Brexit’s nightmare scenario for online shopaholics

If you live in the UK, you are living in one of the world’s largest online marketplaces. More people in Britain spend more money online than any other country in the world except the US. 

Whether the statistics are accurate or not, it’s obvious that Britain loves to shop online.

But what if the vote for a British exit from the European Union means that online shopaholics in the UK have less access to the market? Like YouTube videos, some products might not be available in UK territory.

Perhaps worse still, what if UK sellers of goods are not in future able to sell to people in the EU? It might not matter to an eBay seller looking for a good home for his old books, because his or her market is mostly local. But the EU happens to be the single largest market in the world — not many businesses would want to miss out on the opportunity of selling to people who live there.

It’s probably unhelpful to speculate wildly and much of the media has refrained from doing so in case a bad situation — wherein stocks have been plummeting, the value of the pound has gone down — is made worse.

However, a realistic assessment of the consequences of Brexit is inevitable and necessary.

What’s the bottom line? 

No one knows what the bottom line of Brexit is, apart from psychics, and not many would recommend building the future of a country on the inarticulate musings of tarot cards.

Scurri is a company which takes goods from one place to another, mainly from seller to buyer. Its system is integrated with all the leading logistics companies, such as DHL, UPS and so on.

In a statement to, Scurri claims that the UK could lose £33 billion in online sales as a result of Brexit.

“In 2015, £455 billion was spent by Europeans consumers online on ecommerce sites, £157 billion of this was from the UK alone.

“For 2016, this figure is expected to reach over £510 billion for the whole of Europe but the UK’s expected increase of £33.4 billion to £173.6 billion in 2016 could be lost as a consequence of the Leave vote succeeding.”

Always look on the bright side of life

There’s always two sides to a coin, whether it’s a British coin or a European one. And for some, the other side of the Brexit online shopping coin is bigger than Europe.

In an article published on, Haydn Shaughnessy, principal at consultancy firm The Disruption House, says the UK has a good chance of becoming a global ecommerce power.

For one thing, notes Shaughnessy, Europe does not have an ecommerce platform, and another thing is the EU economy has “failed to adapt to digital”.

Shaughnessy recommends moving away from hardware dependence — cars, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals — towards software and service platforms.

Shaughnessy believes the increasing convergence of advanced logistics systems, combined with the latest payment technologies, will boost cross-border trade and much of the growth will be digital.

Shaughnessy says: “Cross-border ecommerce is primed to be a tariff free form of trade as China gradually imposes its desire to capitalise on its own distinct advantages in this area of business.

“There will be increasing pressure to operate outside of existing multilateral trade agreements because China is not involved in many of them. The opportunity is there for the UK to take, but to do so it needs to stimulate the growth of platforms.”


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