There has been a lot of talk recently about a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and how it could cause chaos when Britain leaves the European Union next year. Huge customs queues, economic disaster and food shortages are just some of the doomsday scenarios being presented in the media. Now, it looks like getting your hands on an engagement ring could become more of a challenge too. Here’s why.
If Britain leaves the EU with no trade agreements in place, one of the many consequences will be losing its Kimberley Process membership. This is a certification program used to track and prevent the sale of conflict gemstones all over the world. All members of the European Union automatically joined the process when it was put in place in 2002. Leaving the EU means re-applying for membership, which won’t happen instantaneously (although realistically speaking, it probably will happen pretty quickly).So what would happen if this scenario does come to be? Diamond shipments to Britain would likely stop completely for a temporary period. There would be no international trading in rough diamonds between Britain and almost any other country until membership is reinstated. Once upon a time London was one of the main diamond trading hubs in the world; while that is no longer the case, many countries around the world still use London as a transport hub to get their gems to Europe. This would also have to stop.
This doesn’t really affect anyone living outside the UK. But for those of you who do live there, you could see less choice of diamond engagement rings for a short period. If there’s a delay in Britain re-applying for Kimberley membership for some reason, there could be less diamond/gemstone engagement rings around in general for a while. So if a no-deal Brexit happens and you were planning on proposing around March next year, we suggest you push your plans forward by a month or two to make sure you get that ring!