The gush of headlines after Britain's vote to exit the European Union has slowed to a trickle, but the government there is just now ramping up to deal with the process of actually pulling apart from the EU, and hammering out what happens next.'s Victoria Craig explores the impact of Brexit on the U.K. economy: 

It was a vote heard round the world... In the wee hours of June 24, final ballots were counted in a snap referendum on whether the United Kingdom would sever its more than four decade membership in the European Union. Voters chose to divorce their nation from the bloc, stunning the world and sending shock-waves through global markets.

Following the vote, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and Theresa May stepped in. New government departments were formed, and businesses put spending plans briefly on hold. Save for a faded get-out-the-vote stamp at a bus stop near Parliament, though, you might not even be able to tell the vote even happened. Pubs are bustling with clinking glasses, eager shoppers flit down Fleet Street, and restaurants are booked with reservations.

Despite an overall cheery atmosphere on the streets of London, many economic uncertainties bubble under the surface while the U.K.'s trade relationships with the rest of the world hang in the balance.


On a particularly windy Wednesday at London gateway, one of the youngest, but one of the most technologically-advanced container ports in the U.K., burly dockworkers hustled to unload nearly 18,000 containers from a 199,000 ton ship from China.

It was seven weeks after the Brexit vote, and CEO Cameron Thorpe said his focus was on continuing to build his business as he sees Brexit as just another bump in the road of global trade:

(Thorpe) "Whether the U.K. grows post Brexit or if it slows, that is not going to be the determinant for the success of London gateway."

Thorpe explained the port's proximity to London, a 40 minute drive from the center of the city is one of its biggest advantages. For now, Brexit hasn't impacted London gateway, but it's simply too early to tell since many of the goods arriving now were ordered before the vote:

(Thorpe) "I've been in the business quite a long time. We've seen where there's been growth and where there's been slowing of growth. It's naturally a part of what we have to deal with."

While U.K.'s decision to sever it's more than 40-year European Union membership has significant economic and trade repercussions, what drove many voters to the polls in late June was another matter entirely:

(Woman) "I don't like to to see non-nationals taking priority."

British citizens craved change amid debate about the free movement of people across the E.U. borders, and how to keep each country safe amid the growing threat of global terror.

New Prime Minister Theresa may said Britain would seek a unique relationship with the E.U. involving both controls on immigration and a good trade deal.

PricewaterhouseCoopers chief economist John Hawksworth said whether that kind of deal happens depends on how lenient the E.U. will be on changing immigration standards:

(Hawksworth) "If the E.U. as a whole decides that its approach needs to change because of the migration crisis and other political pressure in other countries, then that won't make it easier because then we're just giving special treatment to the U.K."

Losing access to the single market means the U.K. would no longer have the ability to trade freely with the E.U.'s 27 other nations. Without that, Britain would have to re-work fresh trade deals with each individual nation.


Britain's decision to leave the European Union not only sent shock waves through the global market, it pressured its own economy as the cloud of uncertainty hung over the business community. The U.K. impact is obvious, but how the vote will hit the U.S. is a little more nuanced.

Stock markets initially sold off on the news, but within days, they more than recouped losses and have been trading near record highs ever since. The Brexit decision will also have an impact on trade negotiations between the E.U. and U.S. The two have been working toward a deal on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-tip for short, but with the world's fifth-largest economy now on its way out of the E.U., the bloc loses some of its negotiating leverage, says London School of Economics professor Steve Woolcock:

(Woolcock) "It reduces the E.U.'s negotiating leverage because it means it's a smaller market. In one sense it helps the U.S. because one of the sensitive issues was financial-regulation, financial-service. Without the UK in, there will be less pressure on financial services, for the U.S. to open its financial-services markets."

The U.S. election will throw another wrench in the deal, putting a new secretary of state in charge of the diplomatic trade negotiations.

Victoria Craig, FOX News.

Follow Victoria Craig on Twitter: @VictoriaCraig