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Beaches To Cheese: 5 Unexpected Brexit Consequences

In London on June 24
In London on June 24
Bertrand Hauger

"This has implications for absolutely everything," political editor for BBC News Laura Kuenssberg declared of the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union.

And now that Brexit camp has won, and the UK prepares to bid farewell to the EU, the parties and the gawkers have begun to gauge the fallout of ending the 43-year-long marriage.

Some are far-reaching: from travel and trade restrictions to immigration policy and even the risk of a domino effect toward a total disintegration of the EU. On the homefront, the British political landscape has been rocked, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation (hello, Boris?).

But as with every divorce — who gets custody of Mr. Bubbles? — there are unforeseen ramifications, some of them directly impacting people's everyday life in the most surprising ways. Here are five worth noting:


Sets of strict EU guidelines that will no longer apply in the UK include a wide range of basic environment-related rules, such as beach cleanliness. Bournemouth, Brighton, Newquay ... The Guardian points out that the sand of the country's beach is at risk of becoming a whole lot dirtier.

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In Newquay — Photo: Kicior99/GFDL


No more Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dennis Bergkamp or Thierry Henry? According to Sports Illustrated, there are around 200 European soccer players who, thanks to the EU's current freedom of movement policy, were able to freely join English Premier League clubs. Leaving the EU means that soccer stars will need to earn a visa and get a work permit to score goals for the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

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Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Manchester United in 2009 — Photo: Paolo Camera


Take it from now-outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron himself: "Protected status enjoyed across Europe by our unique products, such as Gloucestershire cider, Single Gloucester cheese and traditionally-farmed Gloucester old spot pork, will be lost," he told the Gloucester Citizen.

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Cheese, Gromit — Photo: Jon Sullivan

Operating under World Trade Organization regulations instead of those of the EU could mean significantly higher tariffs for local UK producers and farmers. But even more troubling: Stricter import/export rules could mean British cheese lovers will face rising prices on French camembert, German gouda and Italian gorgonzola.


"We could end up in a situation where British citizens have far less protections than their EU counterparts from their own government's intrusions on one hand and on the other, subject to more cyber-crime," cyber-security expert Richard Patterson told International Business Times UK. By pressing "Escape," the UK is stepping out of the EU's comfortable Cybersecurity Strategy for the European Union and Digital Single Market Strategy, potentially making Britain more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

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Photo: Ervins Strauhmanis.


The BBC points out that leaving the EU will also allow the UK to bypass burdensome clinical trials regulations, sometimes viewed as counter-productive to the production of new drugs. Still, the world's biggest players in the world of "Big Pharma" had come out in favor of "Bremain," saying that functioning outside of EU regulations would deter manufacturers from selling new drugs in the UK.

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Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*


When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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