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Post-Brexit: Is Britain still an attractive location for businesses?

When the media are focusing on the negative impact of Brexit on our economy, it’s hard to think otherwise.

UK Europe Map

The recent headlines discussing Lloyds banking group axing jobs hardly give us much cause to celebrate. However, with Lloyds reporting doubling pre-tax profits, it could be said that the closure of their high street branches is not due to the bad economy but due to the way people bank now!

In truth, there is no shortage of businesses blaming Brexit but from where I stand some businesses aren’t and haven’t helped themselves and some were already on route to a bad ride anyway. Perhaps, instead of using Brexit as our scapegoat and doubting our position for the next two years, we should be standing up and looking for opportunities

One of those companies who seem to have embraced the challenges of the unknown is GSK, who are planning to invest over a quarter of a million to expand UK manufacturing sites despite being openly in the remain camp prior to Brexit. There are also a number of foreign investments: Chinese Construction Group, Sichuan Guodong, have announced a project to re-vamp Sheffield, as they claim that the city has real ‘potential’. This is the largest Chinese investment deal outside of London and is an example of one of the positive outcomes of the Brexit vote.

Lack of decision making due to the hatred of uncertainty doesn’t help businesses, but perhaps we need to inject some positivity from somewhere. The financial markets may not make their mind up any time soon but we either want our businesses and economy to grow and improve or we don’t. I don’t see why we can’t take a leaf out of GSK’s book and look to the future.

 

Sarah Simpson is the Principal of  Manufacturing at Interim Partners.

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