Whether you’re interested in politics, legs, or the media, apparently this week it’s impossible not to be confronted with some kind of article about Brexit. And this blog – about the benefits of having a Manchester CityCard in your wallet, to help you (afford to) make the most of living or working in the city centre – is no different.
Everything we’ve heard so far this week has focussed on the independence (or not) of Scotland, the border (or not) in Ireland, or the plight of the Welsh after realising that they have unwittingly voted to slash their living standards by 33% because they didn’t realise just how much the EU was propping them up. But what about Manchester? What can we expect?
The short answer is of course that we’re not quite sure – even if we had a plan (which we don’t seem to have, publicly, at least), a lot revolves around the other members of the EU actually agreeing to it.
But if you listen to the CBI (who speak on behalf of thousands of businesses), then they’ll tell you that manufacturing industries are going to take a bit of a hit – which basically means that any gains we make from developing a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will probably be offset by either the increased costs of raw materials we buy from overseas (due to the pound crashing against other foreign currencies) or by the awful tariffs that the EU will put on to make our exports even more expensive (Would you buy something that was Made in Manchester if there was a cheaper alternative that was just as good?)
The pounds fall against global currencies is also going to continue having an impact on everything you buy in the UK too: already the price of Marmite and such have gone up 10% to take into account the additional costs it takes to make these products, but it looks set to get worse and worse. More prices are going to rise in the next year, and , with wages remaining static, that means you’ll get a lot less bang for your buck. Invariably, that means that the people who are ‘just about managing’ will have to cut out on life’ luxuries – which, to the city centre, means fewer people out having a good time in the regions restaurants and bars, fewer people in the spa’s and salons, and even fewer people employing cleaners or gardeners: all in all, meaning fewer jobs will be in the area, even in the service industries.
With manufacturing and services under the cosh, then, we’re left with our big businesses and our offices: but expect movement here too. A lot of companies are only located in Manchester because it’s part of the EU, and many are already looking at moving people, resources or even whole offices abroad.
All in all, Brexit-Manchester of 2025 looks like a bleak place to be. :(
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