3 November 2016

How do you feel about Brexit? Regardless of which way you voted, I am certain that the huge majority of the British public are now losing patience with the whole debacle.

Image from @evans_edward on @Twitter.

Image from @evans_edward on @Twitter.

There was a lot of propaganda around Brexit around the time of the referendum, and when financial experts predicted the economy slowing down and the crash of the pound against the dollar in response to a ‘leave’ result, it was shunned. It was lost in the chaos of the campaigns and the lack of clarity that each side showed on what we could actually expect from leaving or staying in the EU.

We were told by pro-Brexit politicians that we would be stronger, a better player. If it had turned out that Britain was stronger following the vote, we could now be happy in our decision. However, the evidence shows us, on a daily basis, that we have caused significant pain to every part of Britain.

The evidence makes it clear that leaving the European Union is a bad idea. Our proud currency has been whimpering in the corner for weeks! October 12th saw the pound reach a 168-year low and later that week fall to a six-year low against the euro.
Large multinationals are passing on the cost of the low value of the pound. Microsoft announced huge price hikes across the board – affecting businesses that will then, no doubt, have to pass this to their customers. We’re absorbing these increases and I hope that others do too, but this then affects our bottom line too.

It’s clear that Brexit is having a global negative effect on the UK’s business community. That affects everyone – when you buy fuel, food, holidays – even Marmite and PG Tips!

Yet, we had a glimmer of hope today. The High Court ruled against the government and is giving the vote to MPs; May can’t just push the Article 50 button. In light of this the pound rallied. Massively.

Surely, in light of the evidence, even the most staunchly pro-Brexiter when given an opportunity to rethink will see that the right thing to do is to stop and take stock.

Even the most ardent supporter of Brexit surely must look at the situation we’re in and see that it was not as good as they thought it was. They must question whether everything they were promised was true.

My concern is that is has now become more of a matter of winning an argument, rather than what is better for our country.

Ahead of today’s case, Boris Johnson said Britain would make a “Titanic success of Brexit”. What an odd choice of wording that is.

Were there passengers on the Titanic who disagreed with the Captain’s decision to up to full speed ahead despite iceberg warnings? Yes! Undoubtedly. But the Captain was leading the ship and his decision was final.

Would the Captain and those aboard the ship still make the decision to go full steam ahead knowing that there was an iceberg ahead that would sink them? I don’t think so.

We are seeing every single day that we’re heading for an iceberg in the form of Brexit.

Yes, we saw that glimmer of hope today when the pound rallied after the vote but, in business, if you don’t listen to the facts and figures, you inevitably do not stand the test of time. We’ve seen it with so many big businesses that were British institutions – BHS and Woolworths for example. And it’s the same for our economy as a whole – we have to listen to the facts. It’s no longer about bickering, about proving a point or about being right. It’s about what is needed for our country.

I look forward to seeing how the story progresses and I hope that we reach some certainty soon because right now, it feels like we’re back at square one!

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