After a long few months the EU referendum vote it in, with a 52:48 split the country has spoken and the UK will now leave the EU. With David Cameron leaving his post as Prime Minister, the UK is likely to see many changes over the next few months and years.
With that in mind we look towards our own readers, business owners and experts with how they feel with today’s decision for the UK to leave the EU:
John Newton, co-founder, CTO and chairman of Alfresco:
“We recognise that the will of the British people has spoken. We will continue to need people to sell, market and support our product and we hope that favourable market conditions prevail as we plan for our future to support our European customers. At this point, we will also need to review expanding our position in the US market and growing outside the European Union.”
Angus Dent, chief executive, ArchOver:
“The outcome is a disaster for this country. You can expect foreign businesses, institutions and other investors to start pulling out of the UK. The Chancellor will be forced to put together an emergency Budget to plug the gap and this country, which was on course to become the world’s fourth largest economy, will now go backwards. What a waste of all the hard work.”
James Peck UK country manager Jobandtalent:
“We can expect a mixture of fear and confusion among many SMEs following the vote for Brexit – particularly with regard to their employees. The reality is, there are some segments of the UK economy where staff from parts of Europe are critical for the operations of those industries. Brexit adds a huge degree of uncertainty to those industries and of course the SMEs, business owners, entrepreneurs and managers who are the actual day-to-day lives and livelihoods behind the statistics.
“Moreover, almost every decision small business owners have to make relating to their staff is connected to legislation that was introduced by the EU. Some 40% of UK SMEs are concerned about how the vote will now affect their company’s ability to hire. Meanwhile more than 1 in 10 admit to being confused about the issue. With many SMEs operating without dedicated HR staff, small business owners often struggle under normal circumstances to keep up with frequently changing employee regulation – so this period of uncertainty and potential regulation change could hit them hard. As we wait to see how employee regulation will inevitably evolve, companies should consider seeking advice on employment law and hiring best practice to avoid getting into hot water.”
Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO of GoCardless:
“We sympathise with the next generation of startups, who may suffer without some of the advantages that got us where we are today. But those who make it will demonstrate similar resilience for this new status quo. We must all adapt accordingly.”
Jason Kitcat, head of policy & public affairs at Crunch:
“We hope that the government will move quickly following this result to set out its exit plans to minimise uncertainty for the business community. At the heart of negotiations to leave the EU must be how the growth and productivity of freelancers, contractors, the self employed and entrepreneurs will be supported in the new settlement.”
Mark Posniak, managing director, Dragonfly Property Finance:
“There will be a huge amount of hypothesising about the fate of the UK property market, but it’s impossible to know the full ramifications of the Leave vote.
“How the Bank of England, the Government, the financial markets and economy react today and in the weeks and months ahead will be crucial to how the property market performs.
“Caution, reduced transaction levels and downward pressure on prices in the months ahead are almost certain but we should not write off the property market.
“Despite the magnitude of the result, the structural supply issue underpinning the UK’s property market may well prevent prices falling materially.
“Overseas demand may also increase on the back of the decimated Pound. For many overseas investors, buying British property just got a lot cheaper.
“Short-term liquidity issues are possible, if not likely, among bank lenders and non-bank lenders that have bank funding lines.
“In the days and weeks ahead, banks and every other type of lender will be monitoring events forensically.
“With Leave winning the referendum, the appetite for risk will almost certainly reduce until we have a better understanding of what we’re facing.”
Rich Preece, Europe VP and managing director of Intuit QuickBooks:
“After today’s vote, there will be a transitional period while the UK negotiates an exit agreement. It is possible that negotiations may continue for several years so it will be business as usual for now, but SMEs will have to monitor how the landscape is changing. One thing is for sure, throughout this period, managing finances is as important as ever. Whether this means a laser focus on forecasting, a revised approach on expenditure, exploring additional sources of funding or keeping overseas clients on side, putting the bottom line first remains key.”
Julie Adams, senior partner at Menzies LLP:
“It will take time to understand and assess the change in our trading relationship with Europe and how this will affect business. Paying attention to the Chancellor’s comments in the next coming weeks will give a good indication of how the UK will look to attract, appease and entice businesses and key stakeholders to keep faith in a post-Brexit Britain.
“It is important for businesses to avoid a knee-jerk reaction following the decision to leave the EU. Although at this stage we have limited knowledge of what the long term impact will be, it is likely that a Brexit will have little effect on businesses in the short term.
“Fiscal planning won’t change overnight and businesses shouldn’t let economic uncertainty choke up their trade for any longer. Businesses shouldn’t be scared by this outcome, common sense must prevail and a ‘business as usual’ approach should be adopted until further information is obtained.”
Max Chmyshuk, founder of Fleximize:
“The result of the referendum means that, inevitably, we will now be entering into a period of economic uncertainty. Despite this, we believe innovative businesses that are disrupting their markets should continue to thrive. It’s important to remember that many of the UK’s most successful startups were born during the last recession, so there’s no reason to believe that this will lead to a decline in the UK’s startup scene.”
Paul Voller, a corporate and commercial partner at Bircham Dyson Bell:
“”With one bound he was free”. Well, for the UK in Europe, not quite. Following the result of the referendum there will now be a prolonged period of uncertainty about the future of the UK’s trading relationship with Europe. In the short term little is expected to change. Ultimately though, the UK will do a trade deal with the EU. In the meantime, foreign investors may well take the view that the UK will be striving to make itself more business friendly and that, as far as the relationship with the EU is concerned, whatever the final outcome, the range of variables is just not enough to put off investing in a vibrant UK with what must turn out to be reasonably favourable access to Europe.”
Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO:
“Today’s historic result has huge implications for the UK’s 4.7 million self-employed workers and they’ll be wondering what it means for them. The Prime Minister assured us that there will be no immediate effect on the freedom of movement of goods, travel and labour – but over the mid to longer term we need clear answers to all of the questions that will arise from leaving the EU. Now is not the time for any action which would hinder the UK’s independent professionals or stop them contributing to public or private sector development.
“The Government now needs to counter any uncertainty through an agreed strategy with business as soon as possible. David Cameron is right to take time before leaving office, so proceedings aren’t rushed. Instead, our exit should be carefully planned in consultation with business organisations over the next two years, supported by strong, committed leadership.
“IPSE believes this new era can and must be taken as an opportunity for the UK. Priorities should be new global trading arrangements, cutting burdensome regulation on small and micro businesses and ensuring that Britain has the most flexible and attractive economy in the world. With these priorities, the UK can be a place where freelancing and contracting can thrive.
“New circumstances always bring new opportunities for freelancers. We should be optimistic about the future and IPSE will continue to push the importance and value freelancers bring to our economy.”