Dino Cooper, CEO, Viadex
Is it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to distinguish fact from fiction? I can’t stand spin, I can’t stand politics, and I can’t stand Brexit! I just want it to be over, I am at a point now that I don’t care how, but when. It’s the indecision that’s driving me nuts, compounded by what I view as a total collapse of democracy, truth, decency and honesty in our political class.
Regardless of my own personal standpoint, and whether the referendum was ill judged, badly presented or sheer political madness, we as a nation voted to leave. Our politicians have tried to negotiate a deal with the EU, and the deal they got, they rejected. The Ireland issue seems to be the main sticking point; I can’t for the life of me figure out how they can resolve that without compromise. You will either need a hard border or agree on both sides to have one set of standards or rules, neither of which work in absolute terms.
What the leavers voted for is entirely possible, and what the remainers would like to do is turn back time.
As for the blame, for me it sits squarely with all politicians and the EU, who selfishly would rather peddle their own agenda’s than serve the people’s will.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and in this instance very clearly shows us who was telling the truth, or at the very least who lied the least, and who’s predictions were based on political motivated scaremongering rather than sound logic and reason.
There are many side effects to all this, not least of which is fear. In my own household my wife is concerned that when we return to the UK next year, as a Spanish passport holder she may not be allowed to stay! Obviously, she may have to do some paperwork, but so what? We are led to believe that in the event of a no deal Brexit there will be disastrous economic effects, its hard to believe the people who are peddling this nonsense. It’s like the boy who cried wolf, and yet the public do.
No doubt some people will be affected, no doubt some business will be affected, but if you are in business, generally speaking you are a problem solver. You adapt to circumstance; you see problems as opportunities. We are a nation that has so much strength across many sectors of the global economy, that won’t end or, in my opinion, be weakened by us leaving the EU, with or without a deal.
In business we face challenges every day, we are in business to overcome those challenges, to lead the way, to create.
My basic grasp of economics also tells me that GDP and GNP is a measure of activity, and activity will almost definitely increase post Brexit. There is pent up demand, deferred decisions, there is the cost of being in stasis that the government estimates at around £1bn a month, all the post Brexit investment to solve the very problems that we are all told we should fear.
I also happen to understand that a £93bn trade deficit with the EU in goods for 2018 means the affect of our departure is likely to harm EU manufacturers more than the UK – can someone explain to me why that isn’t a big feature in our media? Yes, the deficit is far smaller when you take into account services which we sell, but that’s only £29bn and I wager that it’s largely based on intellectual property that cannot be stopped at the border – so who loses out in the event of no deal when the net number is £64bn?
The United Kingdom is still an amazing place to live, work and do business. The wealthiest people in the world come to London to invest in what is a truly global city, something we should be proud of and something that drives our economy. Foreign companies are investing in UK business, through increased M&A, yes, a by product of the reduction of value in the pound, but also a sign that they have confidence in our long-term future and see the asset as low-cost.
In my business we service clients that are UK headquartered with a geo-dispersed presence, typically far further afield than Europe. We took this on as our USP many years ago as we realised that the world is one big marketplace. Our purpose is to help people access that market, by enabling them to open factories, offices and data centres, selling UK products and services.
We have proudly delivered projects to over 130 countries around the world, and we continue to do so.
The fact is that Brexit and the post Brexit risk for us is a minor bump in the road. It wasn’t difficult to set up a company in mainland Europe, in fact we set up two in order to service different client sets. It wasn’t expensive and it will allow us to continue business-as-usual when working on EU wide projects with our clients.
Whatever the outcome, in the words of Gloria Gaynor “we will survive”. She actually said “I” but you get my meaning, more than that I happen to think we will thrive.