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It is official, after months of campaigning from the likes of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove, the British public have voted in favour of Britain leaving the European Union.
Brexit was backed by 51.9% of the public, in comparison to Remain which received a close 48.1% of the vote. The Remain campaign headed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan failed to capture the imagination of the British public. This has already led to Mr. Cameron announcing that he will step down as Prime Minister in September.
However, Brexit has created a huge surge of uncertainty amongst business-leaders, manufacturers and the general public, who were keen to Remain a member of the European Union. Following the Brexit, Made in the Midlands interviewed a variety of our members to gather the general consensus on how the decision will impact their business.
During our Great Brexit debate which took place in April, Deryk Law, Managing Director of Clayton Holdings Ltd voiced his opinion to leave the European Union. After the result, he explained: “We now have the freedom and more certainty with our future. It may seem converse but Europe is a failed exercise and it cost us a lot more as a country, so we now have our future in our own hands, which we certainly haven’t had for the last 40 years.”
Furthermore, General Manager of Tom Mongan also attended our Great Brexit debate to gather a deeper understanding of how the vote will affect his business. Japan’s national broadcasting organisation NHK recorded part of Mongan’s journey leading up to the vote. He stated: “We will weather the storm and hopefully together as manufacturers overcome whatever obstacles are thrown at us, we are still open for trade and we still wish to trade. To me the message is simple, the people of Europe are not our enemy they are our partners with whom we wish do business with.”
One of our latest Gold members, RSD Pressings Ltd General Manager, Daniel Burton said: “I don’t think it will affect us too much to be honest. I was having a chat with a guy from Jaguar Land Rover this morning and I think 70% of what goes out that we do is all exported outside of Europe. I don’t think it will have a major effect on the business. You’ve got the skills base here, there is not as much bureaucracy here as there in Europe as well.”
The UK’s largest car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover also released the following statement, regarding the Brexit: “For Jaguar Land Rover, today is just business as usual. We are a British business with a strong manufacturing base in this country, we call Britain home and we remain committed to all our manufacturing sites and investment decisions. We respect the views of the British people and in line with all other businesses, Jaguar Land Rover will manage the long-term impact and implications of this decision: nothing will change for us, or the automotive industry, overnight.”
Owner of Alucast, Tony Sartorius, offered a brilliant insight to other manufacturers, as he said: “We need a pro-manufacturing representative in the cabinet and someone who has the foresight to look at the wider infrastructure requirements of the nation in the long-term.”
We need to galvanise our sector into action to promote the sector’s importance to the Government and the nation, but it would be good to have a cabinet minister on our side too.”
My business is resilient, we are forward thinking, we are confident in our abilities and we have a strong balance sheet but the economic tone needs setting in supportive way for the business to continue to flourish.”
Understandably, a lot of manufacturers remain uncertain about what exactly a Brexit means for the future of the manufacturing industry. In reality, Britain will be dealing with the political, constitutional, diplomatic and economic consequences for a decade for more. Mr. Cameron had vowed during the campaign that if there was a Brexit, he would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. This means that Britain has a two-year process whereby a member state can notify the EU council of its decision to leave.
To conclude, British manufacturers must stick together, now more than ever. Made in the Midlands was created to unite industry, champion the sector and growing an economy that makes things must be a priority. Made in the Midlands was born to be ready for this moment, when government support for the sector will be withdrawn. Political uncertainty creates economic uncertainty and Britain now have to rely completely on its offering to the world: world class skills and a world class supply chain. With your continual support for each other, we can represent a manufacturing community that embraces change and strengthens British manufacturing.