BREXIT PART 2 : GOOD OR BAD FOR LASER CUTTING COMPANIES IN THE UK? “JCB chairman tells staff of Brexit support”

On April 14th 2016 I wrote my views on the effects of Brexit, they say that a week in politics is a long time, well two months must be nearly a lifetime. It’s interesting to reflect how opinions have changed and how this might affect industry and more specifically laser cutting.

The mood in the country seems to have changed over the past week or so with the leave campaign seemingly gaining traction. Although most economists agree that Britain will be financially worse off if Britain doesn’t stay in there are a number of high profile business figures backing Brexit.

Perhaps the letter from Lord Bamford from JCB was a defining moment for any undecideds who are involved directly or indirectly in manufacturing.

To have someone with such credibility speak out so clearly for leaving the EU must win votes for the out camp.

My own view is that the stay campaign have also misjudged the electorate by running a scare campaign rather than focusing on changing the EU from within. Andrew Marr summed it up this morning by asking the Prime Minister if his campaign had resorted to “stay or the puppy gets it”!

The leave campaign are also guilty of using immigration as a scare tactic to exit the EU. The argument that we will be overrun in this country by immigrants if we stay in the European club is the Leave campaigns go to position if they feel they are losing any of the other arguments. One area which they don’t seem to have exploited though is when a raft of experts predicted Britain would suffer by not joining the European single currency. Obviously this didn’t happen and one can argue Britain would have not enjoyed any economic growth or high employment rates if we adopted the Euro.

But, back to laser cutting and industry, the business confidence is still low and generally investment is being deferred until after June 23rd. The economy also still faces headwinds from a slowing China and a reliance on government intervention to stimulate growth.

At GF Laser we continue to weather the storm and fortunately as we enter our 10th year of trading we have an established customer base not over reliant on any one sector.

What is for definite though is that some kind of change will take place later this month after this historic vote. Whether we will be better or worse off remains to be seen and despite all the arguments no-one, politicians or others, can give 100% guarantee what will happen.

However, what is for sure is that, long term, businesses in the UK will continue to grow, innovate and prosper in or out of the European Union.

Simon Tregillus | Director

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