Although Brexit is moving fairly quickly now (compared to its glacial state over the last 2 years)
The word Brexit still strikes many emotions with business and individuals alike.
Compared to its apparent almost glacial state over the last 2 years it is now positively speeding along.
Some comments from the Institute of Directors caught my eye, and as the IoD say themselves they, like us, are a broad church of businesses from individuals, family business to larger SME’s and beyond.
The IoD had undertaken a recent survey after the withdrawal agreement was published and of their members replying:
72% said that getting a withdrawal deal ratified was important to their organisation, with 50% saying it was very important.
- In contrast, only 10% said it wasn’t important at all.
- When asked about the impact of ‘no deal’, 66% said it would be negative, against 13% who thought it would be positive.
That seemed to give a message from IoD members that whilst the deal is not necessarily perfect, seeing it through and securing a transition period is seen as far better than the alternative – a no deal scenario that would see tariffs on trade and regulatory upheaval.
And on the flip side of things, they asked their members whether s second referendum should be taken with the replies stating 46% for and 44% against showing there is still an even diversion of option out there (at least in their survey).
And I cannot help but agree with the IoD and quote their comment:
While Brexit might have felt like the only show in town over the past few months, it cannot be an excuse to take our eye off domestic challenges and opportunities facing business leaders.
What we should hope for is strong leadership to bring an end to the uncertainty with some businesses reportedly spending thousands of pounds in money or time wasted (and nationals and multi nationals spending multiples of that), if not more, in planning for the unknown.
My own ear picks up this comment the most, that is, whatever happens let it happen quickly and decisively so that we can plan and work in a stable environment and spend money wisely planning for the known, not scrabbling to divine the unknown.
Chaiman, Mansfield & Ashfield 2020
Partner, Hopkins Solicitors LLP