Higher Education Weighs In On Brexit

Brexit is getting schooled. Well, in a way.

British online newspaper The Independent reported news that a number of highly-regarded, U.K.-based universities have released 10 demands tied to EU citizens’ rights. The group feels the demands must be met so that higher education “is not damaged” by Brexit.

Known as the Russell Group — and including educational institutions such as Oxford on its roster — the statement by the collective argues certain tenets of Brexit hurt the education sector, which contributes more than 70 billion pounds to the economy as a whole.

Among the demands by the Russell Group: Get rid of the mandate that every EU citizen must apply for “settled status.” In lieu of that, the ggroup recommends automatic rights to stay should be granted to people who already reside in the U.K.

In documents obtained by the newspaper, the group maintains, “Whilst this is the U.K. government’s first position for the negotiations, this lack of clarity is causing considerable concern for EU nationals at our universities and impacting on our ability to recruit talented staff from the EU.”

Separately, there may be some optimism surrounding the Brexit split, as a survey released last week shows small U.K. firms are sanguine about international trade prospects and, spurred by the relative weakness of the British pound, are looking to boost their overseas sales. The survey, which spanned 500 small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners — conducted by payments company OFX — also found that since last year’s Brexit vote, 48 percent of those firms have increased overseas sales.

In continued evidence that financial firms are looking beyond London for their trading operations, Bloomberg noted two firms which employ algorithmic trading have decided to make the leap to Amsterdam rather than London to open their first European hubs. Those two firms — Radix Trading and Hard Eight Trading — follow Tradeweb, which made similar moves last week to set up shop in Amsterdam.

Finally, perhaps farewell to friendly skies. Brexit might hit the airline industry beginning in March 2019, when the divorce becomes official. Budget airlines, especially, reported, must seek a new arrangement as the currently extant “open skies” pact among firms disappears. That’s the statement of Irish airline RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary, who noted the ongoing Brexit talks are less than encouraging.

“It’s odds against a deal being done in advance of Christmas 2018, because it is in the Europeans’ interest to not have a deal done… and all hell will be kicking off over here [in the U.K.],” O’Leary said.

The absence of an agreement could conceivably freeze flights between Britain and the rest of the continent.


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