Last June 23 the referendum resulted in sharp declines in the stock market and the plummeting value of the pound etc.
The macroeconomic consequences have been evident from the outset, but it is still impossible to know how it will affect other areas of small business, for example, the online trade between Spain and the United Kingdom. So much so that many entrepreneurs are asking if the e-commerce between Spain and Britain is sentenced to death and if they should start thinking about other sources of income.
Although it is still not possible to find a lot of information about the future of Spanish e-commerce in England due to the short time that has passed since the referendum. There have been several influencers in the world of online marketing that have been quick to argue that the consequences will be devastating. Others, however, have opted for a much more hopeful perspective.
Given that the process to leave European Union will not take place immediately, the more relaxed entrepreneurs stress that will have at least two years to adapt to new market conditions, so this won’t be urgent.
Brexit and the main consequences of Spanish online trading
In this sense, once Britain ceases to be part of the European Union, unless an independent treaty allowing free trade and free movement of people and goods is put in place, then at least in the first instance UK will become a third country like Norway or Switzerland.
If Britain becomes a third country then with regards to Spanish online commerce it will mean that, from that moment, Spanish entrepreneurs will have to start paying customs duties and value added tax for each import, which will lead to a predictable loss of competitiveness to the indigenous market and the inevitable consequential increase in prices of products sold.
Also export costs of goods will also grow, making it difficult for small- and medium businesses to stay in the market due to their lower capacities to develop bilateral strategies.
Nor should we forget the fact that, on leaving the European Union, Britain might no longer be subject to the regulations and rules on data protection, which could be a real security problem. It is expected that a new law established by the British Parliament would be similar to that of the EU countries, but there is no certainty.
The last of the consequences has to do with the harmonization of legislation affecting European online shops thanks to the Directive on Consumer Rights adopted by the European Parliament. However, when UK no longer forms part of the Community it will no longer be subject to the judgments of the European Court of Justice, which will give rise to legislative differences and, consequently, obstacles to the online market.
Other consequences of Brexit on e-commerce
In the best case scenario, the UK will end up with a model similar to that of Norway, ie, sign a treaty of accession to the European Economic Area and other free trade that allows free movement of persons, goods, capital and services, so that Spanish entrepreneurs work in e-commerce wouldn’t be affected by Brexit.
However, in the worst case scenario, Britain would lose all the privileges they currently enjoy, which would be a disaster for Spanish e-commerce as from that moment purchases over 22 euros would be subject to import tax as well as VAT. In addition, if the purchase is greater than 150 euros, the customer would have to pay tariffs that apply. As if that were not enough, if the products that they make do not have the EC mark, then they could not be marketed within the European area, so it is more than likely that many would remain in legal limbo.
It would not be surprising that, due to the loss of attractiveness of the English market for e-commerce from Spain and vice versa, a reduction in the quality of services offered would occur. The same could be resolved with regard to SEO positioning, a science that requires large doses of dedication and that would be affected by preference and the need for the British to use their own internal trade.