"Keep calm and carry on"
When that is the best and most coherent planning advice that we have had for coping with this situation then we are truly in an unnerving place.
The dial for biz tech spending growth in the UK will barely move for 2018 as businesses that are “losing patience” with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations cut their budgets, and GDP slows. This is the damning verdict from the number-crunchers at Forrester, who predicted that £105bn will be splurged on tech by …
For a lot of sectors uncertainty is a bigger problem than knowing for certain that things are going to get worse.
For the financial services sector it is practically guaranteed (unless the UK cancels Brexit before March 2019) that they will lose financial passporting. That is tough for them but at least they know what is going to happen so they have had time to start moving processes and people that deal with EU customers out of the UK.
For a lot of other sectors things are less certain. It could all go to hell in a hand cart quite quickly or it could all fizzle out into some minor discomfort that might manifest itself slowly over the next decade. Some answer will be provided by the Withdrawal Agreement that is currently worked on (and without which we enter No Deal territory) and the subsequent future agreement that will hopefully be negotiated from late 2019, after the May elections, installation of a new Parliament en subsequent voting in of a new Commission.
The problem is, how on earth do you plan for so many unknowns? If you are a big company you might be able to devote one or two people to scenario-plan four or five different scenarios and mitigating actions. If you are an SME you can't afford to devote staff to it or hire expensive consultants to work it out. It is no wonder that in a survey that came out last month only 14% of SMEs were reported to have prepared for the No Deal scenario. It is simply too costly to prepare for something that might not happen.
Last month I received a letter from HMRC with some basic information about what I could do. It was clearly tailored to my business as it literally stated "The information from your VAT registration shows that: You're a trader based in the UK currently importing and/or exporting goods within the EU. You do not currently trade with non-EU countries". It proceeded to tell me that if there is no deal I will have to apply customs, excise and VAT procedures to goods traded. Trading partners will have to do the same with any trade with me. Does it now make sense for me to spend time and money preparing all my business processes to include customs, excise and VAT? Not really as I believe there will be a withdrawal agreement. But I can't know for sure. That basically leaves the business paralysed on that front until we know...
"For a lot of sectors uncertainty is a bigger problem than knowing for certain that things are going to get worse"
The problem with uncertainty is that it was built-in right from the start. Even before the referendum, no-one knew what they were actually voting for. There were many pie-in-the-sky wishlists and outright false predictions, but pretty much all of the Brexit movement was founded on the premise that the UK could negotiate a fantastic deal with the EU that was much better for the UK than EU membership. I doubt very many people who voted for Brexit would have done so if the options were 'stay in' or 'hard Brexit'
"but pretty much all of the Brexit movement was founded on the premise that the UK could negotiate a fantastic deal with the EU that was much better for the UK than EU membership. I doubt very many people who voted for Brexit would have done so if the options were 'stay in' or 'hard Brexit'"
Of course no sane voter would have voted for Brexit, knowing the EU would play hard balls. But the question really is: why did anyone think the EU would let literally rape itself by the UK ?
Gullible voters ? Cameron being convincing ?
Of course no sane voter would have voted for Brexit, knowing the EU would play hard balls.
I'm not sure sanity had anything to do with. But neither did the negotiating stance of the other 27 member states. For many people it was seen as an opportunity to stick two fingers up at "the establishment".
"[...] but at least they know what is going to happen so they have had time to start moving processes and people that deal with EU customers out of the UK."
Arch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended his financial company starting new operations in Ireland because of Brexit.
Arch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg
Would that be the same man who championed the sovereignty of parliament only to subsequently insist it be bound by a non-binding referendum? Archtosser more, like and another one of the "do what I say, not what I do" brigade cheerfully leading (from behind of course) the lemmings to the cliff.
"Arch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended his financial company starting new operations in Ireland because of Brexit."
The operation in question being a fund. Not an office, not employing staff, just an investment fund. I believe SCM also have similar funds in other EU countries as well as Asia and the US - like all large investment companies tend to do. JRM has said that the decision was taken before we even had a referendum, and is not because of Brexit.
