Christian Horner, Mattia Binotto, Toto Wolff, Cyril Abiteboul, Albert Park, 2019

Why F1 teams are belatedly waking up to the threat of Brexit

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The excruciating delays surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union, and its potential impact on Formula 1, is making major players in the sport increasingly jittery.

Even in a sport accustomed to overcoming what would often be insurmountable challenges – typically through detailed contingency planning and considerable ingenuity – the governing body FIA, commercial rights holder Liberty Media and at least eight of ten teams are unable to plan for their tomorrows simply as they have no idea how or even whether ‘Brexit’ will go ahead.

At the time of writing, matters are no clearer than they were almost three years ago when 51.9% of voters in Britain’s EU referendum backed ‘leave’. Arguably, the situation is even less closer. For two years the date of Brexit was reckoned to be cast in granite. Yet one week before the deadline it was shifted, bafflingly, without a definitive replacement date being agreed.

Given the state of flux, F1 folk based in Britain – an estimated two-thirds of the sport’s staff – could well depart for the Monaco Grand Prix on May 26th without knowing whether their families and/or employers will be domiciled inside or outside of Europe upon their returns.

Worse, many of the people thus affected are none the wiser whether they will have long-term employment within F1 to look forward to if any of the more drastic scenarios under which Britain could leave the EU play out. A ‘hard’ or ‘no-deal’ Brexit could seriously compromise Britain’s ability to trade with its nearest neighbours.

Of the almost 6,500 heads directly employed by F1 teams and Liberty, around 4,200 are based in the UK. Many hold non-racing positions but the cores of these teams consist of specialists recruited from across the globe. For many their work is more than just a job but a passion, and one which stands to be disrupted by politicking.

It is not only the movement of people that is likely to be affected by Brexit: Formula 1 cars consist of upwards of 20,000 individual components ranging from the tiniest screws to bare chassis and complex castings. Many are sourced from across the world, but mainly from within the EU bloc.

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Williams factory
Williams is the only fully British-owned team
Six teams are based within Britain, and Toro Rosso has ramped up its aerodynamic base in the UK. Equally, Pirelli undertakes research and development on F1 rubber in Milan, manufacturers the tyres in Romania and Turkey, but operates out of a base in Slough, near Heathrow. Imagine the potential for disruption.

Given Britain’s motor racing infrastructure – widely acknowledged as among the best in the world – the implications of Brexit cut deep. Many suppliers have their motorsport bases within ‘F1 Crescent’, as the arc cutting from Surrey (McLaren) across Oxfordshire (Renault, Williams) through Northamptonshire (Mercedes, Racing Point) to Buckinghamshire (Red Bull Racing) and Bedfordshire (Toro Rosso) is known.

Although British-based teams order parts from local addresses, in many instances these are imported – or contain foreign components. In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit the country is unlikely to have suitable trade agreements in place, which would in turn not only affect pricing and availability due to import duties, but be complicated by the inevitable customs clearance delays, certainly during the initial period.

In a global sporting industry that relies upon split-second timing, where the difference between victory and humiliation is inextricably linked to regular update programmes, teams rely upon speedy turnaround times from specialist manufacturers. Consider a company running its machines 24/7, only for its state-of-art goods to be delayed at borders for weeks on end, whether to or from the United Kingdom.

Among the teams, one of the most vociferous critics of Brexit has been Mercedes Grand Prix. The German-owned outfit is an operating subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz GB – yet the company employs workers representing around 30 nationalities, many of these within the EU.

The company regularly exchanges staff, technologies, and expertise with Stuttgart. Such programmes could be curtailed in future, or at the very least suffer critical delays due to the raft of unknown factors. Would you easily job hop across borders during the period of uncertainty?

Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche recently came out strongly against Brexit, saying “It would have very negative consequences, especially for the automotive industry.” In times of uncertainty companies, particularly listed entities, tend to reduce non-essential spend, with motorsport budgets often the first to be culled. Mercedes is committed to F1 until the end of 2020, but not beyond.

Toto Wolff, Albert Park, 2019
No-deal Brexit would be a “nightmare”, said Wolff
The company’s head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, admitted during testing “we are monitoring it very closely because we have a large operation in the UK,” and later branding a no-deal Brexit “a nightmare scenario that that I don’t want to even envisage” and “the mother of all messes.” He warned the disruption could even hand a competitive advantage to arch-rival Ferrari.

Intriguingly, in May 2016, a month before the referendum, when asked by this author about the potential implications of a split, Wolff said, “When I took the job [as Head of Motorsport] in 2013, I was told by my boss, Dieter Zetsche, ‘Don’t comment on politics’, so I’m not commenting on politics. We’re a sporting [team], so we just have to get on with our job.”

