Sadly, the Brexit campaigners succeeded in getting over half the referendum voters to ignore these realities. The deed is now done and the milk is now well and truly spilled. And since business and markets are the essence of pragmatism it now falls to us to try and mop up the mess.
Just to be clear, there is no distinction here to be made between business large or small: I agree completely with my colleague Martin Kersh of the Foodservice Packaging Association who noted in the referendum aftermath that ‘the claim by Leavers that the result is a bloody nose for big business is outrageous.
Small businesses rely on the success of big business both directly and indirectly, the latter as result of big businesses’ and their employees’ expenditure.’
Business – all of it – creates the wealth of the economy and the country. The Brexit vote has now put the economy and the country at risk and for no good reason. We now need business to help us to row back from that position, and with some urgency.
The Packaging Federation is here to play its part. More than ever our companies need support and encouragement to play to their strengths and to do their very best on the world stage.
In many places today business is still greatly misunderstood and hugely underestimated. The evidence for this is seen in many instances of red tape and over-legislation. One opportunity in the current crisis may be to rationalise and cut away these disincentives to growth.
Our competitiveness will be key in the weeks and months ahead if we are to overcome the current malaise.