2 September 2018

london tax brexit public sector ukfastIf you could go back, would you have voted differently in the Brexit referendum?

Looking at the raft of headlines lately announcing businesses leaving the UK for new EU headquarters, I can’t help but wonder what everyone is now thinking of the big Brexit debate.

The news this evening that the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is “strongly” opposed to parts of the Prime Minister’s proposals for the UK’s trade deal is a further blow.

Today I read of the reported collapse of Britain’s leading role in evaluating new medicines for sale to patients across the EU now that no more work is coming from Europe. All because of Brexit. The Guardian reports that the news is ‘akin to a British success story being broken up’. It could be devastating for the pharmaceutical industry here.

The news comes in as a line of brands announce moving their UK HQs over to European countries. Panasonic this week announced its London HQ will be relocated to the Netherlands. The Bank of America is moving 200 London-based roles to Paris. It’s one of multiple City firms to provide another Brexit knock to Britain.

The scale of the decision

It seems that we’re only just starting to fathom the scale of just how big and influential Europe actually is. The referendum campaigns were plagued with talk of how much money we invest to be in the European Union, but look at the cost already of just beginning to leave.

Years of medical research, our economy, arts and culture, and more are all at stake here.

Yet, amidst all of this, we find the government on holiday. Usually with a big deadline looming, you get the job done first and then take your break. Now certainly isn’t the best time for Britain’s decision makers to spend their time sunbathing!

Would you make the same Brexit choice?

I have to ask, do you feel that you had enough information at the time of the big referendum vote? Interestingly a politician said, some time ago, that you can only hold a referendum on something that has scientific fact on both sides. Facts and figures, yes or no. In this case, there were so many grey areas that it was impossible for us to say with 100% surety that either decision was the best for our country’s future. It was an impossible choice. Only now are we really starting to see the consequences.

There’s talk of another referendum but it’s too late. The rivalries have been put in place already. Whilst some may change their mind based on what we now know, there are a huge number of passionate people on both sides. They will inevitably have strengthened their feelings based on the ongoing rivalries between the Leave and Remain camps.

Interesting that when asked would you change your mind on Brexit, there were four times as many people that originally voted to stay saying they would now leave. That should give any Leave campaigners confidence that a second referendum would only reaffirm the original decision.

Positive momentum

Whilst it undeniably seems to be doom and gloom where Brexit is concerned currently, there are sparks of light. Goldman Sachs has committed to staying in London with some team members, however, moving to Paris and Frankfurt. Retail Gazette also reports that consumer confidence has unexpectedly grown by three points in August too.

Ultimately, our role is to remain as positive as we can. We have to try our utmost to ensure that this two-year distraction doesn’t completely disrupt momentum and the hard work we’re all doing to build an incredible Britain.

If you’re unsure about where we stand with Brexit, the BBC has a great guide on their website.

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