The Manufacturing Economy Post-Brexit
Members of Gregg Latchams Manufacturing & Supply Chain sector team recently held the first Directors’ Lunch Forum of 2019, where the focus was on the economy and the effect on the UK manufacturing sector post Brexit.
Director’s attended from a range of businesses engaged in the South West Manufacturing sector. In addition, we had expert speakers, including Jo Mitchell, Associate Professor of Economics at UWE, whose insights revealed that the high value, high productivity economy of the South West will survive any unpleasant shocks in the path to Brexit, and is likely to fare better that the low–value, low-wage economies of other UK regions.
Ian McKinnon, Chief Executive Officer of Batten and Allen Limited provided his take on the event:
“A good cross-section of the of businesses in the region which allowed an engaging and thought-provoking discussion on a very difficult topic. The event was well chaired and hosted by Gregg Latchams in a wonderful setting.”
Ian saw a clear causative link between the UK joining the EU and its relatively poor performance since then: the new tariff regime proposed for the no-deal Brexit scenario would he said, be great for his business. The biggest problem for him was the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, and specifically that there was a substantial value of contracts waiting to be placed, which he would win once the sector had certainty over Brexit, irrespective of whether the decision was no deal, withdrawal agreement or no Brexit.
Investment is very flat was the view of Steve Gamlin, Relationship Director, Corporate Banking, South West at Barclays. The ability to lend is there but people are sitting on their plans and waiting for certainty.
Overall, the sentiment of the discussions was that the current Brexit uncertainty was causing a slow down in trade, investment and recruitment decisions.
As we enter the transition period there will be strains and opportunities on the national and regional economy. Gregg Latchams will remain vigilant on the progress and impact on the manufacturing sector to ensure we are able to inform and advise our clients through this uncertain period.
Nick Jones, Associate Director at Gregg Latchams, and head of the firm’s Manufacturing and Supply Chain sector team stressed the “importance to our clients of engaging on a sector wide basis. Here at Gregg Latchams we understand the significance of maintaining a detailed understanding of the sector and the commercial factors affecting our clients’ businesses.”