MONTHLY BAROMETER – WELLNESS EDITION
“Brexeternity”—At the eleventh hour, all options are back on the table, from May’s deal to a no-deal, from a softer Brexit to a second referendum. But irrespective of the actual outcome, Brexit won’t be over any time soon. For years to come, the British economy, society and politics will be consumed by wrangling and negotiations with the EU (and the rest of the world), leaving the authorities unable to concentrate on the problems that led to Brexit in the first place: rising inequalities and lack of public spending for schools and social programs. Here is a prediction based on a hunch: One day, Britain will be back at the EU table, but in the immediate future, keep an eye on the GBP that will slip toward parity with the US dollar in case of no-deal.
Brexit is already negatively impacting wellness and subjective wellbeing from a multidimensional perspective but first and foremost in terms of mental health and financial wellbeing. (1) The uncertainty over Brexit is weighing on mental health. Uncertain, but expected, negative shocks often lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and researchers have already found that the “Brexit blues” had a statistically significant impact on mental distress since the 2016 referendum. (2) Brexit is affecting financial wellness for most people in a significant way. Different surveys point out that an increasing number of families express growing fears about the falling value of the British pound and over their job security. This is understandable: Under any scenario, Brits will become poorer after Brexit.
The dramatic effects of Brexit on Brits’ wellbeing are just beginning to be understood.