Brexit and Cosplay

The impact of Brexit on Cosplay and Comic Cons in the UK

So, It’s inescapable at the moment, you can’t get away from ‘Brexit’ in the news but surely it’s not going to effect Cosplay as a past time in the UK, is it?

Hopefully not, but it might. The extent of the impact will depend on exactly what happens, and at the moment that is simply not something anyone can predict, but let’s look at the possible outcomes and how they will impact on cosplay and comic cons in the UK.

If we leave with a ‘bad’ deal

Firstly, an orderly Brexit with agreement between the UK and the EU on the withdrawal. This is the Prime minister’s ‘agreement’ being voted on this week. If, by some miracle this passes then on March 29th, although we will exit the European Union, we will then seamlessly enter a two year transition period during which almost nothing will change, so initially there will be almost zero impact on cosplayers or con attendees.

In the longer term though there may be some minor things that change subtly that have some very small impact. We will no longer be a part of the Common market (although the assumption is that we will have a new free trade agreement with the EU) as long as that happens then we’ll barely notice the difference from now.

It’s possible that products/cosplay supplies ordered from EU countries, such as items from Cosplayshop.be, books from Kamui Cosplay or Lightning Cosplay, may take longer to arrive. The key difference that we will notice is that we will have to start paying customs charges on supplies ordered from EU countries, in the same way we do now for things ordered from the USA/Canada etc.

There will still be freedom of movement, and we will still be free to work within the EU, while new EU citizens will free to visit and work within the UK for a set amount of time however EU nationals will no longer be able to claim benefits such as free healthcare and anyone staying beyond the agreed time would need to get a visa to stay longer. If you’ve lived and worked here already then you’ll be allowed to stay with your exiting rights.

However, any changes in immigration in the future may be minor and may eventually have some impact on the people who attend and trade at Comic Cons in the UK, it may be the selection of guests and traders at UK cons becomes less diverse, as attending such events for ‘pay’ will become a little more difficult than it is now.

If we leave with no deal

Secondly, let’s look at a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, ‘no-deal’ isn’t quite the right expression, there has been a lot of scare stories in the news which are frankly nonsense as there has already been a great deal of planning for a ‘no-deal’ scenario. In practice, rather than the single wide-ranging agreement that covers ‘everything’ there will need to be a large number of small agreements covering everything from aviation insurance to food standards, and the fear was that we would ‘leave’ with none of these required agreements being in place.

If we were to leave with no agreements in place at all, then the scare stories would be true. On March 30th the borders would be closed, aircraft would be grounded, the channel tunnel would be shut and ferries wouldn’t be running, the status of EU citizens in the UK would be uncertain and likewise for UK citizens in the EU. Food prices would rocket, supermarket shelves would be empty, medicines would run out, it’s likely we’d suffer power cuts almost immediately as the gas pipelines are closed, your typical Hollywood apocalypse stuff in other words.

Except… that scenario is so very scary that almost all of the key agreements needed for life to continue are actually already in place, food and medicine won’t run out, the lights won’t go out, travel will continue, the agreements are very simple and more comprehensive agreements would be needed in slower time,

The main thing we’d notice is that prices of some goods would go up. There would be a measure of disruption at the borders in the same way there is sometimes between Spain and Gibraltar with queues building up where inspections are made more rigorous, but trade will continue on WTO grounds.

Most of the UKs trade with the rest of the world is already on this basis, and it is fairly seamless. So once again the key impact in terms of UK cosplay is that the cost of certain things ordered from companies based in the EU would likely go up and we would have to pay customs/import charges.

So basically….

…we won’t see much of a change, but whether with a deal or not, it is likely the thing we will notice most, is suddenly having to pay customs duty and import charges on things we didn’t have to previously. This will mean that the cost of some things will go up, this could impact on cosplay supplies and materials.

There may be other changes further down the road, for instance with the UK no longer bound by EU law, eventually the UK may change copyright laws in some way that might impact on cosplay or cosplay photography, but I don’t see this being particularly likely.

We don’t have working crystal balls so who knows what the future holds (hey, who foresaw either the Brexit mess or Trump) but I think it’s safe to say that, for now, our enjoyment is fairly safe. Regardless of what actually does or doesn’t happen with Brexit.

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