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The Impact of Brexit in Industry

brexit_ It has been over 3 months now since the Referendum. From the largest % vote in recent history, are we are expecting a new age of Great Britain, or awful Britain? I wanted to investigate this further. I work in the recruitment field where I have the luxury of having a large amount of regular contact with multi-sector businesses. Enough to furnish me with the insight to alert me to “something going down” so to speak. In the last 3 months, I cannot categorically say that the outcome of the referendum has affected our business or those which I have regular contact. What about you? So we have been conducting a survey to all people, both clients and candidates and asking them the same 2 questions about Brexit and the referendum;
  • How has Brexit impacted on your daily work life?
  • Has your view on Brexit changed either way since the referendum?
Firstly, I’ll discuss the outcome of our questions. Most of our participants have found no profound impact as a direct result of Brexit. This was mainly communicated to us on a case by case basis as “not noticed a thing” and in one case, “have we come out of the EU?” to which I mistakenly took as good humoured sarcasm, but was not. We did however receive some more insightful comments from our clients / candidates, of which I have paraphrased and ranked top ten.
  1. “We are fitting out the new Brexit Government Offices – Positive Impact”
  2. “We are worried due to being an EU company”
  3. “It has had a huge impact as we buy everything in Euros”
  4. “I lost my job because of head count funding issues directly relating to Brexit”
  5. “I’m having to move back to the US as recruitment seems to have slowed and there is no jobs”
  6. “Prices from suppliers have increased”
  7. “We’ve been busier, especially on the investment side of the business”
  8. “We’re focussing on events with clients based in the UK”
  9. “Due to the lack of change, I’ve changed from Remain to Leave
  10. “Everything will come out of the camel’s a**e, so to speak”
The way people would have voted and if their views have changed poses an interesting question. As the Referendum vote was so close, a big split would basically show 2 things; if people changed from Remain to Leave, that the % would have been higher, or alternatively, that the outcome would have been different altogether! We surveyed 94 participants and asked them the question whether their view has changed. 92 said that their view has not changed. This constitutes to 97.9% of everyone asked. Only 2.1% have changed their view. Our findings have to be put into context against what is being said in other channels. I’ve read a number of articles about this subject and they offer conflicting views. For example, a report conducted by the WNY Chamber of Commerce reflects that we have seen economic growth albeit at a slower pace and that recruitment has NOT been hindered by Brexit. The recruiter.co.uk has an article that actively is requesting the Government to “get on with it” to invoke Article 50 as currently the uncertainty has been affecting businesses and the industry. This being in direct contradiction to the above story. Looking over all of the information leads me to one clear conclusion. This issue of Brexit is still very much within Westminster and that the effects are yet to be properly felt anywhere. This is plain to see as there are no consistent reports which marry up anyone’s predictions, postulates, etc. I do believe this to change and that the value of the Pound will soon not be the only thing that makes the news. From our point of view, no one seems to be giving it much of a second thought, one person didn’t even realise that it had happened! So this can only be regarded as positive. From March 2017, when Article 50 is invoked, I may revisit this as I’m sure it will all change. I would appreciate any feedback or comments on this…

By Liz Quinton

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