Thursday, on the 8th of February, Victoria from Bolst Global was invited to attend the Institute of Directors (IOD) North Yorkshire Business Breakfast in Harrogate, to participate as a panellist in a roundtable discussion on the topic of Brexit. The main purpose of this event was to collect different views of the invited speakers on the possible impact of Brexit on UK business and, in particular, on those British businesses exporting to Europe.
In a referendum held on 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom electorate decided to leave the European Union and, today, the country is still in the process of withdrawing its membership from the Union. However, we are almost approaching 1 year out from the day the UK is expected to exit from the Union, since it is scheduled to depart on Friday 29 March 2019, and the future of the country and of UK business amidst this seismic change is still not clear.
Victoria kindly invited me to take part in this breakfast event and I was very glad to have this amazing opportunity. For me as an Italian person, listening to all the different British viewpoints on the results of this referendum have been very interesting, even because I have written my Master’s thesis on the effects of Brexit and on the future of English as the common lingua franca of the European Union.
The participants of this debate were experts and in the international business sector and entrepreneurs from the Leeds region. They had been invited to share their opinions on Brexit and on the future of the UK market, making also reference to their own working experience.
When participants were asked to give their impressions about the effects of Brexit on business and on exporting, they have given varying answers and perspectives.
Timothy Dewey, Chief Executive of Timothy Taylor’s argued that the Government is not helping UK businesses since it is not providing enough information about what is going to happen after Brexit, and this scares entrepreneurs who have business affairs in European countries.
Margaret Wood who runs ICW agreed with Timothy and has admitted that there has been a lack of understanding and communication from the Government before the Brexit vote. However, she also thinks that entrepreneurs in UK now have to get on and accept Brexit and its possible effects. British people took a decision and they should respect it because this is what democracy is all about. Also Dan Gill who owns Dine believes that entrepreneurs’ job is not politics and so they should not take a position on Brexit as such but focus on what can be done to future proof UK businesses.