Since what many people saw as a shock result on 23 June 2016, the decision to leave the European Union has elicited much conversation. Yet what it hasn’t produced is much balanced commentary – with most news articles focussing upon the negative impacts that Brexit will bring.
More than 30 million people voted in the EU Referendum, with 51.9 per cent choosing to leave. Although there is ongoing discussion about how or when this will happen, we need to start to thinking about how exiting the European Union could be an advantage to businesses across the country. Looking ahead to the future, we’ve determined below some of the keys ways we think Brexit might benefit business:
1. You’ll be able to find the best deal for your business
Current EU legislation means that there are many restrictions upon importing goods. Once we are out of the EU, it’s likely that businesses will be able to find the best, most cost-effective products regardless of where the supplier is in the world.
If that is the case, then you’ll be able to identify the most efficient producers for the products you need and take advantage of surpluses. This could see a profit rise for businesses who know they have been buying products at higher value than they need to.
However, the true value of this advantage will only be realised in the coming years. The way in which we will import and export goods in the post-Brexit world still needs to be worked out and will be one of the key topics of conversation in the exit negotiations to come.
2. Continuing consumer confidence
Fears of an economic meltdown post-Brexit are fading and recent evidence shows that since the Brexit decision was announced consumer confidence has remained high. In fact, following the Referendum result, online sales have risen – a benefit of the weaker pound, as it means foreign customers get better conversion rates. If you’ve been considering expanding into e-commerce or increasing what you already offer through your website, then now is the time to make that change.
3. You’ll have an open market when looking for new talent
Immigration was one of the main focuses for both the Leave and Remain campaigns and will continue to be a hot topic throughout exit negotiations. In theory, following Brexit, the world will be your oyster and you’ll be able to find the best employee for your business, regardless of where they come from.
4. We’ll move away from the restrictions of EU legislation
Since 2010, the European Union has introduced 3,500 new laws which affect British business. Chances are that there are quite a few which directly impact upon, and restrict, your own business. Whilst limitations will still exist, the government will be the one to put those in place – hopefully, then putting British business interests first.
5. Tourism will increase
The decreasing value of the pound has been billed as one of the biggest risks to the economy from Brexit. However, it can be viewed as a positive. Exchange rates for foreign visitors will mean they get more pound for their buck, making the UK an inviting low-cost holiday destination and hopefully increasing the number of visitors. On the flip side, exchange rates for UK citizens are going to be poor, so we should see a rise in staycations.
6. The shocks should be over, exiting will take time
The decision to exit the EU came as a shock to many people but the actual process of removing ourselves from the European Union is going to be slow and drawn-out. At the time of writing this article, discussions are still taking place as to exactly how Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the official notification that we plan to leave, can be invoked. Once that happens, Brexit discussions can begin. They will last at least two years and are likely to be public, scrutinised and without too many surprises.
Whilst individual businesses can’t control how that happens, it’s worth considering now how your business will take full advantage of Brexit.