City centres will soon be transformed with the arrival of Christmas markets. However, the unpredictability surrounding Brexit means these festive features have faced extra challenges this year. The organisers have shipped goods over early to the UK ahead of 31 October Brexit deadline which has now been extended meaning that the organisers have had to pay for expensive storage.
The sector worries that we might find it more difficult to attract European stallholders which contribute millions of pounds the UK’s economy.
Many people that come over from EU countries to set stalls have had to do things much differently this year. Anja Manke runs the stalls at Manchester’s Christmas market and has been coming 21 years: “It looks like really nobody knows what’s going to happen, so we are trying to get everything done,” she says. “We don’t know how long it’s going to take to get deliveries, so it’s better to have everything in place just to be on the safe side.”
These markets don’t just bring money to the visiting European traders, Christmas markets attract people into cities from further afield boosting spending in bars, restaurants and hotels and other leisure facilities which totalled up to a contribution of up to £500m into the economy in 2017 alone.
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