It feels like we’ve been talking about this forever, but it’s finally here, the week in which the UK will go to the polls once again to decide on whether we stay part of the EU or to leave it. After some quite frankly awful campaigning from both sides, I am fairly sure that most of us will be glad to see Friday when we will know the result once and for all and we can start a new chapter, whichever way the result ends up going.
With the opinion polls close, if they are to be believed, Thursday’s referendum is going to be a close run thing. Either way, Britain will be changed.
A short sharp shock or a long recovery?
Much is being made of the potential effects of a vote to leave on the UK economy, much of it without evidence to back up those claims.
In reality, should we vote to leave, there will indeed be some quite sharp volatility on the stock markets, on Sterling, in the weeks following the result. There will be days where everything is down, there will be days where everything is up. Whilst not good for business, we seem to be forgetting that the process to leave the EU will take at least two years. I personally think it will take 3-4 years.
In that time, life will have to go on as normal. New deals with Europe will have to be struck. Existing political infrastructure will have to be changed to reflect the new relationship. There should be no reason to disconnect from Europe in such dramatic fashion.
Much of the hype and spin surrounding a leave vote I believe is way overstated. However, if we vote to remain, the business and political landscape will be changed forever too.
Politically, the task of reuniting the Conservative party may be a task too far. The Tories are deeply divided right now, perhaps too divided to come back together as a party and produce a functioning Government.
Even if the Remain camp wins, a win by just a couple of percentage points would still leave David Cameron in a much weakened position. Nearly half of the country would have voted against his advice, that makes his position, and the position of the Chancellor George Osbourne for that matter, in a much weaker state. With half of his party quite vocally against them, and a large proportion of the country voting against him, how strong would his position be?
Up to now, despite the much talked about negative effects on business due to poll uncertainty, our installations business hasn’t really found a downturn in business because of the vote. In fact we’re as busy now as at any other time in the year.
However that could change once we wake up on Friday and know the result. A vote to leave could cause a temporary dip in business. But I believe that this would be caused more by media hype than any actual effects on business.
A vote to remain and the business world will go back to some kind of normal, albeit with half of the population extremely unhappy about the result. People will still buy windows and doors. Incomes will remain unaffected and maybe life can get back to some form of normality.
What I hope for though is that for the remaining few days of campaigning, there is some class, some respect and restraint shown given the very tragic events of the last few days.
I will continue to keep the pop-up poll on this site live until the voting closes on Thursday, if anything just to see how accurate polling on here is in comparison to real-world voting. And as always, all comments are welcome via the section below.
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