Brexit: A Cautionary Tale

We had some interesting results from the last ‘Have You Got News for Us?’ feature in November’s Snapshot. We asked your opinions on some Brexit related economy issues – and I think it’s fair to say you are not a wholly optimistic lot right now!

On Question 1 – In the wake of Brexit, how confident are you about the health of the British economy as a whole over the next 24 months? - from 5 options starting at ‘Highly Optimistic’ down, a full 100% of you responded as either ‘Somewhat’ or ‘Highly Pessimistic’.

Interestingly, those same respondents were very much more positive about their own sectors over that same period.  Two more ‘Yes-No’ questions focused on their confidence for their own industry and for their own current/latest employer and the results were an almost 50/50 split both times.

We dug a bit further with our fourth question: Which areas of the management consultancy market (if any) do you feel will benefit in the long term from Brexit?

results

We had a range of answers to this one with the most popular answer being ‘none at all’ – 20% of you offering a variant of that view.

It doesn’t get particularly more cheery from the next most popular answers; 15% specifically mentioned downsizing and cost-cutting whole another 15% mentioned operational transformations/improvements. We split the two in our results above – but in this context we could easily have put them together adding up to a third or respondents.

15% believed the regulatory market would see the most growth and 10% said risk – both understandable when considering the extra layers of checks and balances widely expected for the banking, insurance, housing, infrastructure, Forex, energy and travel markets among many others.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though; 5% of you believed all industries would benefit in the long term if Brexit was handled correctly – albeit with some tough times ahead in the short term.

We also had some very entertaining answers; on the ‘which areas will benefit?’ question, one respondent suggested “M&A and efficiency/downsizing”, but along with the cautionary note “…but probably in the same way as a doctor is busy during plague”.

 

In conclusion…it’s a bit inconclusive…

A recent YouGov poll suggests 68% of the public think we should move forward with leaving the EU – regardless of how they voted. Over half think the UK Government is doing a bad job of the negotiations but nearly 60% believe we will have successfully left the EU by 2020.

The numbers point towards a split British public on this; split between joy and anger at the initial result, split between positivity and frustration at how it’s being handled, and split between fear and optimism about the future.

Our own results offer a similar outlook and while our number of respondents is comparatively miniscule compared to YouGov, the razor-sharp pessimism about the short to mid-term economic outlook might just reflect the experienced professional segment more broadly.



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