However, when asked to explain the stark difference in his wording before and after, Wolff said, “We’re racing team operators, and not politicians. As racing team operators and businessmen [we] will always think that rational thinking is going to prevail, and eventually protect the industry, or protect the British economy.”

Renault straddles the divide: Its F1 race operation is based in the UK but its engine facility is in France. As such, it will feel the effects from both sides. Asked to comment, Renault F1 Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul said, “Obviously don’t want logistics or freight to be delayed in any shape or form, as well as [movement of] people.

“We’ve grown very quickly in recent years, and it’s been done in particular thanks to the possibilities offered by the UK, bringing in youngsters, people coming out from school, we don’t want that to change. That would be dramatic for Formula One.

“But I have full trust in the authorities of Great Britain to understand this is not in their interest to lose what is one of the pillars of British industry, which is motorsport and Formula 1.”

In an environment as complex and controversial as F1 such leaps of political faith are, as the record shows, seldom rewarded. While Renault is said to be committed to F1 until end-2024, the word in the paddock is that it is a “soft” contract with various exit clauses.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
Renault’s operation is split between the UK and France
Although F1 teams have not reported negative impacts during the current pre-Brexit process – during which Britain remains part of the EU – they expect there will be disruption if and when a split becomes reality, particularly as the sport operates to tight deadlines. These are expected to become increasingly stringent as the F1 calendar expands.

Renault’s engine customer McLaren says it has taken measures to prepare for the various Brexit endgames which remain possible. “We have been planning various contingencies for some time and we continue to monitor the situation,” a spokesperson told RaceFans. “We will adapt to the outcome and take the appropriate measures for our business to continue to be successful.”

As for the sport’s commercial rights holder, Liberty Media’s F1 CEO Chase Carey told an investor call recently that he was confident F1 would not suffer unduly, mainly due to its global outlook.

“[On] Brexit, we’ve got some logistical issues, which are more sort of, ‘if you end up with a no-deal Brexit, how do you get in and out of Britain with various equipment?’

“But it’s not a financial issue, it’s more logistic, so we’re contingency planning for things like that. While certainly being European-based, we’re a global business, and we’re unique.”

Which Formula 1 as a sport most certainly is, but it is equally a convoluted multi-billion business entity which is at the same mercies as other enterprises. This entails not only complying with the same processes and restrictions, but also putting in place procedures to enable the ‘show to go on’.

For all the faith Abiteboul and Wolff place in politicians and people, F1 does not enjoy the best of reputations among legislators. Back in 1997 the British government was heavily criticised after provided tobacco advertisers special exceptions for F1 amid accusations of a ‘Bernie Bung’. It has steadfastly refused to grant financial support for the British Grand Prix, so much so that the race is currently endangered.

The only truly British owned team on the current grid is Williams – the majority owners of the balance are Bahraini (McLaren), European (Renault, Mercedes, Red Bull, Toro Rosso), or Canadian (Racing Point). Yet their importance to the UK as employers and supporters of its thriving motorsport industry as obvious. Nonetheless, they can expect the government will be reluctant to grant concessions even if it were able to do so, particularly given the raw emotions surrounding Brexit.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2019
Mercedes have even suggested Brexit could help Ferrari
While it is too early to judge whether Brexit will become reality next week, next month, next year or even at all – frantic parliamentary sessions and diplomatic missions are currently scheduled to find some path through the madness – it is evident that some teams will be heavily affected, while others are hardly touched at all. Wolff fears Ferrari may even benefit…

Will such disruptions really tip the competitive balance in favour of Ferrari? Possibly rather than probably, and that is unlikely to be the only reason. There is no doubt, though, that an end to free movement of people will hinder the sport: Talented Britons may find it difficult to join European teams, and vice versa.

What about foreigners already domiciled across borders? It’s touch and go at this stage for them despite political promises, and thus the fate of these workers is dependent upon the final outcome. What this decree hinges upon is, though, currently unclear – which is where we came in. The situation for movement of goods across borders is equally murky.

During its 70-year existence F1 has overcome far greater obstacles than border bickering. The sport thrives on extreme challenges, and if the next happens to be balky customs processes or sorting just-in-time inventory levels in the face of indeterminate delays rather than figuring out the least draggy wing or best DRS, the cleverest guys will around will always find a solution.

Provided, that is, they’re not from the ‘wrong side’ of the border, of course.

Who knows, the entire European bloc could well benefit from F1’s expertise and experiences, as have many other industries benefitted in the past from F1’s unique skills at solving problems. That said, given its current technical, sporting and commercial challenges which could take to end-2020 to (semi) resolve, political obstacles are surely the last thing F1 needs right now.