Source: Live phone in on LBC's breakfast show
"JRM has said that the decision was taken before we even had a referendum, and is not because of Brexit."
It's always a good idea to consider what's actually said and what's not actually said. Cameron had already been forced into conceding a referendum after the 2015 election. Where does the decision fit in between that concession and the actual referendum?
> unless the UK cancels Brexit before March 2019
Er, as far as I know, that's not possible. The UK has given notice, and the EU has set a deadline.
It's like vacating your lease. The landlord lines someone else up for your apartment, and you can't say "oh I changed my mind, I'll stay"
The UK government could rescind its A50 letter if it wished
I don't think the treaty has any provision for that, though I suspect it could be accommodated by the other 27. But it's already been through parliament so she'd probably need parliament to approve the rescinding. Still, with the right dipomatic skills anything's possible. In other words, we're doomed!
"I don't think the treaty has any provision for that"
OTOH is there any provision for not rescinding such a letter. Obviously there's no precedent either way.
"she'd probably need parliament to approve the rescinding."
It might be Parliament telling her to rescind it.
The UK has given notice, and the EU has set a deadline.
Not strictly true; The Prime Minister gave A50 notice to the EU parliament, and herself set a pretty arbitrary deadline. There are pretty good indications that the other EU nations would have little trouble agreeing to an extention of this limit, or indeed a withdrawal of the A50 notice entirely. The only reason May won't do this is the impression she has given herself that she is in control and competent, and won't have to backpedal when she can't get a deal involving magical unicorns for all - in other words she doesn't want to lose credibility, not realising that she doesn't have any left anyway.
"It's like vacating your lease. The landlord lines someone else up for your apartment, and you can't say "oh I changed my mind, I'll stay""
Not really. The landlord in this case doesn't have another tenant lined up to move in and take the UK's place. If the UK decide to backtrack, the EU will probably be pleased that the UK finally saw some sense.
"Keep calm and carry on", says the man falling from a skyscraper.
Leaving the EU, many UK industries will automatically lose many certifications which enable them for the moment to sell their components to other European industries. Once these certifications gone, the supply chain will be broken, and these European industries will have to find other providers.
China, explain. Most EU certifications relating to fitness to sell (as per most of the world's standards in this area) are self-certificated and btw UK manufacturing already at the EU's standards. This discussion is roflcakes.
Oh and I see we're still flatly lying about what JRM's company is doing.
From the FT, on the grounds that it is very pro-remain, and therefore is less likely to be accused of being pro-leave propaganda:
The UK’s international trade secretary Liam Fox has said that the country’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU should be “one of the easiest in human history” to strike.Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Mr Fox said: “We’re already beginning with zero tariffs and maximum regulatory equivalence. The only reason we wouldn’t come to a deal is if politics gets in the way of economics.”
It's strange how everyone seeking to mock the claim always seem to forget that last sentence.
FT isn't pro-remain, it's a mouthpiece of the European Commission. You want finance news read cityam like finance workers do.
Nevertheless, it's going to be the easiest deal in history. Apparently.
It is. Remainer conservative MPs and arguably naive leaver MPs stupidly put a remainer in charge of the whole affair who immediately set to work making it as complicated as possible. Nobody anywhere is arguing that May hasn't completely ballsed up the leave process. Then again we know what it looks like to leave the EU - we don't pay them money for anything, we're not in the single market or customs union and they don't make our laws or customs tariffs - including tariffs on goods coming from the EU. Anything else is noise, and yes - that includes the NI/RoI border and passporting and all the other *nonsense*.
If we don't *leave* as the country voted for the UK political landscape is going to jerk pretty wildly to the right. It shouldn't need to and if we leave it won't, but it will if we don't.
" “We’re already beginning with zero tariffs and maximum regulatory equivalence. The only reason we wouldn’t come to a deal is if politics gets in the way of economics.”
It's strange how everyone seeking to mock the claim always seem to forget that last sentence."
That claim is mockable without forgetting the "politics getting in the way of economics" bit. The UK was clearly NOT starting from a "zero tariffs" basis. the zero tariffs (freedom of goods/services) is tied in the EU to freedom of movement of people. This had already been made abundantly clear by the EU, and the Brexiteers position was a clear rejection of freedom of movement (and implicitly also of the zero tariffs that came with it).
