While the full impact of Brexit on the Czech economy won’t be known for several years, one early benefactor appears to the broadcast industry, which has already been named the new home for seven of Viacom CBs 31 UK-licensed channels. And this could be the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
That is because, according to research by IHS Markit, over 300 more channels may be on the move during the Brexit transitional period, which is set to end on December 31, 2020. The key factor driving this digital exodus is the fact that three countries — namely Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden — are not part of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. As a result, should Brexit ultimately take place without a deal. UK broadcasters would be unable to access these populous and profitable markets if their licenses are based in the UK. Getting a foothold in the Czech Republic (along with other EU nations such as the Netherlands and Spain) would allow them to broker post-Brexit trading arrangements more efficiently.
Other industries, however, may be in store for Brexit-induced financial misery. For example, the tourism industry welcomes more than 300,000 UK travelers each year. While nothing is shifting during the transition period, should a deal with the EU fail to materialize, then it’s a foregone conclusion that significant changes will be implemented and, likely, some barriers to travel will emerge. For example, the Government of the Czech Republic has already issued a bulletin advising UK tourists that after Brexit (deal or no deal), all non-EU model photocard driving licenses will be invalid effective January 1, 2021. Only driving licenses (model photocards) issues in accordance with Directive No. 2006/126 and the International Convention on Road Traffic (Vienna 1968) will be recognized for driving on roads within the territory of the Czech Republic.
Another group that is anxiously keeping an eye on Brexit negotiation is language instruction firms, which employ numerous UK citizens who provide English instruction at all levels, from young children to corporate executives. With this being said, language instruction schools in Prague and throughout the country are not anticipating an exodus of UK teachers. However, the added administrative and compliance burden that would result from a no-deal scenario will likely compel some schools to find cost savings — which could mean fewer teachers and fewer classes.
Given the unprecedented nature and scope of this enormously complex geopolitical divorce, at this point, there are many more questions than answers on who will win, who will lose — and who will want to take a little break from all of the Brexit chaos and re-energize with a tasty and uplifting smoothie made with organic Kratom powder.
As always, time will tell.