I have to admit I have been slow in getting interested in politics. Yes I vote every year and have done without fail as I do believe that a ‘no vote’ is a wasted vote – it takes lots of voices in the wind to make a change but that change can happen.
To be honest, I would rather there was less political debate and more conservation of the planet and finding ways to protect the amazing animals that share it with us, but maybe that’s for another debate!
But I’ve finally given in to either my age, my peer group or the little voice on my shoulder that keeps telling me that I really should have an interest for the very reason I give above!
So I recently found out that the pending EU referendum, which I had previously just pretended not to really hear about thinking it would be brushed under the carpet, has actually been a bit of a ‘hot potato’ for some time now and the thoughts of its impact are hugely varied.
David Cameron apparently is aiming for an early referendum in June of this year, but it could be delayed until 2017 – and so the circus media speculation begins heightening with every month that goes by!
The U.K. has over £400 billion of trade with the EU, pretty impressive I think, and many businesses especially SME’s have concerns with the outcome and consequences of a British exit, should the public vote go this way.
However the real question is, in my opinion, if the British public do decide to exit the EU will Britain truly exit or will we remain within the European Economic Area, with all its perks that sound pretty much the same as if we were still in the EU anyway?!
Can the EU actually afford to lose the UK given the contribution that we do make?
On a different angle, is the referendum a way to deflect our focus from other areas that perhaps will cause public uproar and pain in the Uk (the ongoing non declaration of expenses saga and the protection of those involved for example) or does it have the potential threat to our smaller end economy that is being voiced by some?
What do you think as a small/medium business owner? Is it a serious matter – would it directly affect you and how can you see the way to sway the public to ensure we stay in the prestigious position of being on the ‘top table’ of the EU?
I would welcome all views on this; do you feel it’s a bit of a media circus frenzy or could this really impact on our small – medium business European trading and actually be something far more serious than anticipated?
Read more about this and other potential impacts for 2016 from Greg Carter at Growth Street