We're doomed I tell ye, doomed!
Recession here we come
rapidly followed by depression and then the flight of the masses to Europe as food and other essentials run out.
Meantime Farage, Johnson and crew are partying the time away on some foreign shore.
It will all be sweetness and light and Farage becomes PM.
Will someone please wake me up when it is all over...?
It's all very well these companies threatening to pull out completely, but there is a reason they were so keen to buy up and asset-strip part or all of their British competitors - they may have moved nearly all the manufacturing work away from the UK but most of the designers still live and work over this side of the Channel.
Once Macron and the other short-sighted feudal dictators have kicked all the Uk-sians off the mainland, who is going to still be there to come up with the new stuff for the tech companies to produce?
On a slightly related matter, why does Macron think he can threaten to deport all Brit ex-pats from France but then expect us to treat French people over here with kid gloves? Why can't we all just act like grown-ups and behave nicely rather than acting like a playground bully upset because someone dares to suggest a Federated States of Europe might not be what we want to be part of?
asset-strip part or all of their British competitors
Most asset-stripping of British industry was done by British companies in the 1980s, with the blessing of the government of the time. It was the prolonged lack of investment that made them such easy targets for takeover.
Why can't we all just act like grown-ups and behave nicely
This is rich and unintentionally ironic: I prefer to be an adult, not just act like one. Who was it talking about "having their cake and eating it"? That the negotiations with the EU "would be the easiest deal" in the world? The list goes on.
If there is no deal, then existing commitments regarding foreign nationals need no longer be honoured: goes both ways, of course.
If asset stripping bothers you I would look away for the next ten years or so. I think small and medium businesses (and perhaps even some larger ones) are in for a shock.
Imagine you run a business based in Belgium, you've been trading globally for the last twenty years and quite successfully too. Your main competitor is some company from the Midlands who have been successfully trading globally for forty years. As a result they have a better brand recognition and own more valuable IP than you do.
In comes Brexit, your Midlands based competitor can no longer benefit from the trade deals with 60-odd countries that they used to enjoy in the EU days and half of all their trade is with countries among those 60. Tariffs make some of their products less competitive and some of their products are no longer certified. Furthermore, their domestic market has taken a hit as buyers have tightened the purse strings.
If you run this Belgian company it becomes quite interesting to buy your Midlands based competitor. The company is struggling and the pound has lost a lot of value against the euro so you might be able to swoop in on a bargain. Of course, owning production facilities in the Midlands won't help you as any products you make there are still behind a tariff and certification wall. But, buying the brand, the IP and their customer list is very valuable for your business. You buy the lot, incorporate the brand and some of their product lines but close the production in the Midlands.
@Len odd examples. Leaving the single market means that you no longer have access to a large domestic market unlike your new competitors from the USA, China, India and your former friends in the EU. Within the single market company A (in the Midlands) is probably working with company B (in Belgium) as part of a supply chain where the absence of non-tarriff barriers allows both companies to specialise to their mutual advantage (à la Adam Smith).
I doubt that European countries are going to kick out British citizens. However, I wouldn't be surprised if UK kicked out EU citizens. That I understand, they've already started sending nasty letters to warn them they may be losing their right to reside in the UK.
I doubt that European countries are going to kick out British citizens. However, I wouldn't be surprised if UK kicked out EU citizens.
There is already an agreement in place for neither to kick out anyone. Not that it stops the French press from speculating about kicking out Brits post brexit, just to throw some FUD in from the other side.
"You buy the lot, incorporate the brand and some of their product lines but close the production in the Midlands.
That's basically what happened to the iconic British chocolate brands. York was once the home of various major brands - now it has a chocolate museum.
buying the brand, the IP and their customer list is very valuable for your business. You buy the lot, incorporate the brand and some of their product lines but close the production in the Midlands.
this went on well before the in/out vote.
Company A spends X number of millions on R&D, suffers a share price fall because the share holders wanted all that R&D money for themselves, Company B (a competitor) moves in with an offer to buy the shares at Y price, current shareholders sell up, Company B promises to keep on production at Company A's site....... 12 months later Company A is shut down and everyone fired.
