As our August Richmond Research (published in our September newsletter) showed, Richmond’s customers are more negative about Brexit than the voting public.
The reception received by Brexiteer MEP Dan Hannan who opened the Richmond Forums on board the P&O Cruises' ship, Aurora, on 5th October was not warm. Dan’s message was about where we go now that Brexit is decided and his vision is one of free trade and low taxes to deliver prosperity for all.
Half of RE delegates feel that Brexit will not affect their revenues or profits, but out of the other half roughly 40% think they’ll go down and only 10% think they’ll go up. In the meantime it is the uncertainty that seems the main issue for most people.
Talking somewhat anecdotally based on individual conversations and discussion groups opinion seems to be:
Currency is the most tangible issue so far. Exporters are happy, importers not. Some companies are both benefiting and suffering.
The lower exchange rate for sterling will flow through in terms of higher food prices in the shops over the next few months as current stocks are exhausted and as food importers hedging positions come to an end. Inflation for imported food is on the way.
Uncertainty is the next biggest issue. Simply not knowing what form Brexit is going to take is causing all sorts of problems and will continue to do so for the next 2 to 3 years and maybe longer.
Other considerations depend too much on all sorts of variables which will only be understood as Brexit unfolds. At the moment they just fall in the uncertainty category.
There are real concerns over labour requirements and immigrant workers. Various companies need foreign workers, there simply doesn’t exist sufficient UK resource.