Long List of Little Things

The debate about Brexit has focussed on big decisions, such as trade and whether Britain should remain in the customs union.

But Brexit, if it goes ahead, will also throw up a very long list of little things with significant practical consequences for ordinary people in a remarkably wide number of areas and mostly things we didn’t know (or weren’t told about!) at the time of the referendum.

Click on the category headings for a summary of each ‘little thing’ or click on the individual links to find out in more detail. 


Increased waiting time for new medicines

Threat to supply and movement of radioactive isotopes for cancer treatment

One in five doctors from EEA countries already have plans to quit UK

Exacerbating the number of other unfilled posts in the NHS

If you have a prescribed medicine, the cost will go up

Reciprocal healthcare is not guaranteed

Holidays & Travel

Your driving license may not be valid outside the UK

You won’t be able to take your cat or dog on holiday so easily

Increased cost of holidays in Europe

European Health Insurance Card may no longer be valid when travelling or living in EU

Possible return of roaming charges

Queuing at road customs borders

Trips that cross over the 29th March 2018 deadline (or the end-of-transition date)

Extra cost of your passport

No access to pan-EU disability card

International Haulage

Shortfall of permits for UK Hauliers

Public health laboratories at ports will struggle to cope

Queues at Dover and Calais as “Operation Stack” becomes permanent

New paperwork for exports

Improved EU qualifications for bus and HGV drivers may impede UK drivers’ access to EU27

Agriculture & Food

Geographically protected products threatened

Farmers to take a bigger hit than thought through lost EU workers

Shortage of official abattoir vets

Australia is preparing to ask the UK to accept hormone-treated beef


One of Britain’s most successful orchestras leaves UK over Brexit

Film and TV faces serious consequences if freedom of movement for creatives is lost

Ofcom, on behalf of the EU, checks most broadcasting arriving from non-EU countries

British cinema under threat

Threat to rare species as our zoos fall out of EU-wide breeding programmes

UK residents to lose access to Netflix and other digital subscriptions when travelling in EU countries

National Gallery bid to save 16th century painting failed due to drop in value of sterling

Greece may ask for return of Parthenon sculptures

Performers working internationally face several challenges


Horse-racing faces barriers for horses moving between UK and Ireland and France

Sporting events less likely to be held in UK

Premier league could lose talent

Tougher decisions on UK sport than usual


Academic subjects most threatened by Brexit

UK’s international science research reputation at risk


Losing right to use .eu domain names

UK based international broadcasters will have to fall back on pre-internet agreement

Products like iPads require a services deal with EU

Miscellaneous Little Things

Less cross-border legal cooperation

Security co-operation issues

Children of EU27 citizens born in to UK parents may not be able to claim UK citizenship

Serious concerns from architecture sector

Many things that already cost more

Supermarket prices go up

Product sizes reduced

Cost of bread rises

Cost of Christmas dinner up 18%

Easter Eggs could be more expensive – and stale

Laptops up £400

App prices on the rise

Toys to rocket up in price

Pints could go up by 15% if current trajectory continues

Wine lovers face triple whammy Brexit price rise, says UK trade body

Rail fares go up by 4% at the start of 2018

Cost of car repairs up 10% in the event of no deal



  1. Thanks for this list …rather puzzled that there’s no reference to the Construction industry : codes of practice, costs of materials, mobility of construction skills in design & delivery
    Also the logistics & transportation legal frameworks/design compliance standards for railways, airports and port facilities also highways design/traffic control systems and effects of automated cars/lorries in the future !

  2. Brexit is such relentless garbage! No wonder the Leave campaigns had to lie so brazenly to win support. The unravelling story of Cambridge Analytica, social media privacy breaches, dubious campaign spending and dark money funding make this episode of our history look more like the plot of a crime novel than an exercise in democracy. Is the referendum result really safe? Was the race winner ‘just a little bit’ drugged up, so we shouldn’t make a fuss?

    The reluctance of BBC News to investigate and publicise this intrigue – to challenge misinformation (a Brexit dividend?), to report mass anti-Brexit protests or manage to host on Question Time a single Labour, Liberal or Green MEP (despite 33 UKIP appearances and counting) – reveals deep institutional bias. We rely now upon apolitical news from ITV, Sky and Channel 4 to speak truth to power – and to us.

    If we had democratic integrity – perhaps a national broadcaster as a megaphone to the truth and the people’s changing voice; a government (and opposition) that reacted to people’s concerns over the drastic changes that we were never told about pre-referendum – then we could end this Brexit nightmare that will trash our children’s future, impoverish the nation and destroy our place in the world.

    Our prized democracy has never look more shabby than it does today.

  3. Pension rights. I am a UK citizen living in the UK with pension in euros from another EU country. There must be many like me and EU citizens in other EU countries with UK pensions.

    What happens to all those pensions?

    • Same here, I have 13 years from the EU, all missing from my UK payments, not to mention 5 years missing as a student when Maggie did the poll tax.

  4. In addition, there is a deep division within society that could take decades to heal. Families split, friendships destroyed, xenophobia unleashed.
    So sad to see the UK tear itself apart just because the Torys care more about party than country.

  5. Not to mention us millions who have already lost almost a third of their U.K.pensions by the fall of the pound since the referendum.

  6. Universities are already being impacted by EU academics and teaching staff leaving.
    I believe patents , another vital part of economy, will be affected and probably become much more expensive.
    Loss of Consumer rights, which offer us good protection in the EU

  7. Hello Richard
    Thank you for starting this ongoing project – we need to get this out to people ( not sure how?) so they understand the consequences ……any ideas?
    NE / Guardian for a start…

  8. There is also the issue of tapering off FDI and business relocations and and ever increasing trade deficit. What would the fate of Sterling be if we have a balance of payments crisis.

  9. This is a great list. Thanks so much for compiling it. A couple of things:
    1) If keeping on top of the list becomes exhausting it could be something that’s crowd-managed – using a google spreadsheet or something?
    2) Lots of the sources are to the Guardian, which is no surprise, given their high standard of journalism. But if we can get more sources from right-wing sites (during their rare moments of honesty) then this may turn the heads of the people who actually need convincing.

  10. Motor insurance will no longer cover your car in Europe unless you buy extra (and your now UK-only policy won’t get cheaper)

  11. A litany of woes! As you say, Richard, it is work in progress. There are also issues regarding access to the internal market for food producers in the Falkland Islands and other British Overseas Territories. One might add that we will no longer be able to rely on the support of the EU in international disputes such as Falklands/Malvinas. And I haven’t mentioned the questions regarding Gibraltar. Gibraltarians I have spoken to are mightily peeved by Brexit. Molly Scott Cato might have something to say about that. Thanks for all your efforts!

  12. Scientific and vital medical research will be damaged. Cooperation with Europe is essential especially with rare disease research where the sample is so small and all that will be lost meaning longer suffering and longer diagnosis times for patients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.