Company B now has a monolopy, and all of company A's IP.
Or Company B takes over company A, and needs to shed staff, Company A is based in a country where its easy to fire people..... Company A is shut down.
Thers no brexit angle to that behaviour because it goes on all the time regardless of brexit, german re-unification or greece's economy imploding
"Thers no brexit angle to that behaviour"
Read Len's post again. The Brexit angle makes it a damn sight easier for the Belgian company to buy and strip the British one than vice versa because it has a bigger home market and isn't in a self-damaged economy. There's no sign yet of the magic fairy dust that was going to make the post-Brexit British economy so powerful.
There's no sign yet of the magic fairy dust that was going to make the post-Brexit British economy so powerful.
What is it with remainers and their belief in magic and fairies? No-one ever promised that Brexit would be anything but hard work, with the eventual rewards a ways off. Bexit isn't a magic cure, it's just the freedom and opportunity to make our own future. It's sad, and more than a little shameful, how many people don't want that, like kids who never leave home because Mum still does their laundry.
It's only remainers who want everything RIGHT NOW, but expect someone else (like a paternal EU) to do all the hard work for them. Sorry guys, the world doesn't work like that.
However we ended up here these companies need to get off the arses and stop bleating about how bad it is going to be after Brexit. There appears to be some childish belief that because they did not get their way, they are going to do as little as possible to make the best of it. That is of no benefit to anyone exist for all the lobbyists.
Take all this noise about how the automotive industry relies on Just In Time supply chains. There may be some small delays but the expectation is that it is in no ones interest to deliberately screw everything up at customs, even the French agree with this. The UK is has millions of square feet of speculative warehousing that is currently empty. It is not beyond the wit of man to have some contingency built in. It is surely possible to project what you need with some accuracy a month ahead and simply move a buffer, "Just In Case". The same goes for the supermarkets and the food chain.
Far too many people are doing their best to ensure that Brexit is as big a failure as possible. The irony is that they are probably shooting themselves in the foot (or worse) but as usual, all those at the top will be fine, it is only the normal hardworking citizen who will end up screwed.
The Brexit process is not going to be reversed quickly so instead of creating problems, do what we are supposed to be good at, finding solutions.
No-one ever promised that Brexit would be anything but hard work
I recall a lot of promises from the likes of Farage, Johnson, Gove, et al. None of them were promising hard work, the promises we did get took the form of "£350 million a week", "taking back control", "controlling immigration", "the easiest deal in histroy", etc., etc. All total bullshit. You must have been observing a different referendum campaign to the rest of us...
Regarding 'easiest deal', that was July 2017, so over a year after the referendum, plus is invariably (deliberately, I suspect) mis-quoted (incompletely quoted): see my comment above.
But you are right - lots of promises:
A technical recession immediately after a vote to leave;
a guaranteed 500,000 unemployed within 6 months of the vote (unemployment actually fallen steadily and now at a lower rate than before we joined the EEC, let alone the EU);
GDP down by 3.6% (admittedly, that was compared to remain, but does anyone believe our GDP would rally be 3.6% higher today?)
Inflation 2.3% higher after a year
No plans for an EU army (yet we have PESCO; proposed European battle groups).
So the leave campaign lied. And the remain campaign lied.
Just like politicians always do in elections.
..to tell us these whiners don't know what they're talking about, they're about to never have had it so good and they should just 'get on with it'.
S/he will also point out that we can't thwart the 'will of the people' (at a specific moment in time when they had been comprehensively lied to about how great the deal was they were going to get) and how it would be anti-democratic to go back and ask them if they've changed their minds now the reality is becoming clear. Democracy isn't for life; it's for one day in June in 2016.
There! Saved the troll the bother.
..to tell us these whiners don't know what they're talking about, they're about to never have had it so good and they should just 'get on with it'.
