Investor Uncertainty In the Wake of the Brexit
In the ongoing wake of Britain’s EU Referendum, it is safe to say most did not expect this outcome. I strongly believed that the British public would see through the deceit that the Leave campaign hung their hat on and make the correct economic decision for our children.
In the end, this wasn’t the case. The Leave camp achieved victory, and while revelling in this win, realized that the real work must begin. Unfortunately, their campaign was not to win and take the country down a road of prosperity. No, instead, there was no great master plan, just the slow unravelling of their hugely over-exaggerated statements that they so strongly stood by in previous months.
Unfortunately for the people of Britain, our politicians used the public’s lack of understanding of the European Union, their disconnection from politics and the establishment, and of course, society’s natural lean toward blaming people unknown or different, foreign or a minority. This was a travesty and the world’s economy will now have to suffer for it.
Then we heard of the resignation of David Cameron and with this the refusal to press the metaphorical button on article 50 – The Lisbon Treaty (which officially starts the legal process of the withdrawal from the European Union). At this point, we started to see the Leave campaigners slink to the background, as nobody wants to be leader of a country going through such an unprecedented process.
Before the Brexit, I spoke with a number of reporters about the effect it would have if it moved forward. I spoke of the economic problems that would be incurred and the perceived down fall of a once great country. Now, I see these predictions coming true.
The Scottish National Party have been waiting for a reason to bring forward another Referendum to leave Great Britain after their defeat in 2014. With the 62% to Remain in the EU vote in Scotland overruled by the UK and Wales votes to Leave, Nicola Sturgeon (Head of the SNP) has her reasoning, and quite rightly so.
On top of Scotland’s upcoming probable referendum to Leave Great Britain, it looks as though Northern Ireland and Gibraltar will be next – leaving a less than ‘together’ Britain.
These points alone now add a further uncertainty to the UK economy for the coming five to six years, at least!
Trade is yet another uncertainty. In addition, the United States has declared that there is no rush to strike new deals with the UK and the UK will have to wait. As for China, as those that have conducted business in China know, it is a meticulous nation, and any trade deal will take many years and require significant legal cost. The EU, of course, will want to make sure that they do not see a break off of any other countries and will indeed make sure that the negotiations with Britain be strict and costly.
As the UK will need to work with the EU as one of its main trade partners, the cost of free trade across the EU will most likely need to continue and the cost of this will not change greatly. There will certainly not be an additional $350M per week to spend on the National Health Service, as was publicised by the Leave campaign so predominantly. This will result in no change to Immigration, which again played a large part in the Leave camp’s campaign. Even if there is a change, evidence has shown that immigration adds more to the UK economy than it takes. This was an example of the blame system undertaken by many Western politicians to feed on society’s insecurities and deep rioted racism.
All of the above deals with the EU and none of the control as our voting rights will have been taken away completely.
Of course, the UK is not the only group impacted by the Brexit! The European Union, which until now the UK was one of the leading powers within and possessed one of the strongest economies, will soon lose a major economic member. This begs the questions, what is next for the EU? I believe the economy will undoubtedly struggle, as it has shown in the small sample size of the past few weeks. Then, once the rest of the members have seen the wrong way to invoke article 50, they will have a precedent to follow which I believe will start to see further referendums. These individual country decisions will only create further economic problems for the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
In conclusion, I am fond of saying that confidence is key to a marketplace and decisions need to be made to plan out the upcoming events. Do we invoke Article 50 or do we run back to Europe and renegotiate our position? This doesn’t necessarily require another referendum but I believe if there was to now be one, we would see a completely different outcome.
Whatever the UK does now, we must remember that stability equals confidence, making it the top priority on the agenda. Once the people of the UK regain confidence in the decision-making of the UK’s leadership and the world’s markets regain confidence in a stable UK economy the country can move forward again.