Here are reasons to be cheerful about Brexit, others to be pessimistic.
One reason for cheer
The Apple boss is in the UK. He has been talking to Theresa May, visiting schools and chatting with the press.
Apple is planning to build a new UK headquarters at Battersea Power Station.
Mr Cook said he is “very optimistic” about the UK’s fate out of the EU. Admitting that there would be bumps on the way, he said that the UK would be “just fine” and that “We’re doubling down on a huge headquarters in the Battersea area and we’re leaving significant space there to expand.” He added: “We are proud that Apple’s innovation and growth now supports nearly 300,000 jobs across the UK.”
One reason for pessimism
Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank, said that as many as 30,000 could be lost, thanks to Brexit.
The report said that many banks may have to move their operations to within the EU. It said: “At a minimum, it is expected that the new EU27-based entities will need to have autonomous boards, full senior management teams, senior account managers and traders, even though much of the back-office might stay in London or elsewhere in the world.”
Mind you, the think tank also thinks the EU needs to reform, or its financial sectors may not benefit, so much. The report said: “Brexit involves risks for market integrity and stability, because the EU including the UK has been crucially dependent on the Bank of England and the UK Financial Conduct Authority for oversight of its wholesale markets. Without the UK, the EU27 must swiftly upgrade its capacity to ensure market integrity and financial stability.”
Some more cheer
A survey of business confidence reveals that more than half of small businesses surveyed foresee an increase in exports, with a third believing that their prospects will be improved by exporting outside of the EU. According to the American Express Global SME Pulse report, 58 per cent of SMEs surveyed expect significant revenue growth over the next 12 months. Reflecting the global optimism, 50 per cent of UK SMEs surveyed anticipate revenue growth of at least four per cent over the next 12 months. Furthermore, 16 per cent say that they look forward to revenue growth of at least eight per cent over the same period.
And while we are enjoying cheer, here is some more, this time from ICM Unlimited. In a survey of 1,984 adults aged 18+, it found that 54 per cent of Brits believe they won’t need to worry about the impact of Brexit on their finances.
Meanwhile, Dr Andreas Dombret, a top German central banker/regulator has said that Brexit will put an end to London’s position as the dominant financial centre in Europe. He said: “The current model of using London as a gateway to Europe is likely to end,” and that “numerous market participants have already contacted” European regulators regarding moving operations to Europe.
And while you are feeling glum, here are some thoughts from John Van Reenen, from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an institution that supported Remain. He said that the result of Brexit will be four times worse than expected, saying: “Increased costs of doing business with the rest of Europe – which accounts for about half of all UK trade – will mean lower levels of commerce and foreign investment, and thus lower average incomes in Britain.”
He added: “The cost is going to be way bigger than the amount we currently send to Europe. By splitting more away from the rest of Europe, we’ll lose foreign investment, we’ll lose some trade and the consequences will actually be negative for our productivity.”
It seems that so far, we know the following:
If you voted Leave, you are confident that Brexit will be a good thing.
If you voted Remain, you think it will be bad.
If you are from Brussels or a German central banker, you think it may be good for the EU banking sector, not so good for London.
But at least, the boss of Apple, with half his mind on creating good PR, thinks things will be fine.