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Which F1 teams will be most affected if Brexit happens?

We considered each team’s exposure to negative consequences of Brexit and rated them from one (unaffected) to five (seriously affected).

TeamNotesExposure
MercedesUltimately German owned. Operates out of Brackley, UK, where it designs, develops and builds cars powered by engines manufactured in nearby Brixworth. Some components supplied by UK industry. Has regular technical and staff exchanges with associate companies, mostly within EU.3.5
FerrariItalian owned. Operates out of Maranello, mainly by Italian personnel, but recruits specialists internationally, including UK. Recruitment and some parts supplies could be affected.2
Red BullAustrian owned. Race team based in Milton Keynes, using technologies supplied by sister Red Bull Technologies, which also supplies Toro Rosso, and local suppliers. Honda engines supplied from Japan, albeit via British base.3.5
RenaultFrench owned. Operates out of Enstone, UK, where it designs, develops and builds cars powered by engines manufactured in France. Many components supplied by UK industry.3
HaasUS owned. Cars based on Ferrari powertrains and chassis technology, built at Dallara in Italy. Race base in Banbury, UK.4
McLarenBahraini controlled. Woking, UK based, cars powered by Renault engines built in France. Many components supplied by UK industry.3
Racing PointCanadian owned, race cars built in Silverstone using Mercedes powertrains and mainly local components, some EU.3
SauberSwiss owned/based, cars built in Hinwil, Switzerland and use Ferrari powertrains and some UK components. Team used to operating across EU borders.2
Toro RossoAustrian owned, cars designed and built in Faenza, Italy using hardware supplied by Red Bull Technologies and Honda engines supplied via UK. Wind tunnel based in UK.4
WilliamsBritish owned, race cars designed and built in Oxford using Mercedes powertrains and mainly local components.3

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 77 comments on “Why F1 teams are belatedly waking up to the threat of Brexit”

    1. Thank you for covering how much of a shambles this entire ridiculous ordeal is and how it affects real people, companies and services we have taken for granted.

      1. But think of the ray guns!

    2. It took 51.9% of Britain’s voters to end Mercedes domination.
      I but think Red Bull affected far most by Brexit than Haas. Haas only need to had close proximity with its chassis builder while Red Bull track is on their owner country and need to back and forth to Toro Rosso place on Honda development. Horner might say that they ready to take engine penalty, but we all knew that Tost already said Toro Rosso is willing to be the rat labs.

      PS: Don’t blame F1 teams. They shouldn’t have to do anything because no one knew what Brexit is.

      1. Come on, by now you should know that Brexit means Brexit. Lol :)

        1. @eurobrun I know this is a late reply, but if you scroll down now, some of us even arguing what ‘British’ is…
          And after all that, it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is

          1. @ruliemaulana
            That’s fair. If someone asked me where I was from I’d say Yorkshire. If they asked where that is, I’d say northern England. I’d never say British for anything unless its the only choice in a drop down menu!

    3. F1 teams are paid their prize money etc. by Liberty in USD, so they have probably been quiet about politics as Brexit was actually a decent boost for them in terms of income. The weak Pound has provided them with a significant pay rise as they convert their USD to their base currency i.e. GBP, EUR etc.

      1. On the other hand, they probably pay all of their EU suppliers in EUR, I’m not really sure what the balance will look like.

      2. A lot of international costs are dollar-based in any event, so teams score on one hand and shell out on the other.

    4. I dont know much about the details. Seems this could be fear mongering by the EU. Do you think the EU will stop trade with The Brits out of spite? That to me is the real question. I believe once Brexit hAppens the EU will choose to play nice; it has too otherwise Brexit might spread to the rest of the EU.

      1. I think yours is a pro-Brexit point rather than practical look at possible implications. Of those, if the UK were to leave the EU with no agreement, then the customs and logistics difficulties would be horrendous as a consequence of leaving the customs union and the single market. On the other hand, if we leave with a withdrawal agreement, there will be transitional arrangements where nothing would change in practical terms for perhaps two years and give F1 – amongst others – more time to plan.

        But as of today, everything, including revoking the notice to leave and/or holding a second referendum, is still on the table. So it’s no wonder F1 (and wider business) is rather confused.

        1. I think yours is a pro-Brexit point rather than practical look at possible implications. Of those, if the UK were to leave the EU with no agreement, then the customs and logistics difficulties would be horrendous as a consequence of leaving the customs union and the single market. On the other hand, if we leave with a withdrawal agreement, there will be transitional arrangements where nothing would change in practical terms for perhaps two years and give F1 – amongst others – more time to plan.

          Wow, did you come up with that load of tripe all by yourself or did you get is straight from the BBC?

