Saturday, 25 June 2016

Brexit: and the economy in the South West

What does the South West business community have to say about Brexit and where to go from here?

There were debates beforehand:
Futures Forum: How the Brexit question affects the South West >>> >>> BBC Spotlight debate @ Plymouth University: Sun 12th June

And there is debate now - with business leaders seemingly divided about their response:

Keep calm and revise your plans warns South West economist after Brexit vote
By WMNOVergnault | Posted: June 24, 2016
If the international business community continues to have faith in the British economy then all will be well, otherwise there are dark clouds looming ahead, a top South West financial expert has warned.
Andrew Killick, a corporate finance director with PKF Francis Clark said that with £200bn in value wiped off the stock market in the hours after Britain voted to leave the European Union, British goods had suddenly become 10% cheaper.
While this could be good for exports in the short term but costly for imports, for anyone relying on shares or a pension for their livelihood, they will now find themselves with less cash in their pocket.
Mr Killick said the brexit vote will certainly 'make people and businesses pause for thought'.

Keep calm and revise your plans warns South West economist after Brexit vote | Plymouth Herald

Brexit reaction: Devon business leaders shocked by referendum result
By GRichardson | Posted: June 24, 2016
Devon business leaders have reacted with shock to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
There are fears that the period of uncertainty caused by the vote for Brexit will deter investment, while others believe companies could benefit from less regulation in the longer term.
Shortly before the referendum, a survey of Exeter Chamber of Commerce members found 61 per cent of respondents believe Brexit would be bad for their business, with just 14 per cent saying it would have a positive impact.
The chamber, which did not take an official position on whether the UK should remain in the EU, also found 61 per cent of businesses believe EU membership has some importance to them.

Brexit reaction: Devon business leaders shocked by referendum result | Exeter Express and Echo

Devon Chamber of Commerce organises events to hear businesses concerns about Brexit
By NDJJoe | Posted: June 24, 2016
BUSINESS leaders in Devon will soon meet to discuss the effect Brexit will have on the county's economy.
George Cowcher from the Devon Chamber of Commerce has said businesses need "stability and reassurance" in the wake of the referendum result.
He has warned instability from yesterday's vote to leave the EU could send the economy "into a downward dip".
Mr Cowcher said: "Now that the vote has been confirmed, and the people of the UK have voted to leave the EU it is important that the Government provides a clear plan of action for the leaving process. Businesses are in need of stability and reassurance, without arguments or in fighting within political parties of how the leave process should be handled.
"Stability and clarity will be of utmost importance in order to prevent any further damage to the UK economy caused by the uncertainty leading up to the EU Referendum vote.
Devon Chamber of Commerce organises events to hear businesses concerns about Brexit | North Devon Journal
Devon Chamber of Commerce calls for fighting to stop and a clear plan of action on Brexit - News - North Devon Gazette

Business leaders across South Devon say 'Brexit' is good news
By HEDanielClark | Posted: June 24, 2016
Torbay Council's executive lead for business, Richard Haddock, said: “It's very good news for the UK. There is now a lot of work to do and let's hope the bickering can stop.
“My guess would be that the next Conservative leader will be a woman but I wouldn't like to say who."
“The rural vote across the country has been made clear," added the Churston farmer.
“The president of the National Farmer Union Meurig Raymond has to go. He has got it totally wrong. It is now time to put a positive foot forward; we must sit down and work out the agenda."

Business leaders across South Devon say 'Brexit' is good news | Torquay Herald Express
Brexit: High hopes need to be met with favourable terms of trade - Ben Compton, Bruton Knowles | Blog
Brexit vote: 'This is a win for UK agriculture' | West Country (W) - ITV News

Brick and mortar still a safe post-Brexit investment
By WMNOVergnault | Posted: June 25, 2016

Anyone with post-Brexit fears about the economy should invest in brick and mortar.
Despite the Treasury's statement that house prices could fall by between 10 and 18% over the next two years, property agents in Devon believe investing in brick and mortar is still a safe bet.
More than 17 million people voted to exit the European Union on June 23, and one of the key questions on people's lips has been whether property prices will fall.
Roger Wilkinson, MD at Wilkinson Grant & Co property specialists in Exeter, said he could foresee a stable housing market in the South West for the rest of the year and beyond
Brick and mortar still a safe post-Brexit investment | Plymouth Herald
Experts confident property prices will remain stable after Brexit | Plymouth Herald

The UK must now work harder than ever to promote British produce overseas following the vote to leave the European Union.
Charles Baughan, managing director of Devon based Westaway Sausages which exports its products around the world, said while prospects remained good for his business, which has successfully exported around the world for several years, he said he was ’seriously concerned’ the UK may not have the ability and the bargaining power to boost total exports.
"We are not very good at shouting about our high quality, high welfare, sustainable produce," he added. "We need to get better at selling that. There is a differentiation between us at the EU and my concern is that we are not going to make enough of it."
Mr Baughan highlighted the decision could have a major impact on migrant labour, potentially making some businesses, particularly in the horticulture sector, less competitive.
"About 35 per cent of our staff come from the EU and have traditionally earned money to send back to their families. Today they are sending 10 per cent less home. That will impact on how keen those employees are to remain here. This is something that will be felt across the UK agricultural community."
Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, agreed it was up to British businesses and advisers to 'seize the opportunity to shape the future'.
Trade agreements were clearly going to be important and it was to early to tell which model the UK would adopt, warned Mr Moody. “Our share of trade with the EU is slowly declining – it’s at 45 per cent now and on a 15-year forecast it’s at 30 per cent. But farmers are distinctively exporters to the EU and agricultural products face high import tariffs. That is an immediate issue to face up to.”
The sharp drop in the value of the pound would help UK exporters and buoy agricultural commodity prices in the short-term, he added. “But we are heavily dependent on migrant workers. It is very easy to make the case for highly skilled workers but we need people on the farms, and they would fail a visa test, so we need to look very closely at that.”

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