EU Referendum

EU Referendum: expert comment on impact to business

Robert Hannah, chief operating officer at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: 

"The referendum has delivered a decision by UK voters to leave the EU. Whilst we know a majority of our clients favoured remaining in the EU and leading into the vote, many businesses felt there was still a marked lack of qualified information on what the impact of a vote to leave would have on UK businesses, the important thing now is to focus on the future and building a strong and vibrant UK economy outside the EU.  

"After initial market volatility, we can expect a period of instability and uncertainty. It is important to bear in mind that very little changes immediately, so businesses should stay calm, review their contingency plans and start considering the mid-long term opportunities whilst the dust settles. Organisations need to assess the risks to their business and develop strategies which mitigate these, or indeed, capitalise on new opportunities. 

"No Member State has left the EU before and there is no agreed process for building a UK outside the EU. Business needs to lead this debate and help shape a vision of what a vibrant UK outside the EU will look like. The world is changing fast, driven by technology and social change, and we need to create a UK that can harness this change rather than ignore or resist it.  

"We hope the government will now prioritise the concerns of business and focus on areas which enable a more dynamic, vibrant UK economy to emerge over the coming years. This includes prioritising the negotiation of trade deals within, and outside of, the EU to support business growth. Businesses also want the government to review UK employment legislation and reach agreement on rules governing competition, state-aid and anti-trust regulation as soon as possible.

"At Grant Thornton we see our purpose as shaping a vibrant economy. We will use our position at the interface of public, private and third sectors to convene thoughts and lead a debate to give a voice to dynamic organisations in developing a new vision of a vibrant UK outside the EU. This is one that builds trust in markets, unlocks sustainable dynamic growth and creates places and environments where business and people can thrive."