So, we went and did it. The UK voted 52 to 48 in favour of leaving the European Union and it came as a shock to most people, including David Cameron, who promptly resigned the next day. It’s a result that’s divided the nation with an almost fifty/fifty split between the Remain and Leave camps and everything, including the economy is up in the air at the moment. But what does this mean for vapers?
The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)
The first thing that springs to mind is whether or not we’ll still be tied to the EU TPD. The TPD places restrictions on things like tank size and nicotine strength, and retailers have until next May to sell their remaining stock before it is made illegal to sell products that don’t comply with the TPD.
The TPD was conceived by, and will be enforced by the EU, so now the UK have voted to leave the EU, will we still have to comply? The short answer is yes. At the time of writing this, although we have voted to leave the EU, the government haven’t triggered article 50 which is the official notice to Europe that we’re leaving. As always conspiracies are abounding, with some thinking our government will find a way to keep us in. There’s even a shady law firm threatening legal action against the government if they trigger Article 50 without holding a parliamentary vote. And considering the majority of MPs want to stay in Europe, a parliamentary vote may swing in favour of not leaving the EU, which would basically make our referendum null and void.
If and when Article 50 is triggered then apparently we have two years before we actually leave the EU, so for the next two years at least we are obligated to comply with EU laws.
If everything were to run smoothly and we find ourselves completely independent of the EU in two year’s time, then there’s still the issue of the single market. The UK desperately want to keep access to the European single market as it’s a highly profitable export area. The EU knows this so they’re bound to hit us with a list of treaties we need to sign in order to stay in the single market, and the chances are one of those treaties will be we need to comply with European trade laws, which would include the TPD.
So the chances are there won’t be much change in regards to the TPD, not for a long time yet anyway. Whether the UK will actually enforce it within our borders is anyone’s guess, but most reputable retailers will comply with the regulations, just to be on the safe side.
Price, Cost of E Cigarettes and E Liquid
Since the announcement of Brexit the pound has seen its biggest fall against the dollar in over 30 years. This means import prices will go up, at least for the short term. Most vaping products are either imported from China, or the United States so if the pound has dropped then inevitably these products are going to be more expensive. But in the long term it’s a little more hazy. Being outside of the EU means the UK are in the position of being able to negotiate independent trade deals with other countries around the world. This means we may be able to negotiate deals with China and the US which reduce trade barriers and make the import process cheaper. This will then help to make the price of our imports cheaper and we’ll be able to sell our vaping products for less.
It’s all still up in the air at the moment, and as I said we haven’t even triggered Article 50 to leave the EU yet. There has been unprecedented divisions within our country since the referendum and strong feelings are held on either side of the fence. But one thing is certain and that is us vapers will carry on vaping regardless of what happens.
What do you think, have you any views on any of this? Let us know, we’d love to hear it!