The United Kingdom made history a month ago by deciding to leave the European Union, which was narrowly determined by referendum. Since then, the pound has dramatically fluctuated in value, Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned and the legal status of millions of European citizens has been complicated. The vote was fueled by growing nationalist sentiment, the political leverage of Britain’s center-right Conservative Party, and the popular assumption that EU membership drives immigration from people outside the European Economic Area.
Review of leading public intellectual perspectives reveals how disparate reactions to Brexit are. Some, such as conservative Member of Parliament George Osborne, say that Brexit is a “golden opportunity for US-UK trade ties,” citing the historically strong relationship between the two countries and welcoming US treasury secretary Jack Lew to London. Others, such as Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, predicts results as dire as the complete fragmentation of the UK and widespread exit of other countries from the EU within five years.
That said, Brexit has implications for small and medium size businesses in New England. At Opus Consulting Group, we help our clients navigate unpredictable economic climates. Political events such as Brexit highlight how foreign instability can mean business opportunities and challenges for the United States, particularly small businesses in our region. Our firm has advised a variety of clients on acceleration strategy in times of financial crisis, from 2009 when it was formed, through the ongoing economic turbulence of today. Contact us to explore how we can develop robust growth, marketing and outreach strategies for your business.