As a business, we have discussed mitigating the effects of Brexit since the vote to leave was taken in June 2016. However, three years on we are not really any better informed about what might happen the day after we leave the EU.
Let’s face it, the level of ‘debate’ if it can be called that, has been shameful. Our political leaders are wholly culpable for this.
We expect there to be challenges as highlighted in the media. Potential customs delays on importing and exporting will have impacts on our lead-times to customers and tariffs may play a part in raising our sell prices to customers. Neither of these are particularly worrying and can be off-set.
As a manufacturer, we are in control of our now rare UK manufacturing processes and timings and can, to some extent, mitigate an extra few days here or there. Also, the Pound has moved substantially and as we sell in Sterling our distributors in Europe enjoy a much more competitive exchange rate than three years ago, thus off-setting any potential tariffs that may be imposed on exporting. With limited local manufacturing in Europe of any competitor, there is only limited local market interest to protect, so we do not see tariffs as a major threat.
My biggest concern comes not from the micro-economic effect on us per-se but the macro-economic challenge to the UK market as a whole. Our equipment needs new infrastructure to be built. We need public and private investment in the UK to continue in order to thrive. Our company still relies heavily on the UK to provide the lions-share of our turnover and if business confidence takes a nose-dive post-brexit, then we risk recession and all the negativity that brings. No new buildings means no new EVC systems.
By way of mitigation we have worked hard over the last three years developing and expanding our worldwide footprint and appeal. We have had successes and some of this ‘extra’ business may well be required to off-set any losses brought about by the Brexit fallout.
We are continuing to market ourselves to new markets, understand their requirements, local practices and certification requirements and will continue to do so… (even without Brexit this makes good business sense.)
The bitter pill to swallow is all the good work done building relationships with our European customers is potentially undone… and for what? A trade deal with Trump? A chance to make trade deals with China? Neither has any interest in anything other than their own success. To think they will generously provide the UK with a chunk of business to replace what we may lose in Europe, is in our opinion, delusional.
Leaving the EU is foolish. It undermines 40 years of working out how to make business together for the common good and has generated a trading partnership fundamental to the success of the United Kingdom.
Leaving the EU without a trade deal and without agreements on a working Customs Union are idiotic.
This article was supplied anonymously by a supporting member of the ISCVE.