Below are statements from a variety of organisations following the decision of the British people to leave the EU, starting with our own comment:
Commenting on the decision by the British people to leave the European Union, Clive Memmott (pictured), Chief Executive at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Whilst a majority of our members will be disappointed with this result, the public has made its views clear. It is vital that the Government and the wider electorate accept this result and work together through the coming period of uncertainty. The increased work that will be required by government over the next five years or more must not come at the expense of running the country and must not be hindered by inflamed political tensions.
“The nature of the debate and rhetoric throughout the referendum period has been distracting and for the most part unproductive; there must now be a healing process on both sides as we look to move forward and determine what the future holds.
“The focus in the first instance must be to limit uncertainty and instability, and send clear messages as to the path ahead. Government has a clear mandate for change from voters, but should take as much time as needed to deliver these changes with minimum detriment to the economy, businesses and the livelihoods of the public.”
My initial thoughts when I found out the result of the vote were disappointment, sadness and uncertainty. But I decided straight away that the only way forward was to ‘get on with it’ as it had been a democratic vote, and for me this meant ‘keep calm and carry on’ and concentrate on the opportunities.
Since the vote, the uncertainty around Brexit, a new minister and cabinet, has caused some instability in the financial markets, and there has been significant fluctuations in the Sterling-Euros exchange rates, which have been affecting European road freight prices. France Line has had to slightly increase its prices to its GBP- paying customers as for our cross channel freight services we mainly use French and continental hauliers who charge us in euros.
Generally speaking, our uk customers with a gbp account have been understanding about this rise in transport prices, while the exchange rates variations currently potentially make their exports more competitive. That said, many have now taken the option (which we have always offered) of being invoiced in euros to avoid the exchange rate volatility.
Overall, like us, the majority of our customers are positive, and are moving forward with the expansion and growth plans they had before the vote, although there is a feeling that the banks will be more cautious about lending for investment, new product development etc …
Our positive attitude and flexibility to minimise upward price pressure for our customers has meant that France Line’s competitiveness has not been affected. This month, we have actually carried 10% more loads than in July 2015 – which is in line with the volume increase we enjoyed in May 2016 and in June 2016. It may not be an easy journey ahead, but positive mental attitude is a far more constructive road to success. The UK now has the opportunity to build stronger and more sustainable relationships with
In the aftermath of the EU Referendum North West MEP Sajjad Karim looks at the way forward.
"The British people have made a choice by a small margin to leave the EU after four decades of overall economic growth within it. There is no certainty to where exactly it leaves us now, with Brexit meaning different things to different people including those who advocated for it. But one thing is sure - both in Brussels and London we must safeguard Britain and the British people by ensuring jobs and livelihoods are secured.
Access to the Single Market must be a priority. Without it, trade with Europe cannot continue as before which will mean that jobs and opportunities are lost. Equally concerns must also be taken on-board with regard to immigration and Freedom of Movement. These were two of the key issues during the Referendum campaign and they should not be ignored.
It will inevitably be tricky to balance Freedom of Movement and the Single Market - since you cannot have one without the other. The Referendum result has unfortunately seen a rise in discriminatory and xenophobic incidents, some of which have taken place locally. Diverse communities exist across the North West which have felt the effects.
Negative and dark forces have been unleashed as a result of the vote, which somehow need to be curtailed. "Misunderstandings" on immigration promises need to be put right by those who made them and all publicly elected representatives who stood on this platform now owe all our communities a duty to heal the wounds.
My own prediction is that we will negotiate a settlement where the Single Market is maintained with Freedom of Movement continuing with reducing immigration in line with diminished opportunities.
We will give up our Prime Minister’s seat at the table, our Commissioner’s powers and our British voice in the European Parliament but carry on paying the same contributions as we do today.
We will have given up a great deal of power and influence on our own continent - Europe. Some will say that this is what taking back control is. In reality our future Prime Minister will have to ask other European leaders to plead our case in the European Union. That's not the Great Britain I grew up in but it is the decided course we must now take.
I will guarantee one thing - an absolute commitment to every constituent to use all of my connections, networks and knowledge gained from 12 years as an active MEP and remain constructively engaged to deliver the best possible outcome for the UK. I must be totally straight with everyone though. No matter what deal we are able to secure, it will not be anywhere near as good an arrangement as when we were at the table. "
The Council of the British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) said:
“It is now imperative that businesses in the United Kingdom and across Europe are provided with clarity, support and representation given the potential changes to commerce in the future and the uncertainty we now face.
"We cannot ignore our trading community. They must be heard in any forthcoming negotiations if we are to see prosperous economies, if we are to see Britain and Europe compete in a changing, globalised commercial world.
"COBCOE has already presented the needs of businesses in its Evolving Europe report. We will continue to make sure these needs are met and will offer traders proper guidance and support as an informed, impartial and expert organisation that addresses business, not politics."
"Turn Leave vote into opportunity" says London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI):
"While the UK electorate has made its choice it is notable that London voted quite differently.
As Ministers now contemplate the UK's future outside the EU, London's new mayor Sadiq Khan needs to be involved in that planning - to help harness the resources necessary to sustain long-term economic growth.
Government must look to maintain the capital's position as world-leading place to do business. That means having the pull factors that will attract global companies to invest and locate in London whether that is around business environment, strategic infrastructure or skilled staff. We need to turn the result of the referendum into a time of opportunity for Britain.
International trade has long been a critical component of Britain's economic well-being. Now more than ever there is a pressing need to encourage and support British businesses to engage in international commerce and help build a strong and prosperous UK economy.
In the new landscape, the government needs to develop a national strategy for exports and growth to coordinate departmental activity and ensure appropriately resourced support is delivered to UK businesses looking to trade overseas.
One element of that strategy should be to ensure London has the infrastructure to compete and that includes aviation capacity to connect to far-off key markets. Therefore it is now an absolute priority that Ministers take a decision on expanding BOTH Heathrow and Gatwick".