          The only way customs and logistics would be a problem is if the EU decides to make it one. The ENTIRE rest of the world is not inside the EU customs or trading union and guess what – everything runs just fine and they trade with the EU just fine. The UK and EU simply need to agree to play nice, impose no restrictions and everything will be fine until they put in place more permanent solutions.

          Honestly, why do people buy into this nonsense!

      2. “fear mongering by the EU”, “out of spite”, “the EU will play nice”, “Brexit might spread to the rest of EU” …

        What saddens me, is the fact that this kind of downright comically misinformed mindset appears to be shared by not just a few fools, but millions of Brits. It’s like one country chose to become Europe’s North Korea and has been living in its own alternate reality ever since. This is bad.

        1. “this kind of downright comically misinformed mindset”

          You think it’s alone? Yours is just as daft.

          The reality is that No Deal Brexit is bad for the EU, and worse for the UK – at least in the shorter term. (Arguably, not that it’s ever been debated in this farce, potential long-term increased growth due to deregulation and lower import tariffs make the long term picture more complicated for the UK. But it’s not on the table, so who cares? It’s typical of the outright barminess that the no-deal mob want it so we can have more protectionism, not less.)

          The EU and UK can say all kinds of things, but the reality is that new legislation can be passed where there’s a will to do so, and the EU has a strong incentive to make a better offer if ND looks like a serious prospect. But no-one really thinks Brexit will happen at all, let alone ND Brexit.

        2. It’s just like North Korea. A lot of the older generation still believe we’re an international super-power but in reality, we’re just a strange little island the world is laughing at.

          1. we’re just a strange little island the world is laughing at

            @petebaldwin – after the events on both sides of the Atlantic that occurred in 2016, I can reassure you that only a few deluded/misguided souls are laughing. The rest of us are wondering if we somehow warped into some dystopian alternate reality, the kind that we read about or see in fiction.

        3. nase, the problem is that Johns is mistakenly thinking that it only impacts British trade with the EU, when in fact it impacts all trade that the UK does with the rest of the world.

          Right now, nobody knows what the legal status of any goods which are produced within the UK will be once Brexit is enacted. It’s therefore not just a case of the EU not trading with the UK, but every single international transaction that the UK makes with the rest of the world having an unknown legal status.

          It’s why, for example, the Japanese government has been trying to get a clear answer from the UK about what will happen – because Japanese manufacturers, such as Nissan, do not know whether the legal status of any products being shipped out of the UK just before Brexit is complete will change by the time that they arrive at their destination (Nissan has cited the example of cars being exported from the UK to South Korea as an example).

          Similarly, although the Brexiteers in the UK have talked about just reverting back to WTO trading conditions, it’s not clear what the UK’s legal status is with regards to the WTO – a few nations have suggested that they might treat the UK as having voided its membership of the WTO once it leaves the EU, whilst organisations such as Mercosur (a trade body for South American nations) have suggested they will file legal challenges against the UK if they think the UK isn’t treating them equally under WTO rules.

          Whilst some Brexiteers have talked about basically “copying and pasting” legal agreements that the EU has with other nations into UK law, most of those agreements haven’t been enacted yet – indeed, currently most of those agreements cannot be implemented into UK law yet before Brexit occurs (the UK currently only has 6 agreements already in place and 14 agreements in principle in place, but that is less than half of the 43 legal agreements that the EU has with other trade blocks and nations that the UK is trying to replicate).

          It is a situation where a lot of those who talk about “the EU must play nice” don’t seem to realise that the UK doesn’t seem to have worked out what their legal position will be with respect to the rest of the world – much as they have spun an image of the UK “reaching out to the rest of the world”, they seem to have mostly focussed on just bashing the EU and don’t really seem to know what Britain’s position is going to be with the rest of the EU.

          1. “it’s not clear what the UK’s legal status is with regards to the WTO”

            Rubbish, it’s abundantly clear and the WTO has even explicitly stated the position to remove any doubt. The UK is a WTO member – but even if it wasn’t, it would automatically become one simply by applying.

            WTO rules are really very simple: treat everyone the same. There are no problems there. The UK government (such as it is) has repeatedly stated that the initial response to NDB will be to drop all import tariffs.

            I completely agree that the uncertainty is the really big problem here. It’s absolutely insane that we can’t plan beyond next week.

            1. I seriously can’t believe the closed minded fear mongering from the Europhile maniacs. Honestly, get a grip! You all sound as stupid as the reporter the other day asking Roger Daltrey from The Who how they will tour Europe if Brexit happens. I mean, seriously!

