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Why would you drive off a cliff unless you had to? - UK business comments

23 June 2016
by eub2 -- last modified 23 June 2016

Here is a selection of comments from business people on the most important referendum the United Kingdom, and maybe the European Union, has seen.


Speaking about the upcoming EU referendum and its influence on global markets, Mihir Kapadia, CEO at Sun Global Investments, has said:

‘’With the EU referendum now only a day away, markets are braced for the impact. Polls are very close at the moment, global stocks and the pound continued to rise today, while safe haven assets continue to slip – an indication that investors, at least, are optimistic of a Remain vote come Friday morning. In fact, the bookmakers indicate a Brexit probability of just 25.3%, which is much more clear cut in favour of Remain than is implied in the Polls. The trend in oil prices is instructive: prices reached a 1-month low last week as fears peaked that Britain was in for a future outside the EU. Sentiment since then, however, has left the Leave camp, and oil has subsequently rebounded above $50 per barrel.

These shifts in markets and sectors are most likely microcosmic of what is to come on Friday. A Remain vote will no doubt see the pound surge, stocks rebound further, and safe-haven assets drop. If we see a Leave vote, I would expect a little more financial turmoil. It will be the pound that plummets while UK stocks flounder, and gold and bonds prices spike ‘’

Mihir has over 20 years of experience in the wealth management industry, in areas including FX, equities and securities trading.

Women in Business:

Geeta Sidhu Robb, Founder of Nosh Detox recently spoke at the ninth Institute of Directors Women as Leaders Conference which brought together some of the country’s most inspirational and influential business women.

On women:

“I strongly believe that women are beneficiaries of our EU membership. In the last few decades the union has helped to foster greater parity between men and women in the UK through equal treatment legislation, measures for the advancement of women and systematic gender mainstreaming ensuring that a gendered perspective is incorporated into all other policies. This mainstreaming works particularly well with curbing double discrimination as EU legislation is working to ensure greater equality both in terms of ethnicity and gender. Working mothers are protected by EU legislation which guarantees paid leave, the right to return to work and at least fourteen weeks off work. If we leave then these safeguards will have to be renegotiated.

“Whilst the EU has done a great deal of work for women there is still much to be done. In fact, the EU has a strategy in place up from 2016-2019 which seeks to strategically address remaining inequalities such as from pay to the combatting of gender-based violence. Remaining will allow the UK to engage with this plan and give the bloc more strength when campaigning these issues.

On SMEs:

“Today, London is a central hub for international organisations wishing to spread across EU borders. Suppliers, employees and technology are regularly sourced offshore from UK businesses, with thanks to the EU for making this transfer simpler. In the face of a Brexit, however, business owners could see their operations and subsequent finances falter almost instantly.

“As a small business owner myself with a fantastic, multicultural team behind me, I believe without a doubt that a Brexit could do more harm than good. Workplaces such as mine benefit from having a vast range of opinions and contributions, and with it becoming increasingly difficult for migrants to settle here, start-ups could see the detrimental effects resulting from a lack of diversity.

“In addition, a large proportion of SME owners rely on external financing to fund their business, often turning to banks, government bodies and EU initiatives for aid. With a lack of foreign investors and the economy in turmoil, a cut to initiatives (and absence of EU specific initiatives) and funding schemes is expected, therefore limiting the pool of SMEs able to broach the market.”

Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud – one of the UK’s leading FinTech firms:

“As we get closer to the vote, reading the polls and listening to the dialog the potential for a leave vote is growing. Will it be OK if we leave? There’s no denying that a break from the EU would cause disruption to businesses – especially in the financial industry. There is a risk that in the event of a Brexit, suddenly FCA regulation would no longer provide a passport to the rest of Europe. We and a number of others in this space have been taking measures to become regulated in individual European locations as a precautionary measure.

“No doubt the industry – and indeed the nation, would figure it out over time - keep our world capital position, keep the migrants who drive the economy, find a sensible global approach to regulation. But why would you drive off a cliff unless you had to?”