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Britain’s Independence Day?

BPS is reeling from this mornings news that Britain has voted to leave the EU.

As a company that buys from manufacturers based on the Continent the country’s decision will have far reaching implications for our trade. A weaker pound buys fewer dollars or other foreign currencies, which makes it more expensive for us to buy products from abroad, which in turn will make goods more expensive to buy from us. Already this morning we are being issued new price lists based on the Exchange Rate Changes overnight. Difficult to see how this result can be good for small – medium business.

How will small firms trade in the single market post Brexit?

Firms need to know how they will have access to the single market, free movement and trade following the UK’s vote to Leave the EU, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses has said. Mike Cherry urges the government and all parties to bring stability for the business community. Nearly a quarter of FSB members export, with the majority exporting to the single market, and Mr Cherry says answers are needed swiftly to ensure 

“does not fall any further, which is already at the lowest levels since 2013. This includes clarity over the practical implications of this result on how smaller firms do business,”

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The London stock market has plunged more than 8% in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

In the opening minutes of trade this morning, the FTSE 100 index fell more than 500 points, the biggest one-day fall since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers in 2008, before regaining some ground. Banks were especially hard hit, with Barclays and RBS falling about 30%.

Now Barclays’ boss has put out this statement …

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. This is a significant decision and there will be many questions asked in the coming days and weeks about what happens next. The answers are complex but our position is not: we will not break our stride in delivering the Barclays of the future… And through the uncertainty of the months ahead, be in no doubt that we are ready to do whatever it takes to uphold that promise. The strategy we announced on 1 March, 2016 was not conditional on the UK remaining in the EU. We are a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank, anchored in the UK and the US. That remains the core of our strength and the Barclays of the future.”

                                                                                                                                                          Jes Staley: Barclays Group, Chief Executive

Earlier, the value of the pound fell dramatically as the referendum outcome emerged. At one stage, it hit $1.3236, a fall of more than 10% and a low not seen since 1985.

The Bank of England said it was “monitoring developments closely” and would take “all necessary steps” to support monetary stability.

“We have taken all the necessary steps to prepare for todays events.”

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England

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cameron resigns

David Cameron steps down as Tory leader

The UK vote to leave the European Union has prompted David Cameron to announce he is to step down as prime minister.

“The will of the British people must be respected…I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to it’s next destination.”

Apparently he and Boris Johnson have already spoken today. Boris attempted to make a statement as he left his house this morning but was prevented amid boos and jeers from the waiting crowd.

The labour leadership looks on shaky ground too.

Jeremy Corbyn has said,

“We have to do everything we can to protect jobs and working conditions in Britain”

Different groups of labour MP’s are organising against Corbyn as blame for not galvanising the labour heartlands is laid at his door. It is still too early to say which way that will go but we may have campaigns for the leadership of both parties before the party conference season in September.

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farage celebrates

UKIP leader, Nigel Farage declares it “independence day”.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told supporters that “dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom”, as votes are counted in the EU Referendum.

He said the Leave campaign had won a victory for “real people”, and said 23 June should go down as “independence day”.

Sadiq Khan has been quick to respond to a city in shock.

“There is no need to panic…London will continue to be the successful city it is today. Our city and our country will continue to be the best place in the world to do business. And we will continue to look outwards and trade and engage with the entire world – including the European Union.”

Wetherspoon chief: ‘Brexit will enhance freedom and security’

The chief executive of the Wetherspoon pub chain, Tim Martin, was a prominent Leave campaigner and has a more positive outlook for the future.

“The UK will thrive as an independent country, making its own laws, and we will work with our good friends and neighbours in Europe and elsewhere to ensure a positive outcome for all parties.”

We should remember that this was a democratic vote and regardless of our individual feelings we must now all pull together to make the best of the situation we find ourselves in.

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