              Hmmm…besides not having to pay the 39 BILLION Pound exit (extortion) fee, I wonder how it would all work? I mean, if you’re not in the EU, you’re basically all adrift and all alone. If only there were other countries in the world who weren’t part of the EU – then we might be able to see how it would work.

              Oh wait…

            2. Most countries in the world are part of a trading block. Certainly all the countries in the top tier are.

            3. Dave, we are in fact both wrong.

              The UK did not have an independent membership document registered with the WTO, so until the UK lodged that document with the WTO, the UK did not in fact have valid membership of the WTO. Liam Fox then attempted a “rectification” process to submit that membership document, but multiple nations, from Moldova to the United States, then blocked the UK’s attempt at submitting their independent membership documentation. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-wto/uk-signals-failure-of-bid-for-quick-brexit-transition-at-wto-idUKKCN1MZ28D

              The UK did finally get an independent membership document accepted, but that only happened on the 27th Feb 2019. https://www.ft.com/content/592db378-3a7d-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

              As for the question of the legal status of UK goods, that is dependent on the form of Brexit that is agreed – you are narrowly focussing just on imports into the UK, but this is about UK exports to other nations. Nissan had raised this issue with the Japanese government, and the Japanese government have indicated that, if there was a hard Brexit with no deal, they would consider any cars or other manufactured components that came from the UK as being subject to a different tariff rate to that of components or cars from the EU.

              That is why I referred to the uncertain legal status of UK goods – because a car which is exported from the UK now would be classified as an EU product on departure, but may have to change to a third party classification whilst it is still being transported to another market (e.g. South Korea).

        4. I can see arguments on both sides. Basically, Britain does not want to be ‘punished’ for the decision they made through democratic process…at the same time EU cannot afford to set a precedent indicating that it is easy and painless to leave. Finding middle ground is proving more difficult than most have thought, I guess. Even just cancelling the whole Brexit thing may not be so easy. Britain already was the nation with most exemptions to EU rules, and Brussels may not be so willing to re-admit them under those same conditions.

          1. Cancelling the thing would be relatively easy technically- revoking their intent to leave can be done unilaterally by the UK, and it would mean that the status quo, including all exemptions etc. would be in effect until they are changed by mutual agreement (or a new attempt at brexit down the line) @gpfacts.

            Politically it will not be nearly as easy, off course.

        5. The concept of EU was working very well as long as it was based on trade and business, currency. It all started falling apart when the EU decided that it would be nice to be Soviet union 2.0. It’s a shame indeed, but not that the Brits are leaving- good for them- but the fact that the people have forgotten what Soviet union looked like, and how it worked, therefore they don’t see similarities.

          1. I think you should do your homework and find out what Soviet Union was before comparing to EU

            1. You’re right – the Soviet Union was far more financially healthy than the economic basket case called the EU!

          2. The EU is nothing like the Soviet Union… I am not sure what you are trying to compare but you need to rethink or at least qualify your comment with how you think they are so similar?

        6. Not sure where Johns is from, but I’m surprised that any person in the world could be this ignorant about Brexit.
          Even the people who believe the £350m slogan are closer to the truth than his statements.

          1. The people who buy what he said are typically the ones who are just old enough to have grown up in the last decade or so before the UK joined and have the delusion that life in GB was all sunshine and rainbows in the 1960s and 70s. And then, adding to their already existing delusions of pre-EU grandeur, they were told all the war stories from their parents and grandparents about how Britain fought back against the Nazis singlehandedly and saved Europe from their evil regime.

            Ultimately, they think that Britain is still a superpower who’s strength is being sapped by the parasitic EU. And also that people aren’t allowed to change their mind once they make a preliminary decision.

      3. “Do you think the EU will stop trade with The Brits out of spite?”

        On contrary they will do anything to continue trading and mitigate impact as they have proven all along but UK Government will happily apply WTO tariffs = TAXES to fund promised £350m for NHS – saying all along that this was the will of the people

        1. Er, there’s no such thing as ‘WTO tariffs’. There are WTO rules which talk about applying tariffs fairly – that is, at the same level for all countries. Since unilateral fair trade is, according to the established science, the only rational position, WTO rules not only permit but encourage it. Zero tariffs on all imports, job done. It’s the one easy bit of Brexit – only of course politicians don’t care about established scientific facts.

          1. Anyone From leave campaign has promised you “unilateral zero tariffs? To be clear this means we will import cars at 0% and export at 10%. Have all brexitiers voted for that? What chance Nissan and alike have to compete, not to mention farmers at much higher duties…

            1. What do you think ‘unilateral free trade’ means? We’ve only known for almost 400 years that it’s the only rational policy.

              We simply don’t care what taxes other countries put on their residents. They don’t have any affect whatsoever on us. Mercantilism was debunked centuries ago.

