The Brexit Effect: Is Your Business in Danger?

The Brexit Effect: Is Your Business in Danger?

The Brexit effect is one of the most discussed issues in the UK right now because it will impact the country in a fundamental way.

The business environment is already changing, with big companies leaving the British territory and heading to other countries. As a result, the UK is constantly losing jobs, money, and even leverage when it comes to global growth factors.

But we’re not going to discuss the Brexit effect on the entire country. Instead, we’re going to focus on small and medium-sized companies that rely on international trade for business. As a language service provider, translation agencies (such as Translations123) and their customers are caught by the ripple effect of this change.

Still, not all changes are bad, so it’s important to see both sides of the coin. For this, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the Brexit process:

Pro: Translators May Get More Work

Since the change is one that happens at an international level, and there is no precedent, there will be thousands of new documents to translate and check for errors.

The result: Translators who specialise in legal matters and/or have experience in public administration have the opportunity to get more work. However, this will go away with time, so it’s only a temporary increase in projects.

You should also kee in mind that, because there is no precedent, many issues are not yet regulated, so things can be confusing for both legislators and translators. Also, the post-Brexit period will bring new laws and regulations, so translators working on such projects must keep up to date with the latest changes.

Cons: English Will No Longer Be an Official EU Language

To understand why this is an issue, especially for translators, you need to know that each EU member has the right to choose an official language. This means that all the documents that address the EU as a whole, must be translated in all the official languages of the Union.

As it’s natural, each country chose their language (or one of their several official languages). Britain chose English but they are the only ones as Ireland selected Irish and Malta chose Maltese.

The result: In the aftermath of the UK leaving the EU, English will no longer be an official EU language. This means that the need for documents to be translated into English will drop.

Still, there is a silver lining since Britain is looking to negotiate treaties with the European Union, so the international trade and workforce won’t be affected too much. This is a bit of good news for translators, as these treaties will create new projects and will keep the demand in balance.

Pros: Economic Growth

The main reason why the Brexit campaign was so powerful is represented by the promise that the economy will improve. According to studies, the economy will bounce back, but it will take a few years (up to a decade and more) for this to happen.

So, the short-term effects will be a drop in economic growth, which may prove difficult for most small and medium-sized companies. This doesn’t really sound like a pro, right?

The result: For the translation agencies that will manage to power through the difficult times, the long-term estimate looks good. The economic growth will positively impact the translation industry by bringing more clients from non-European countries (especially from Asia).

On the downside, if the Brexit effect is too strong and the economy doesn’t bounce back, the main effect will be an increase in prices for services such as translation or interpretation (we’re only discussing the language services niche here).

Cons: New Immigration Laws

Here, at Translations123, we are part of an international team, with language specialists from all sorts of countries. And, while the non-EU members of our team won’t be affected, there may be changes in the ways we work with EU countries.

Brexit will bring new immigration policies and new rules when it comes to working with people who are in EU countries. This will make it more difficult to have access to specialists in languages such as Italian, German, or Spanish (just a few examples).

The result: The way we work with large companies, the turnaround time, and the overall cost of a translation in an official EU language may change.

A Few Final Words

The list of pros & cons could go on, but the idea remains the same: the Brexit effect will be powerful, and the change will bring a difficult period in the short-term. Still, we don’t want to create panic among small and medium-sized companies that thrive on international trade.

We only seek to raise awareness among translation agencies and UK companies who collaborate with them on a regular basis. Brexit is a period of change and comes with both pros and cons, which is why we need to adapt and innovate before the cons hit too hard.