I generally try to stay away from politics, really I do. These days, in what we call the Summerloch (the summer news hole), there’s not much on. American news is full of Mr. Trump and British and European news are full of Brexit and lately Mr. Johnson.
We crafters don’t live in a a little yarn bubble, so I thought I’d take a stab at what Brexit will mean for us.
Surprisingly, there’s never been a better time to visit the United Kingdom, as a tourist, the fall in the value of the pound means one does get more bang for one’s dollar or euro (At the moment it’s roughly £1=$1.23/ €1.09). And I actually do know quite a few people heading off this summer holiday to enjoy Cornwall, Wales and the Lake District.
Of course, crafters visiting the UK may be tempted to stock up on yarn, textiles and the like due to the uncertainty which may be coming on October 31, when Mr. Johnson has said that the UK will unequivocally leave the EU. Your local yarn shop (LYS) may be stocking up too, so supplies may be safe for a while.
On the other hand, what happens to a small European companies sourcing yarn in the UK, but dyeing and marketing them in the EU? Will they have to source elsewhere?
If British wool producers stick with guidelines for Wool Sheep Welfare as set out by the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO), it may not be too much hassle on getting UK wool brands into the EU. EU tariffs are some of the lowest in the world: my basic search on the EU tariff database turns up 3.8-5% duty on Australian, Norwegian or US produced wool (containing 85% of wool or fine animal hair by weight).
I would anticipate a slight rise in yarn costs, but nothing too drastic. And the same for accessories. Granted the UK producers will have more paperwork to get their products onto the continent, so hopefully they won’t pass those costs onto us the consumers.