              “Anyone From leave campaign has promised you “unilateral zero tariffs?”

              No, as I’ve mentioned above it’s one of the barmier bits of an insane mess: the leading proponents of NDB want it so they can be _more_ protectionist than the EU, not less.

              May’s government, though, has indeed stated that the only practical solution in the event of NDB is to drop all import tariffs, at least initially.

      4. I’m european and want to tell you, my dear, don’t count on me to play nicely about trading with the UK. We we’re part of a family and you decided to leave. Well, be it. But, please, don’t misunderstand the situation. From Brexit 0 day you aren’t my partner anymore.

        How on earth this Brexit thing has happened to UK is something that is going to be studied for decades as a collective suicidal case. Something hard to believe for us who had UK as a guide for good politics and politicians.

        1. Its quite simple, the UK public became bored of being treated like a dumping ground and experiment for the ‘elite’, and wanted control back.

          These ‘elite’ don’t want the UK to escape from their ultimate plan of a Euro Super State and are doing everything in their power to stop it. This includes May, who is also one of them, and she never had any intention of leaving with confidence and on time. The UK has to be seen to suffer with a long drawn out bad deal so other countries don’t follow – and believe me, many also want out!

          You might find quite soon that ‘family’ starts shrinking before your eyes and you’ll have to learn to compromise! Something the EU should also take note of…

          1. British people were beaten down by austerity and years of Tory rule. Times were bad, things looked grim, and The Daily Mail told us it was the immigrants’ fault. And we “revolted” against this “elite”. The wrong elite.

            The family might get smaller, but in the UK at least, there’s 48% of us that still feel related to our continental brothers and sisters. Other former EU countries will have a similar situation.

            1. Wow, is there anything antisemitic nutjobs like you can’t blame on ‘the Jews’?

          2. Come on. To hear you talk about some “elites” and to have as a politician some Jacob Rees-Mogg is something that goes far beyond a joke. Should I remember you that you have a “house of lords” which members are not chosen by a democratic election?

            Every single political system has its flaws, and Europe is not free of guilt. But seriously, you decided to quit, so you have it. But don’t expect that my politicians, those who I pay with my taxes, are going to work for you. As simple as that.

        2. Well there are 48% of us that hopefully you can get on with, such as myself :)

          1. Very enlightening. You’re wrong, no you’re wrong, ad infinitum, then “old people live in the past and don’t have a clue” unless of course they are the old people running business’ that are pro brexit because being able to import cheap labor from new EU members makes them very rich.
            Here on the other side of the world it’s pretty easy to comment but difficult to understand why the result of the referendum can’t be implemented and why brexit must equal doom, Switzerland is a small country surrounded by the EU but not part of the EU and it seems to be okay, iirc a couple of skandi countries are part in/out but still seem to be okay. Simplistically I don’t know why GB parliament can’t pass a bill that will make all current EU laws and treaties that affect GB, upon brexit, continue to be GB law until such time as parliament amends or abolishes them.
            Re a new referendum, if the result is a reversal, then the score will be one all and the Brexiters will lose all faith in democracy if brexit is forgotten on that basis.

          2. And you have my utter sympathy for being thrown under the bus by a modern form of an ancient disease: a mix of populism and nationalism. And a friend here in case you decide to jump to the continent, as I am friend of many brits who live here in Spain.

        3. For all the EU lovers who think the UK is making a mistake, watch and be educated…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63IcW4eo4uM

          1. Do you really know what is AfD Alternative für Deutschland? Come on, mate. Do you really want to hear to far right neo-nazist arguments? Do I need to be educated by some Hitler’s apologists who want to bring back the nightmares of 1940’s?

          2. @nick101, as Architrion notes, are you sure that you really want to take advice from an extreme right wing organisation whose members have carried out terrorist attacks in support of the white supremacist movement?

      5. There is no fear mongering. The Brexit lobby loves to peddle every downside as “Fear mongering” but in reality the issues are very real. If we leave the EU without a deal then we will have to arrange our own brand new trade agreements (including with the EU) from scratch. Obviously the EU will want to secure trade deals with the UK but the EU have a far more powerful card to play in those negotiations than the UK does. Then we will have to do deals with non-EU countries with which we already have deals with via the EU. Again these countries will want to trade with us but will give us much worse terms than the EU has because we are far smaller than the EU. That was the benefit of being in the EU, we collectively did trade deals as a larger block rather than smaller individual countries and that gives the EU a great deal of negotiating power. Then there is the Free trade and Free movement issues. These will not exist anymore and so things coming from the EU will become more expensive and skilled people in the EU will be far less likely to want to work in the UK. Many companies will simply move where possible to the EU as it makes more sense for them to be there than in the UK. Some will remain in the UK but move parts of their operations to the EU. I think we could well see F1 teams gradually moving to the EU as it makes more sense to do that than to stay in the UK. It will not happen overnight but it is still an issue. At a point where most countries in the world are forming similar groups to the EU in order to better themselves, we are doing the very opposite! And we are mainly doing so based on false information and misunderstandings on how the EU works. The EU is not perfect by any means but we will still have to deal with them and will still be affected by everything they do, however we will no longer have a say in what they do…

