How will Brexit impact you?


2020 was a tumultuous year to say the least. While constant COVID 19 updates set a gloomy mood to the year, the UK-EU agreed trading arrangement was met with a sigh of relief, particularly here in Ireland. 

So Brexit is over right? Sort of. 

While a no deal Brexit was avoided, and with that the circumvention of the imposition of tariffs as well as a ‘hard border’ on the island of Ireland, trade between the UK and other EU member states is still experiencing teething issues, namely to do with paper work among a plethora of other adjustments. This is having an impact for many people here in Ireland. 

Here are some ways in which Brexit may affect you: 


The closure of non-essential shops saw a massive spike in Amazon purchases throughout the country. With retail and other stores shut yet again under level 5 restrictions this trend has continued. Many of the products people purchase on Amazon come directly from the UK. In fact, according to Pitney Bowes 2018 Shipping Index the UK is the third largest courier of products for Amazon.

Post-Brexit, products purchased on Amazon will now incur additional import charges, duty and VAT. Products you may wish to return and/or refund will also face additional re-import costs. People are already feeling the impact this is having on waiting times for purchases. 

Dylan O’Keffe, an Economics student in UCD, explained how waiting times have impacted him  – “I purchased a book two weeks ago on Amazon.”

“Usually I’d be waiting four days at most for a purchase”. Dylan added that he will begin  shopping on Irish sites for future online purchases – “honestly I feel a bit bad purchasing products on Amazon given the difficulties facing Irish businesses at the moment”.

Cian Smith, a fourth-year secondary school student, described waiting close to a month for shoes from UK shoe chain Size? – “I was hoping for the shoes to arrive for my birthday. I’ve been waiting weeks for them”. 

Ben added “I purchased shoes from the exact same site last year and they arrived pretty quickly”. 


From Percy Pigs to chipper chips, Brexit will impact on some of the foods we hold near and dear to our taste buds. 

Ireland imports close to 6,000 tons of seeds from the UK every year. Post-Brexit, these seeds may fail to meet EU food and safety rule standards. You may ask yourself, why should I care if imported seeds are impacted? The answer is that these are no ordinary seeds, these seeds give the chips in chippers shops nationwide their alluring and unique taste. 

If you thought the loss of chipper chips was disheartening as well as soul crushing, the loss of Percy Pigs are also on the horizon. Retailer Marks and Spencers’ has warned that EU-UK trading arrangements could mean empty shelves where Percy Pigs once lay. Percy pigs are made in Germany, then shipped to the UK and re-exported to Ireland. This makes them subject to increased import taxes. 

Northern Ireland’s food market has been hardest hit when it comes to food supply. Empty shelves have become commonplace throughout the North. Under the ‘Northern Ireland protocol’, which is contained in the EU-UK’s trading arrangement, a border along the Irish Sea was imposed. This has caused disruptions to what had previously been free flowing trade. 


The Student Social’s very own Sophie Fletcher is from the north and has described the impact this is having in her area – “In my local supermarket there’s announcements saying that you can only buy limited fresh produce”. Sophie added that “you can only get 2 bags of oranges, cucumbers and the like.” 

“I do some shopping for a friend and their local shopping centre has a Sainsbury’s that has been visibly lacking in veg and fruit”. 


Given the current travel restrictions and the prevalence of the new COVID 19 strain, travelling to the UK is likely ranked last on people’s bucket list. However, post Brexit, movement between Ireland and the UK will remain virtually the same. This is in part thanks to what is known as the ‘common travel area’ (CTA). The CTA allows for limitless travel between, not only the UK and Ireland but also The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. If you seek to work or visit the UK, Brexit should not be a major hindrance to such a venture. Ireland is the only EU member state where it’s citizenry can travel freely to the UK. Unfortunately, the ERASMUS scheme, which is very popular among BCFE students, will no longer be applicable in the UK as it is a EU wide exchange scheme. 

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