A quick google search for the term ‘Business Confidence and Brexit’throws up a number of conflicting articles, from ‘Business Confidence is Returning to Brexit Britain’ to ‘Brexit knocks manufacturer’s confidence’. With headlines and new stories changing daily it can be difficult to tell what’s what when it comes to Brexit and Business, so we thought we’d take a look at the main stories out there.
The Good News
The good news seems to be that the predicted apocalypse and economic collapse mooted during the referendum campaign hasn’t happened. It’s true that immediately after the referendum UK plc did see a dramatic fall in the price of sterling, the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 (the key indicator of health in the UK economy). Now however, in part due to the speedy appointment of a new Prime Minister, the pound has stabilised and the FTSE 250 has recouped its losses and is now trading at its highest level since August 2015. Add to that major international companies coming out and announcing that they will be staying in Britain and not moving to mainland Europe and the future starts to look a little bit brighter.
The Bad News
Well, as Theresa May has informed everyone ‘Brexit Means Brexit’, so it’s definitely still happening which means that the long term future is still very uncertain. Of course, a future inside the EU would still have been uncertain, with recent figures show a worrying lack of growth for countries within the Eurozone, but at least we would have had trade deals in place and could work together as a bloc. While recent news has revealed that there are 27 non EU countries lined up ready to put trade deals together with the UK, the biggest hurdle seems to be our lack of people with adequate experience to actually negotiate these deals. With time needed to prepare before invoking Article 50, and time needed to prepare for non EU trade negotiations, not to mention the time need to negotiate our actual exit from the EU, could these countries run out of patience?
For every positive Brexit story there seem to be two negative stories to counter. While last week it was revealed that 56% of investors were positive about Brexit, at the same time manufacturing prospects were predicted to stall and slow economic growth had been reported for Q3. Since the referendum, various economists have warned against talking ourselves into a recession. As the majority of people are risk averse, it seems natural to exercise caution when the future is uncertain. However it seems that now more than ever it is important to believe in the strength of your business, the strength of the UK economy and the strength of the UK as a nation. If Brexit is happening, as it seems to be, then let’s make a success of it.