I can't speak for codejunky, but the only people who seem to have heard those sort of promises are the remainers, who do seem to have a very overactive imagination when it comes to a past they don't like
S/he will also point out that we can't thwart the 'will of the people' (at a specific moment in time when they had been comprehensively lied to about how great the deal was they were going to get)
Funny, I don't remember any promises about a deal, it was a simple "Do you want to stay, or leave?" question. I certainly don't feel I was lied to. No-one ever said Brexit would be easy, it clearly won't be. It will take years of hard work to make it effective, but I strongly believe it will be worthwhile in the long run.
and how it would be anti-democratic to go back and ask them if they've changed their minds now the reality is becoming clear.
Reality has always been clear for those of us who paid attention, and democracy doesn't consist of asking the same question every year until you get an answer you want, and then stopping. Or were you planning a third referendum next year, and a fourth one in 2020, etc. just in case people changed their minds again?
"Funny, I don't remember any promises about a deal, it was a simple "Do you want to stay, or leave?" question."
Indeed it was. Stay, or leave. That's all.
But it's the brexitters who now insist that remaining in the single market and customs union (the so called 'Norway' or 'Switzerland' option) is a betrayal of what people voted for, even though it quite obviously isn't because the UK would still be leaving the EU. Oh no, people definitely voted for an end to free movement (even though as you point out, that was never in the question) and so remaining in the single market and customs union is absolutely out of the question, even though the brexitters promised that it was 'absurd' to suggest that the UK would lose access to the single market.
So, simple solution. UK accepts single market and customs union, leaves EU, ends up like Switzerland. Job done. Economy saved, referendum vote fulfilled, everyone's happy (except the pro-fascists who want to become the 51st state of the US and drop their pants for Trump).
But it's the brexitters who now insist that remaining in the single market and customs union (the so called 'Norway' or 'Switzerland' option) is a betrayal of what people voted for
Because remaining in SM or CU is remaining in the EU. It's what you do when you want to join. We don't want to join, we want to leave. When I say "we" I mean a majority of the country that is eligible to vote. Nothing else really matters.
UK accepts single market and customs union, leaves EU, ends up like Switzerland. Job done. Economy saved, referendum vote fulfilled, everyone's happy
The UK isn't Switzerland, our economy is wildly different in size and scope, one size does not fit all. Not for nothing but even if what you're saying is a good idea - and lets be *extremely* clear about this: it isn't - it's not at all clear that this is even a thing even if we want it to be. The EU since the day we joined has been an exercise in suppressing the UK economy. From the scuttled trade deals when they realise the UK might benefit to supplanting the population to asset stripping to setting up dodgy tax regimes that allow (no, encourage) tech companies - and others - to pretend they're selling things (goods and services) in RoI or Luxembourg when they're actually selling them in the UK - you'll note now the UK is leaving the EU they're actually interested in dealing with it, pretend the absurd happens and the UK decides to stay in the EU they'll drop it like its hot - or getting around UK import taxes and restrictions on dangerous products by sending them all through the Netherlands so the vast majority of goods imported into the UK are duty and VAT paid in the Netherlands (hundreds of billions during a MAFF period if you're wondering) and pretending that the UK actually trades with the EU to confuse the terminally simple.
EU membership is no good for the UK, and anybody who says it is doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about.
OTOH when we leave we're going to have a pretty decent sized economic rebalancing, we have to undo the damage done by decades of a glut of cheap labour and the ensuing housing shortage and wage suppression (the things we buy are way cheaper than they should be and it's going to be a culture shock) we have to build an immigration system that's fit for purpose and we need new ports to be built. We also need to get trade deals going, something that should have been well underway by now. The US deal is going to be some instant gratification and it's looking like we can copy paste some deals with our actual trade partners (re-emphasis: NOT the EU).
If we didn't have remainers running the country (i.e. we had a competent government) we'd have been using the time efficiently to get trade deals ready to go in March but we do and they're trying to shackle us to a sinking ship so it's probably going to hurt for a while - but in the end the payoff is huge. Far less social strife, better wages, better standard of living and a far less significant housing shortage. If we remain in anything that even smells like being in the EU firstly there's no benefits for a long long time and secondly I don't know what happens politically; except to say it'll make Trump look like Bernie Sanders in comparison, you'll be longing for the days when liberals like Nigel Farage were saying nice things about the EU.
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