome the agreement of a new EU-UK trading agreement, which provides a platform for our future relationship… we will continue to work closely with government to ensure all companies are as prepared as possible.”

Brexit and personal finance

Again, it is clear Brexit will challenge the established landscape when it comes to importing and buying European cars. However, while consumer demand remains strong, there will continue to be a strong appetite to provide imported cars to the UK market – albeit the processes and logistics may, at least in the short-term, be affected.

It’s worth also noting that if you’re taking your own vehicle abroad, you’ll need a green card – an international certificate issued by insurance providers in the UK, which guarantees motorists have the necessary minimum level of third-party cover.

• Travelling in Europe

Current Covid-related travelling restrictions clearly supersede any Brexit-related travel changes. Still, it is worth being aware of additional logistical hurdles and potential financial implications of travelling to Europe in a post-Brexit world.

There is no reason you cannot travel freely for business and recreational purposes but as highlighted above, seeking professional advice may well help ensure you don’t end up unduly out of pocket. Considerations include but are not limited to: Potential stricter border checks; the need for additional documents if visiting EU countries for over 90 days; the need to purchase a ‘visa waiver’ from 2022 and limits on what can be brought back to the UK.

Remember, you will also need at least six months remaining on your passport.

• Pensions, wills and investments

The UK’s departure from the EU does have implications on pensions, wills and investments as the global stock market is liable to be influenced by exterior factors – such as Brexit and, latterly, Covid-19.

While there are protective measures in place, markets don’t like uncertainty and Brexit, as well as a number of other factors, undoubtedly create uncertainty.

That being said, there are many ‘locks’ in place to protect UK nationals’ assets and, as far as pensions are concerned, government has pledged that UK pensioners living in the EU will still receive annual rises to their state pension in a post-Brexit world.

Brexit and personal finance

Ultimately, when it comes to your pensions, wills and investments, everyone’s circumstances are different. Speaking with an expert may help with the nuances of any Brexit-related implications.

At Wills & Trusts Wealth Management we are all about building futures and cementing legacies and we are acutely aware of the impact Brexit can and will have on hard-earned personal finances in a volatile, changing world.

Helping our clients achieve financial peace of mind, and ensuring their money works as hard for them as possible, is at the very heart of what we do and drives us forward.

To learn how we can help protect and grow your wealth in a post-Brexit world, both now and in the future, contact our friendly, knowledgeable and dedicated team today.

Paula O'Reilly

February 4, 2021