Amidst the dark days of the catastrophic response by the UK government to the Covid pandemic, the disaster that Brexit was always going to be, continues to unfold.
Unsurprisingly, given the dire impact on so many industries, communities and individuals, little attention is being given for the implications for what is a relatively small number live aboard cruisers.
The loss of freedom of movement was always going to be a huge price to pay. Sure enough, 90 days in the EU within each 180 day period will make cruising the Mediterranean very difficult. It will also make transiting to or from the Mediterranean via the French canals almost impossible. There are several British cruisers who have been spending the winter in places like the marina and boatyard at Almerimar in Spain
It seems that the UK government chose to not agree to the right to work in the EU. This is probably going to impact many cruisers who earn money while cruising. At the moment the impact on musicians touring is in the news but there are potentially huge implications for those earning money while cruising by picking up work, doing remote working, selling or from YouTube etc. Part of the problem is going to be the uncertainty, there will be differences between countries but also between different offices and officials. I suspect that this is going to take years to find clarity.
Another area where there is potential for significant disruption is about what is taken into Europe. In the last week Lorry drivers have had sandwiches confiscated (BBC News).
Under EU rules, travellers from outside the bloc are banned from bringing in meat and dairy products.
“Since Brexit, you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff,” a Dutch border official told the driver in footage broadcast by TV network NPO 1.
This has obvious implications for cruisers, if officials check yachts for fresh food every time they enter the EU.
Beyond these issues, in terms of Sustainable Sailing, Brexit has other impacts such as reduced value of pensions, reduced value of UK currency. There are also issues related to health cover, insurance, mobile phone charges and more.
With other impacts on sustainability such as UK allows emergency use of bee-harming pesticide already happening and more expected given the views of powerful Brexit figures on employment, pay and every other aspect of life.
Over the next decades Brexit is probably going to have the biggest impact on the Sustainability of Live Aboard Cruising for UK citizens, that impact is almost entirely negative. It may well also cause an increase in the number of seeking to leave for a live aboard cruising future. Increasing demand while also reducing possibility is a pretty fair summary.