Brexit and your Business

We look at the latest numbers from the ONS and see what it means for your business.

The recent figures from the UK based Office for National Statistics (ONS) – says two things. They  are interesting because they show that; – first, whilst we have persuaded it would appear, less EU residents to come base their life in the UK – it is the EU newcomers and residents who have come and who do come, who are the most work hungry and already have jobs.  It is the Non-EU visitors, who are the most likely to come as a family, and then “look for work”.

The importance is that Brexit was based on a fear of immigration. but as the following example will show – we have succeeded only in turing away those residents who are actually contributing to our own UK economy – and in doing so, we have marginalised ourselves in the UK.

I saw this only this week, in an NHS Clinic, where I was fortunate to have surgery;  the majority of nurses, surgeons, Consultants, etc – were European. The quality of care was second to none.  But individually, they spoke to me with a sense of sadness – they loved the tolerance and relaxed and positive attitude of our society.

This resonates with meetings I had just last week – in international Conferences in Sweden, and in France – where separately, but by happenstance – senior delegates and vendors said to me:

“Look – we have been serious about entering the UK and building a new business there – but we no longer believe that YOU are serious”.

The impression we are giving as UK businesses, is that we do not value the people, and therefore we do not value the market – in Europe.

The question is – how to stop that?

The answer is one of face/face meetings.  We find that “showing seriousness” means getting on a plane. We have never lost a deal because we were, or were not, part of some political club.  But we have indeed lost deals, by not bothering to reach out to our international customers – who do seem more than willing to work with us.

 

How To Survive Brexit

Richard Bloss explains the tragedy of Brexit.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the persistent vilification of its allies by another country, will itself destroy its reputation among its friends.
The tragedy of Brexit, is not on a business level. There will be no obvious difference in business, good or bad, and no obvious difference of investment. BMW will still want to sell us their motor cars.
The sadness will be in a human and personal level. The thousands of Poles, Lithuanians, Africans, Syrians, even Russians – who have come to the Uk – have not done so in search of a better life sitting on their sofa and getting our free healthcare. They already have better healthcare at home.
They came because the Uk is the beacon of tolerance, support in adversity, democracy that looks after the little guy, honesty in a world of corruption. They came because they want to contribute to our economy, to support the vision that drove them here in the first place.
We have created in its place, a feeling of disappointment at the heart of our soul, how could they have been so wrong? It is a feeling of confusion mirrored in my discussions every single day in my meetings throughout Scandinavia and Europe;
‘Richard, why did you do it? Couldn’t we have worked it out”
There is an argument that says, without the negative Brexit vote, the rest of Europe would not have taken this seriously. And I get that. But that does not mean we have to accept this folly in perpetuity.
Lets not forget that nearly half of the country – did NOT want to believe the myriad of bigotry and frankly lies that were espoused by the Leavers. And until somebody somewhere puts up a coherent and practical plan that can deliver a better version of what we have already – please tell me where is the benefit in screwing our friends?
So what is there to do?
First – lets publicly confirm that we value the greater European residents. It will send a marker in the send that our values are still intact – but equally important, it will show up those minority of European countries that want to “give us a hard time”.
Lets open discussions, before any binding decisions – but in a spirit of amicality. People do not like being threatened, and so it goes for nations and governments.
Lets apologise for our mistakes, – nobody can counter someone who “apologises” – but encourage others to do likewise.
Lets engage on a country by country basis. Our view in the UK is that every country has its own identities, to be accepted – not shoehorned into some one size fits all. Eww are right to stand up for our views too.
We need to do this quickly. Reputations take 20 years to create – but can be lost in 20 seconds. Business leaders I know, who are shocked by the lack of welcome at Heathrow- are already having second thoughts, and over time this will destroy the one thing that people come here in the first place.

As the Beatles once said; we can work it out.