Don’t Ask Me What I Think of EU

One of the funniest comments I heard about Brexit this morning, as we awoke to its being a reality, was in response to the question of how Brussels will react. The answer was given “they will be completely shocked”. If it is true, it tells us all we need to know. There was a referendum in the UK yesterday; it was always going to be close. This is not a shocking result, and anyone who is shocked by the outcome must surely be open to accusations of some degree of arrogance.

Politicians will disagree about the political, and economists will disagree about the economic effects.  In my previous blogs I have been clear that I do not believe we can predict what will happen in this Brexit scenario, so speculation is as good as we can get. A look back at history does tell us that humans, economies and people generally are far more resilient than we fear and no doubt we will be living in very interesting times. We should be more than cautious as pundits supply endless opinions on how Brexit will impact on business.

But what of your business and what can we learn?

Continue reading “Don’t Ask Me What I Think of EU”

Euro-nausea and how to survive the white noise

After my last post on the matter, I had intended to let it rest.  There is now so much being said about the Leave/Remain debate that we start to hope for different news.  Then we get different news, and it’s so awful that we would rather focus on Europe.  Maybe there is a lesson on being careful what you wish for.  Maybe that lesson will have some impact on the way we vote.

Despite the volume of words, very little is actually being said.  Each side speculates on the financial effect of a Brexit from opposing perspectives; but no-one knows.  Each side speculates on immigration, defence, security, you name it; but no-one knows.  Each side throws ever more unpleasant (if often truthful) barrages at each other.  The polls are currently weighted toward a Brexit.  The bookies still marginally favour Remain.

I continue to wonder where to put my “X”.  If you do too, you may find some help in EU Referendum FAQ’s produced by the UK200 Group, of which Hillier Hopkins LLP is a member.  The UK200 Group has produced this document under its Campaign for Clarity project.  The Times is trying to do something even more sophisticated.  Laudable as all this is, I am not sure that anything is clearer.

Continue reading “Euro-nausea and how to survive the white noise”

In, Out, Any Way the Wind Blows

The_European_Parliament.jpg

You may be expecting some wisdom on how to vote on the EU Referendum.  If I had any to offer, I might be tempted, but I do not propose to advise you on something I do not understand.  I have been itching to write something on the subject, fond as I am of my own verbosity, but quickly realised that the EU Referendum is a roll of the dice.  So I decide to make some observations, and if those observations inform your choice, I apologise, for they have not yet informed mine.

In talking to people on the subject I notice that the Decidedly Inners appear to look with a plaintiff disbelief that anyone could possibly think otherwise than to remain.  It is almost a religious fervour.  Those, on the other hand, who are less sure, tend to look shyly as they tell of a secret immoral desire to vote to leave.  A guilty apologetic pleasure exists among the not-Quite Decidedly Outers, as if theirs is a perversion, an irresistible, anti-establishment mischief.  And this led me to think about the Referendum itself.   For there is sheer dishonesty in the whole process, setting Big-Endians against Little-Endians, as if either actually knew which was right and which was wrong.

Continue reading “In, Out, Any Way the Wind Blows”