I have one or two contacts whom I’ve found are informed and willing to say what they think will happen in set circumstances. Most irritatingly, one of them, involved a bit in politics, accurately predicted the result of the election almost from the start. He was more accurate than the polls. He phoned me when all but one return was in to gloat.
I asked him what he thought would happen now with regards Brexit and how it would affect business, specifically email marketing.
“Ah, now you’re asking,” he said. “It is all a shambles at the moment.”
On Monday he said that ‘things’ were beginning to settle and options were becoming clearer, although from a very obscure level. His summary was short and sweet: “For your business sector [email marketing] there might be less money around, but legally nothing has changed. The EU rules.”
He said that nothing had happened to put Brexit at risk, although the slight possibility of it not going ahead has increased slightly. The negotiations, he suggested, would be difficult.
It is simplistic to say that Mrs May went to the electorate for an endorsement of her ‘hard Brexit’ soundbite. However, the result means she has no mandate for it. Mind you, that’s not to suggest it provided a clear cut alternative. The previously one settled aspect, rejection of freedom of movement, now seems open to negotiation.
There is now a lack of coherent policy with regards Brexit. EEA is mentioned almost in passing as the lowest we would go, but no clear reason why is available. I’ve not seen the Norwegian Option mentioned by any well regarded commentator, but how long this will last is unknown.
We have always advised on these pages that we should comply with the EU regulations, especially with regards data protection legislation. You must implement all changes. The election result reinforces this.
The delay in the start date of negotiations is not good news given the limited time remaining. It was forced on the negotiating team and probably weakens its position.
The various exchange rates are interesting. At the moment the GBP : dollar level is more or less the same as when the election was announced, but down on recent levels. There are other forces acting on it, particularly the suggestion of another USA base rate increase. There has been and effect on it due to the coalition and maybe the weakened negotiating position.
On the other hand, most say that the pound has been overvalued for some time.
- House building is likely to be hit, and for some time, but DIY and building services might increase.
- The fluctuation of the pound might be a problem for those working to tight margins, ie email marketing.
- Consumer confidence is likely to be lower, and ‘big ticket’ purchases are likely to be low for a time.
- Changes to business rates, an election promise, might not come about for a time.
- There might be a move towards domestic holidays, or cheaper/shorter ones abroad.
It seems that there has been no fundamental change for us. Keep planning for compliance with EU regulations.