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IoD responds to vote for Brexit

IoD responds to vote for Brexit

Commenting on the outcome of the EU referendum, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“While this may not have been the result that the majority of our members wanted, Britain has voted to leave the EU, and it is now imperative that our political leaders manage the transition as smoothly as possible. The weeks and months ahead are going to be a nervy time for business leaders, so they need to know that the Government is focussed on maintaining stability while a new relationship with the EU is established.

British businesses are resilient and, with their characteristic ingenuity, they will weather this storm. It is now beholden on politicians to negotiate a deal with European leaders which preserves the ability of British firms to trade easily with the remaining member states. Even once we have left, the EU will continue to be our biggest trading partner, and the first destination for many companies when they start to export. One thing the Government must do immediately is to guarantee the right to remain of EU citizens currently in the UK. Companies do not want to have to worry about losing valued staff.”   

Before the referendum, a survey of members revealed that, despite concerns about the effect of Brexit on trade and access to skills, businesses leaders saw potential improvements to employment regulations. Half of directors thought that the UK could be an economic success outside of the EU. 

The IoD will be running a snap poll of its members on what the referendum result means for business. The results will be released for publication on Monday morning.

Chris Clark, Chairman of IoD Jersey Branch, said “Whilst we are aware that this is not what the majority of our members expected or wanted as an outcome, it is imperative that we now look forward to ensure that Jersey businesses can continue to thrive. What is clear is that Jersey is still very much open for business. Our geopolitical stability as an international business centre, which has traded from outside of the EU into both Europe, the UK and indeed globally, will continue, acting as a safe, trusted and secure conduit for business to international markets via our existing well regulated industries and agreements. In fact, it is possible that the UK’s exit from the EU could act as an opportunity to support international businesses that are concerned with the instability that will no doubt be experienced in the UK and across Europe over the coming months. To that end, bodies such as Jersey Finance and Locate Jersey will be vital in facilitating inward investment enquiries over the coming months and should get the political and economic support they need, whilst we would also encourage a flexible approach to licensing should significant organisations be considering relocating their businesses to the island.

We are fortunate in Jersey to have a broad range of innovative businesses trading locally and internationally, and they have proven time and again to be adaptable in times of change and will no doubt prove sufficiently resilient to weather this storm. That said, the weeks and months ahead are likely to be a nervy time for business leaders generally, and it is important that our government continues to focus on working with the UK and EU  Member States in order to make sure businesses here do not suffer undue disruption, that they get the best possible deal to retain ongoing access to European markets, and that the domestic fiscal and operating environment is kept as stable as possible to maintain its appeal and competitive edge.”