Brexit: Complexity in Business Travel and Immigration (Part 2)

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This is part two of a five part series on B2B leaders and their opinions of Brexit. 

Part one here.

The UK joined the EU on Jan 1, 1973. For almost half a century, traveling between the U.K. and other European countries has been virtually seamless. Even though a passport is needed to get into the Schengen states, once a citizen of the EU is in those states, no identification is required. One might start to question how business travel may change if Brexit is to become a reality, not to mention the obvious increase in price to travel with a forecasted recession for the U.K. market.

Another unavoidable subject in travel is the fear of terrorism. Adam Froman, Founder and CEO of Delvinia explained to B2BNN that “the fear of the unknown is very scary, but it is indicative of the turmoil occurring throughout the world primarily driven by the threat of global terrorism.” One of the reasons for the isolation that the U.K. is placing on itself is due to wanting immigration to be controlled on their own terms and not on the terms of the EU. The other change in immigration would be the shift to a migration policy based on people’s skills and professions rather than where they come from. 

The idea is the more control the U.K. has on travel and immigration, the safer they will feel about people entering and exiting their country. Ironically, with greater complexity travel will likely become less secure, particularly for vulnerable workers. Furthermore, if restrictions on immigration are put in place, there is the potential for a “rush for the border” resulting in a surge in migration in the short term.

“The anti-immigrant sentiment that is feeding so many decisions on both sides of the Atlantic shows that we have been confusing tolerance and acceptance as “a nice thing” without accounting for how much Western economies are underpinned by cheap, precarious migrant labour.” Says Saadia Muzaffar founder of TechGirls Canada. “Brexit is an example of myopic having-the-cake-and-eating-it-too – except this sugar-high will cause a massive, irreversible crash for anyone whose majority career and life is ahead of them in the region. All of this shows the dark underbelly (no pun intended) of how far too many in developed countries view racialized people in 2016.”

Part 3 here

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Meredith Omstead
Meredith Omstead is the Marketing Coordinator of B2BNN. Entering her third year at Wilfrid Laurier University in the fall, she is an aspiring journalist, content creator, and marketing woman extraordinaire.