Turns out that it’s having a pretty big effect.
There are already reports that the economy in general is almost taking a pause until the result of the referendum is known. Although we’re not really feeling that pause just yet here, the economic data coming out of various bodies and organisations do show a slowing.
Not only that, I was informed by a reliable source yesterday afternoon that at least four acquisitions/mergers/investment deals are currently on hold until the outcome of the vote is known. Some of these are big ones apparently.
Uncertainty a problem
If there is one thing that businesses in general hate more than anything else it’s uncertainty. And that is exactly what this upcoming vote is providing.
Although current opinion polls show a small lead for the Remain campaign, it’s certainly not a run away lead. And with just over a month to go, and a large chunk of the electorate still undecided, it’s still not a done deal.
If opinion polls were a little more one sided then perhaps these glazing sector deals waiting in the wings would be going ahead now, rather than after the vote. And it’s also worth remembering that the last set of opinion polls, at the last General Election, were very wrong.
Uncertainty also brings volatility and instability. You only need to look at the stock market in recent weeks to see big swings one way then the other. Sterling has also behaved in a similar pattern. Until we know the result, things won’t settle down. And depending on the result, conditions may become even more volatile.
Upheaval on “leave” vote
If Britain decided to leave, be in no doubt that the process to leave would be an enormous undertaking. There will be all sorts of political infrastructure that would need to be dismantled. Negotiations to actually leave the Union could take years. Deals would have to be done with the continent and the rest of the world to ensure economic continuity.
All of this would cause economic, stock market and currency volatility, this we can be sure of. And this will filter down to the UK economy and our own industry. If as a country we decide to leave, this would be something we would have to prepare for. We wouldn’t really have a case to complain, as we would have voted to go down this route in search of better fortunes in the long run.
There would then be the questions about these proposed four glazing industry deals. Would they go ahead in the end? Would they be put on ice until the new landscape was known? Would they be off the table altogether? Without knowing the details of the rumoured deals, we won’t know for sure until there is a result.
But, if you thought that the referendum wasn’t really having an effect on our industry, then you’d be wrong.