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Brexit effects

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I am often asked what the effect has been of brexit on both my business and that of my clients. An understandable question but one which is difficult to answer definitively. On the other hand there are observations both of sentiment and practicalities.

The sentiment is undoubtably one of uncertainty. The problem has been compounded by the fact that most predictions of the immediate effect of the vote from both sides of the argument have proved to be laughably wrong. In actual fact it is the gloom filled “remainers” who have probably embarassed themselves most crictically. George Osborne being a perfect case in point. The economy did not crash and shows no signs of doing so.

Then there was the whole issue of corporate and banking head offices. At a networking event I was told by one ex banker that “every major bank” will leave the uk. The fact that Wells Fargo, UBS, Goldman Sachs and Deutches Bank have recently committed to new head offices here would appear to suggest otherwise.

Thats the relative positives but there can be no doubt that uncertainty has greatly affected the appetite for risk. In my experience Business owners will habitually be very senstive to external factors. Arguably too much so but understandable given that they have so much more at stake than the average employee. My business is generated by those wishing to expand and few of my clients are sounding bullish.

There is of course the tendency to blame brexit for other failings. The most notorious example was Jamie Oliver and the closure of a number of his  mediocre restuarants but ive seen it elsewhere with one specific example springing to mind

Perhaps the most significant effect is the one that has been least considered. Not least by those for whom immigration was something of an obsession.

A good friend of mine runs a security business. He has great clients and good reputation and I asked him about his plans for expansion. He was not going to do so. The reason? The best available staff are heading back to eastern europe because of the uncertaintly of their status. Put simply, he was not going to risk his reputation by being hit with a labour shortage.

This is to my mind a hugely significant factor. We have a very high rate of employment and as much as many of those who voted to leave moan about job opportunities, there are shortages in many sectors.

How ridiculous it would be if our stromg economy was held back simply because we cannot access the staff we require?

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