Preparing your organisation for the UK’s EU referendum. Does the result ever matter?

Preparing your organisation for the UK’s EU referendum. Does the result ever matter? 

HLC likes to think big. We work with organisations that want to stay ahead of the curve.

This week HLC hosted a Brexit brainstorm with Brussels Public Affairs professionals. HLC chairman Simon Bryceson explored with participants how a ‘Brexit’ would impact their organisations’ commercial or political success. The conclusion: regardless of the outcome, organisations should start preparing for an extended period of European political, financial and economic instability.

Key findings

  • Planning for Brexit should start with informed political analysis, not a technocratic evaluation of the Clinical Trials regulation or Safe Harbour rules
  • The outcome of the referendum will be decided by questions of identity and emotion. So far, ‘remain’ campaign messages are not resonating with voter priorities
  • A UK exit would lead to a period of significant market and financial turbulence. Other EU countries would have an incentive to make exit costly and difficult to stem the rise of euro-scepticism in their own countries
  • Financial investors will see an opportunity to make money from pressure on the pound, while trade deals such as TTIP would be thrown into doubt
  • Britain’s EU referendum is not an isolated political event. It is part of a much wider trend in the West. From Trump to Orbán, liberal economies & democracies are facing severe threats
  • In the run up to the referendum, organisations are expected to have a position, and should be ready to answer questions publicly
  • A ‘remain’ vote will not resolve underlying political tensions and the loss of European solidarity. Companies need to start planning for an extended period of financial and economic uncertainty, regardless of the expected referendum result