The election result has made one thing certain for business; there is more uncertainty to come!
With an in-out EU referendum pending there’s never a dull moment for the UK’s SMEs.
It won’t be long now until the ballot boxes are dusted off once more and made ready for the British public to convey its opinion on whether to stay within the European Union. Hopefully the BBC will be put in charge of all polling for the momentous occasion and save everyone from having to stay up all night for the result.
However, before we can all mark our X in the box, we can look forward to months of demands, negotiations and hysterical reporting from both sides of the argument.
History throws up some funny situations. Back in the early 1960s one Conservative Prime Minister was reduced to sobbing when nasty old Mr De Gaulle vetoed the UK’s entry to its original incarnation. Fast forward six decades and one of Mr MacMillan’s successors is on a whistle stop tour of European capital cities to outline his/our (depending on where you sit) demands for staying in, and seeking allies along the way.
From a business angle there is no getting away from the importance of the next few months whichever way you lean. And whilst a number of business big hitters have come out on both sides of the argument everyone seems to agree on one thing; now that it’s definitely happening can it please happen a bit sooner than at the end of 2017?
Uncertainty in business can put a drag on growth with investment decisions often deferred. When the uncertainty surrounds the UK’s biggest market a swift outcome has to be in everyone’s interest.
City page of back page
Unfortunately for business owners, be it sooner or later, theirs isn’t the only X that will count come polling day. The great British public will have the final say on the matter so they can only hope that reasoned consideration is given to the commercial implications touted by both sides of the argument.
What makes the whole process interesting is that reasoned consideration is often influenced by which end of the newspaper you start from. Whilst some will see the benefit of retaining our “hands across the water” and “strength in numbers” approach others will just see border incursions and Brussels red tape. Those with longer memories will recall either a shattered post-war continent coming together or butter mountains and wine lakes.
So whether you are pro or anti It’s time to hold on to your chapeau; the result of this one is definitely not as clear cut as the matter of Mr Blatter’s re-election!
by Steve Leeves