AS most of you will have heard by now (if you haven’t, how out of touch with politics are you?) the British people have voted to leave the European Union.
Instead of trying to figure out why 52% of voters decided to plunge this country into an unforeseen economic spiral of doom, I’m going to be looking at what Brexit means for students like you and me.
Since the referendum in June, the biggest and most publicised effect of the vote has been the dramatic drop in the value of the pound, which before the vote stood at £1.49 to the US Dollar and even now, four months later it is still decreasing and currently sits at £1.21 to the Dollar, the lowest level since the 1980s and Margret Thatcher’s reign.
What this means for students is that the price of food will start to increase in shops, making it more difficult to feed ourselves. Tesco has already been the focus of a disagreement with the Marmite parent company, Unilever, which saw the brown breakfast spread and other favourites such as Ben and Jerry’s ice cream temporarily removed from the store’s shelves in a price dispute.
The cost of fuel has already begun to rise too, a constant problem for those of us who commute to university, with the average prices standing at 111.9p and 113.1p (as of September 2016) for petrol and diesel respectively, a 2p and 4p rise per litre since the referendum according to ‘petrolprices.com’.
Holidays to Europe will become almost £300 more expensive on average thanks to Brexit, which is a nightmare for anyone planning a trip abroad in the coming months, particularly those on student budgets.
Another big question, is what will happen to international students who go to university in the UK?
Well for the next academic year (2017/18) at least, students from the EU will still be able to come to the UK to study and will be eligible for student loans and grants, the UK government has confirmed, probably because we won’t have actually left the EU by then.
In an interview with The Independent, Universities Minister Jo Johnson (brother of Boris) said: “This latest assurance that students applying to study next year will not only be eligible to apply for student funding under current terms, but will have their eligibility maintained throughout the duration of their course, will provide important stability for both universities and students.”
Despite this knowledge, it is still very unclear as to what a post-Brexit Britain will be like for students when we do finally leave the EU in several years time.