        Basically our country voted to make life 10 times more difficult for itself…

        I love my country, I have been in the armed forces and I have tried tried very hard to represent my country at sport. I am massively patriotic but I can see myself moving my family abroad if we leave without a good deal as I need to look after the future of mu children. It will be massively sad to do so…

        The other big issue is that we will at some point go back into the EU. Once all the dinosaur politicians have left office our younger ones and our future population will take us back in but we will have lost all our vetoes and rebates etc. Our future generations will certainly be looking at us with disdain and disappointment.

        1. If we leave the EU without a deal then we will have to arrange our own brand new trade agreements (including with the EU) from scratch. Obviously the EU will want to secure trade deals with the UK but the EU have a far more powerful card to play in those negotiations than the UK does.

          The EU has a more powerful card to play?? On what planet exactly?

          1. The EU has a more powerful card to play?? On what planet exactly?

            From a different article, but just as valid here: That planet.

          2. The planet that we live on strangely enough…

            The EU without the UK is still far bigger in terms of economy and population than the UK. Therefore they can strike better deals. It is simple economics that we learn at school.

    5. Sorry, but Brexit is already enough of a farce without making up more imaginary risks. There is no threat to F1 teams, although it might cost them a bit extra in short-term shipping costs. They’re definitely at the end of the market that can just throw money at logistical issues.

      It’s worth noting that the government has committed to not-do things that are claimed to be risks in this article. Now, I wouldn’t trust the government as far as I could throw it, particularly on Brexit, but there is no prospect of ports being deliberately closed, and no reason why they should become seriously clogged any worse than we’ve seen in the past with port strikes and so-on. (It’s really not that hard to go from truck to truck, checking the contents, and sending the food to the front of the queue and everyone else off back down the motorway to a holding area.)

      I’m far from convinced that non-essentials like fizzy drinks will make it in without any disruption, but basic foodstuffs will, and anyone with enough money to charter a plane and fly their stuff in will not have any noticeable trouble at all.

      And for what it’s worth, if we did leave with No-Deal, we’d have to have zero tariffs, at least to start with. So from that point of view the imports would actually get cheaper in many cases.

      At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because it won’t happen. The politicians are enjoying an extended holiday from running the country while Brexit is the only topic under discussion, and they’re stringing it out longer – but very few actually want it to happen.

      1. I think you underestimate the amount of trade that goes to and from the EU. Checking every truck and prioritising food is not the mark of a stable economy…

        If F1 teams deem it better to be closer to suppliers than be in the UK then of course they will move. It makes no sense not to move in that case. I mean look at Dyson. He was a major supporter of Brexit and told everyone that the UK would be better off out of the EU. He has since moved his entire production out of the UK to Singapore, a country that is pursuing a EU style union with its neighbours and has trade deals with the EU.

        1. “Checking every truck and prioritising food is not the mark of a stable economy…”

          I didn’t say it would be stable. If we end up with a mismanaged NDB that clogs the ports etc., economic activity in this country could all-but grind to a halt.

          However, there is no prospect of people going hungry, or medical supplies failing, etc. etc., because in that situation the army will step in, and, ultimately, it’s not a particularly difficult logistical problem to solve to a minimal degree. There’s a hell of a difference between making sure everyone gets enough to eat today and tomorrow, and giving them the same choices they normally get in the supermarkets. The latter is under threat, but not the former.

          1. No one is seriously saying that we are going to starve. However it will lead to higher prices on the shelves and certain goods that are reliant on very quick transportation may well suffer. Drugs are a different matter. We will have to accept EU standards on drugs in order to be able to approve them quick enough but we will not have a say on those standards. Those drugs may also become more expensive which will put additional pressure on the NHS.

            1. “No one is seriously saying that we are going to starve”

              The problem with this whole mess is that a lot of the ‘received facts’ are unfortunately of that nature. Supposedly serious people have indeed stated that there is a risk of people going hungry, essential lifesaving medicines not arriving, and so-on. Those statements are nonsense, just as much as the ones from the ERG and people like that.

