Loose Lips Sink Ships

Come on Britain, where have our indomitability qualities, steadfastness and desire to fight against the odds gone?

As someone who runs a business in and derives revenue from the City of London, I was a firm ‘remainder’. It was obvious to me that coming out of the EU could definitely lead to some difficult economic issues while we severed our ties with the continent.

But I was by no means completely enamoured with the EU. I couldn’t stand the nonsensical decision-making process. I rolled my eyes at the fact that they got involved with areas of our lives (as Juncker has admitted) that they should never have got involved with. I was always very sceptical of Europe’s future growth prospects. Their indebtedness was always a concern and the EU’s inability to do anything about Greece and Italy et al, summed up the paralysis that ensues when you try and get agreement from a room full of 27 different agendas.

Odds of Survival Outside of the EU

It was always obvious that given time, as a large global economy, we could flourish outside of the EU. We are now out, and after a few days of mourning following the vote, it was clear that we all have to get on with it. All I have read about for weeks now is doom and gloom from economists and market commentators, the key message being that we are absolutely heading (or are already in) a recession. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Being in recruitment, we are a decent barometer of economic activity. In the month and a bit since the vote, we have genuinely not seen any material difference in the way our clients are hiring. We have taken on a number of new mandates for positions that are focused on growth, new products and new businesses. Not one of our clients has cancelled any roles we are working on since the vote.

I talk with scores of people in the market every week, both candidates and clients and again, nothing materially has changed within the businesses with which we engage. I know that it is still early and that there are going to be difficult times ahead as the Brexit negotiations unfold, but this constant negative dialogue is not going to help.

The Future Remains Optimistically Positive

Let’s focus on the positive news out there. There have been some strong indicators of confidence in the UK. From the FTSE 250 recovering the ground it lost after the vote to Wells Fargo investing £300 million in a new European HQ in the City, there are plenty of positive stories out there. The IMF has predicted that although our growth will slow, we’ll still grow faster than France and Germany and a recession will be avoided, (OK, the IMF is about as accurate as a stopped clock), but still…

We have a fabulous business and economic platform in the UK that is still incredibly attractive to foreign investment and an economy that can still power us ahead to continued prosperity. It’s so much easier to be negative and cynical then positive, and fear sells papers.

Come on, let’s all start thinking, talking and acting positively, and we can all trade successfully out of this period of uncertainty.