Brexit – What Should UK Manufacturers Do Now?

If we thought last month’s vote on the Brexit would make things clearer then we were sadly mistaken!  If anything there are now more questions to answer: Should we activate Article 50 sooner or later? Who will be leading the two main political parties in the near future? Can I still go on holiday to France this year!

Keep Calm & Carry On?

I know the above statement has been overused of late but UK manufacturers will carry on, our markets haven’t changed overnight and whether you voted in or out then there is a big advantage for UK manufacturing as the low pound has suddenly given us a competitive advantage literally overnight. Most UK manufacturers have been facing tough competition from low cost economies for quite a while now and the playing field hasn’t always been level. Although the quality of overseas goods has improved, many companies in the new economies have vastly lower labour and health and safety costs when compared to their UK counterparts.

Don’t Believe The Hype!

Of course there is more uncertainty now and there will be some tough negotiations ahead. However, some of the hype would seem to have been overblown by certain parts of the media. For example, a number of large companies are reportedly thinking of moving their headquarters away from the UK into mainland Europe. However, when you look into the story the change is just an administrative exercise and is unlikely to have any impact on jobs. You also have to wonder whether some of these changes would have happened anyway given the recent crackdown on tax avoidance in the UK and the growing perception from the UK public that some big companies aren’t paying their way.

What Should We Do Now Then?

In a nutshell, nothing other than what we have been doing. Most UK manufacturers have been used to tough times, especially those in the competitive laser cutting market. So they have been very good at keeping costs down whilst maintaining high levels of customer service. We must also keep investing in the latest technology to make sure we stay one step ahead on the global stage and make the most of a low pound!


Simon Tregillus | Director

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