The EU Referendum: What Does it Mean for Your Business?
As one of the major suppliers of MFPs and managed print services in the UK, Integrated Solutions Ltd has been contemplating the pros and cons just like any other business. With the different factions on the debate so at odds with each other, it’s difficult for your average company to weigh up the issues with a cool head. Will a Brexit really send us into a black hole and irreparably damage our economy? Is staying in simply the weak option and will business thrive much better without all that EU red tape?
In our day-to-day business, we deal with a range of different industries from tech start-ups to major retail corporations, schools and universities and the large organisations such as the NHS. The only sure thing is that opinions will vary from place-to-place and the outcome of the vote in June is by no means certain.
Arguments for Staying in the EU
Banks like HSBC have said that it might think about moving itself out of the UK, with the consequent loss of around 1,000 jobs, if we were to Brexit. RBS added that any uncertainty if we chose to leave would cause a slowdown in the economy and they were glad that the Government had decided to get the vote over with quickly rather than drag it out.
The Director of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, put in her four pennies worth saying that Britain was stronger and more competitive in the EU rather than outside it. Even investment firm Goldman Sachs have got in on the argument and said that sterling could slide as much as 20% following a Brexit. The President of the United States has also commented on his last visit to the UK that the Americans would prefer that we stayed in.
The Out Campaign
Many of the out campaigners say that leaving the EU will have little or no effect on our economy. Yes, there might be a slight blip to begin with but we will recover and there is a two-year period where the exit is negotiated with the EU that gives us breathing space. Indeed, many suggest that the reduction in regulations will only help the UK to thrive more and punch its weight on the global stage more effectively.
According to the boss of JCB, Lord Bamford, we are one of the strongest economic countries in the world, lying 7th, and there’s no question that we will benefit from untangling ourselves from the EU’s bureaucratic regulations. A significant number of business leaders in the UK have put their name to letters supporting the out campaign suggesting that it will give us the chance to develop more on the world stage.
The problem for businesses across the UK, particularly smaller ones who depend on Europe for trade, is getting at the facts and making an informed decision when it comes to the referendum. Will trade agreements really have to be renegotiated or will it be business as usual? If we are still trading with the EU won’t we have to put up with all the red tape anyway?
The truth is we don’t really know. There are arguments on both sides and neither is exactly wrong or right. There’s no doubt that the UK could survive and thrive if it left the EU but the same could be said for staying in. And when the referendum takes place on 23rd June and the results are in, we probably still won’t have a clear idea of the benefits of one over the other once the dust clears.
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