              “We will have to accept EU standards on drugs in order to be able to approve them quick enough but we will not have a say on those standards. ”

              Er, we shouldn’t currently ‘have a say’ on standards that are supposed to be scientific, not political – have to admit, I don’t know if we do or not :)

              I was talking above about drugs, and in the short to medium term it’s not a problem to accept EU drug standards. It may even be something we would do long term. Now you’ve made me wonder what other countries do about it. Some further reading required. Utterly unimportant in this context, though.

              There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that a sudden NDB would cause major disruption. The UK’s economy might grind to a halt for at least a couple of weeks, because everyone will be busy queuing for government food handouts or something. That’s pretty major, obviously, but it’s not food-riots, looting, and people dying.

    6. Great article – but shouldn’t it be the “UK’s Referendum” not Britain’s Referendum as Northen Ireland were also part of the vote? Still an informative read! Thanks

      1. Correct Peter (please register), but who knows it will end up with only Great Britain exiting as they cannot solve the inner Irish border issue.

        Or others might wake up to the mistaken name of Brexit and now realise it should have been Ukxit al along.
        They might have to do the whole referendum all over again ;)

      2. UK, GB, when did they become different ? Iirc it’s the United Kingdom of great britain and Ireland, even if it’s only the northern part now and it has rarely, if ever, been a truly united kingdom.

        1. it has rarely, if ever, been a truly united kingdom

          More like a ‘dislodged queendoom’ :P
          @hohum

        1. Great video! My partner is Dutch… so combined we have a whole heap of confusion, and this explains it!

          https://youtu.be/eE_IUPInEuc

    7. You’re right that N Ireland forms part of the equation, but I was looking specifically at the impact on British teams and entities as there there are no N Ireland-based teams. Where there are wider implications I have referred to the UK.

      1. With the island being specifically Great Britain, Britain on its own is often commonly used for the UK as a whole anyway.

      2. @dieterrencken, I think you are confusing England with Britain, Grande Brittania or Great Britain referred to the British isles in total, Ireland included along with Scotland, Wales etc.

        1. Having lived in England/the United Kingdom/Great Britain for well-nigh 11 years (and having been born in a then-Commonwealth country) I am aware of the geographical and political splits.

          1. @dieterrencken

            Well that’s more than most of us who grew up here can say :)

    8. Great attempt at an outside assessment of who, and why are impacted how (much) @dieterrencken, very interesting article.

    9. This has not be the most ill informed article by Dieter I have ever read.

      Complete tripe.

    10. Maybe Brexit is an opportunity for the F1 teams.
      May is still looking for an invisible Irish border solution. The car-to-pit data transfer technology might very well offer such a solution, and allow cars to pass the inner border at over 300kmh.

      1. @coldfly, No, the data will be delayed for weeks waiting for customs inspection and may be lost forever if it doesn’t arrive before the lights go out.

      2. May’s actually found the Irish border solution, although somehow it’s gone unnoticed: the UK can simply open the border, at which point it’s the EU’s problem.

        The logic is pretty simple: the UK is not going to have stricter import controls than the EU, so we don’t care about goods coming across, and there simply won’t be any benefit to illegal immigrants to make them come in by that route. So the UK really just doesn’t have to worry.

        If the EU tries to close the Irish border, then Ireland will leave the EU. That is the only thing that would get them do so, but it is absolutely clear that they would be forced to leave under those circumstances. So it’s a massive problem for the EU. Bit late in the negotiations to have realised that, but heyho, those are the fools in charge.

        1. Exactly the point I’ve been pondering for a couple of years, ever since the customs inspection bogey was raised by a British friend who travels extensively in the EU. I also travelled back and forth across the channel before the UK fully integrated with the EU and saw no sign of massive delays (unless French Farmers were taking industrial action) nor any sign of famine in the UK. @dave,@coldfly.

    11. I don’t get Toto Wolf more often point non-Brit teams like Ferrari and (?), cld have advantages. How? Money, when they pay for duty/taxes entering UE to race locally? How many are UE races on total 21? Not so strong point. Time? Customs formalities more complicated to get in schedule on track? Sure far less trickey than non UE races. Another silly point, Toto.

    12. On one hand it’s a mess that doesn’t affect me, on the other it’d be like watching a reality shows if it happened. Somehow I want to see how it’d play out

      (Don’t reply saying “but think of the people”… I know, I’m aware of that, and it’s tough for everyone but I’d like to know what would happen!)

      1. @fer-no65, Fascinating isn’t it, but it already seems like the worst kind of TV, Jerry Springer comes to mind or maybe Judge Judy.
        I’m not a Euro-skeptic, I’m a doom and gloom skeptic.

      2. like watching a reality shows if it happened

        Like a car-crash in slow-motion!
        great for F1 TV ;)

        1. @coldfly – I’m waiting for Netflix to cover it :-)

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