We’re asked several times each week since the Brexit vote from ‘C’ level execs in the US as to what impact we’re seeing so far.
The cacophony of the mainstream press and numerous blogs before the EU referendum vote was that Brexit would be an extinction level event for the UK and the economy. However, even the most poetic of such commentators would in hindsight realise that was something of a hard sell to what turned out to be a more overtly cynical electorate than might have been expected.
None of the pessimism of a Brexit made a lot of sense to us in the context of the reality of trading outside of the UK. Yes, sterling has fallen relative to a basket of the world’s major currencies, but so what?, UK manufacturing which counter intuitively to many is still the 8th largest exporter in the world, and with a relatively cheaper pound exports are therefore cheaper, international demand will inevitably increase as official figures later in the year will I’m sure reflect. Similarly therefore, investment to the UK is 10% cheaper now than it was pre the vote.
From our perspective we’ve seen requests recently from countries inside the EU such as Hungary and Romania, and further afield with the Philippines and Mexico as an example which has never happened previously. Now whether that’s because of Brexit is anyone’s guess but the point is that if you are trading, then why wouldn’t you trade within ethical realities with anyone. At a national level it seems the governments of countries around the world are keen to line up agreements with the UK and why wouldn’t they. The UK will remain an excellent bridge point to mainland Europe and is uniquely positioned to establish increased trading within the Commonwealth countries, and not least the UK as the 5th largest economy in the world remains a significant market in itself.
The biggest point of Brexit from our standpoint is that people and organisations will (still) buy your product or service if it’s the best thing to cover what they need and if they can afford it. No idea why a political change will make much difference there even if there are minimal tariffs eventually imposed between the UK and the remaining members of the EU, and those tariffs would be pretty unlikely to happen as it’s not in anyone’s real interest.
Time will resolve the conundrum of whether Brexit will good or bad for the UK, but insofar as we can tell we’re still here and open.