Charlie Mullins on today’s Brexit casualty: the British Industry.
Four days from the dreaded Brexit D-day, and the words ‘chaos’ and ‘national emergency’ are printed across the all of our national papers. It’s fair to say that optimism in the UK is at an all-time low, but maybe even more alarmingly – the financial services confidence in the UK has dropped at its fastest rate since the 2008 economic crisis.
This comes from the CBI, the voice of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors across the UK, which together employs nearly 7 million people and about one third of the private sector-employed workforce.
And though many might feel that the timescale for Brexit, will be loosened till the middle of April, in real terms, if two years weren’t enough, what’s a few extra weeks?
As a businessman, my concern for the wellbeing of this country’s economy, is not unfounded. KPMG this morning announced that Brexit has caused cuts to UK growth outlook for 2019, which to me is clear that the Brexit-nerves are starting to set in.
Figures show, if we leave the EU without a trade deal, the UK will experience a loss of at least £4.5 billion a year, taking a major hit on export businesses in the UK and hiking up costs with increased tariffs.
As a trading option UK businesses will naturally be less competitive in the EU markets and globally for that matter.
Even if businesses decide to maintain their rates, and swallow the higher tariffs, it means a reduction in profits — which is simply unsustainable and honestly, just a lose / lose situation.
Going forward, the uncertainty about the future path of Government policy and the reaction of the UK and global economies remains at its highest level yet, and overall the risks are more significant than any positive.
The UK is slowly staring to see the price of raw materials rise (mainly as a result of the falling pound) and it won’t be long before this pinches the pockets of consumers, if it hasn't begun so already.
Consumer confidence is faltering — and though the Prime Minister seems to be ignoring the million who took to the street at the weekend, or the millions who have signed the Revoke Article 50 Petition, it is obvious that leaving the EU is not supported by the people of this country.
Unfortunately though, the UK is teetering on a cliff edge, and it seems Theresa May would be happy to take this entire country down with her.🔷
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(This piece was originally published on Pimlico Plumbers. | The author writes in a personal capacity.)