You can’t avoid the news and heated in/out debates (or rants) on social media channels about no deal and holding a second referendum. So here’s my two-penn’orth as a business owner.
Should we have a second referendum?
In principle I say no, however, we should have a right to veto a really bad (or no) deal once we know the detail. If there is to be an outcome that will be massively detrimental to us all then of course we should stop that happening. We had a vote (and I did, somewhat reluctantly vote remain) and should carry on with the intention of following through on that and getting the best deal we can as we leave the EU. In my opinion, it would make economic sense to stay in the single market or have something broadly similar.
I will definitely be in favour of a second vote on a no deal Brexit though.
What should we do about employment legislation?
There are those in favour of scrapping the Uk-adopted EU laws, there are those in employment who fear the loss of their rights. I believe, as an employer, in valuing staff as key partners in my business being a success and am in favour of strengthening workers’ rights including making zero hours contracts illegal and increasing the minimum wage. We need the UK to be an advanced economy built on innovation, research and high value and that requires a skilled and motivated workforce who share in the wealth it creates. We cannot, and should not, try to compete as a pool of cheap labour on the World market.
How should my business plan for Brexit?
This is the one that annoys me. A long time after triggering Article 50, our Government has only just come up with its negotiating position and even at this late date it has fudged many issues in an attempt to keep warring factions together. How can I plan as a business when we have no idea what Brexit will look like? Obviously, as a small and agile business we will adapt very quickly and take advantage of the opportunities that arise but it is difficult when the whole process is a shambles at the highest level.
So that’s it – we’ll be OK despite what happens, rather than because of. This whole uncertainty has come about as the result of a political gamble by sections of the political class and left us all finding it very difficult to make any medium and long term plans. Was it necessary?