The British public has voted and they have made it clear that they see the UK’s interests are best served by leaving the European Union.
While the UK has opted for a future outside the EU, Britain remains a competitive, innovative and highly-skilled economy and an attractive place for business. However, as indicated by today’s market volatility we are likely to see a period of uncertainty.
For the most part Guernsey and Jersey are already outside of the EU and whilst we can expect the uncertainty the UK will face to have some impact we on our islands this is likely to be muted in comparison. The islands have been diversifying their industries and they are not as UK centric as it once was.
The Guernsey and Jersey governments have been preparing for such an eventuality and worked hard to ensure the UK understand that it will need to take into account our interests as it negotiates its future with the EU. The Jersey and Guernsey States have also been clear that it will seek to maintain its current favoured status with the EU, as set out in Protocol 3.
Businesses need to ensure they are set up to navigate the immediate risks and impacts of an exit, and have the processes and people in place to manage a period of upheaval.
Against this backdrop of uncertainty, we expect British businesses will continue to be proactive in finding ways to raise productivity and drive growth. The UK remains a world leader in R&D and a hub for innovation. This will help businesses capitalise on the opportunities and respond to the competitive threats created by the leave vote. They must also play an active role in setting a vision for a new, post-EU environment which is open, pro-growth and delivers prosperity and opportunity for all.
Ian Stewart, chief economist of Deloitte UK has said: “Negotiating and implementing Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is huge task. But in tackling it our nation can draw on great strengths. The UK is in the top tier of the world’s most competitive economies. We have strong institutions and a highly skilled workforce. Our economy is a magnet for inward investment and enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. The UK faces a period of uncertainty and of great change. But the resilience and dynamism of our economy and institutions will be huge advantages as we start to navigate a prosperous future outside the EU.”
John Clacy, Partner at Deloitte added: “As Crown Dependencies we will undoubtedly have a role in this and where there is uncertainty and challenge there is also opportunity. Throughout the years the Channel Islands, along with the UK, have shown remarkable resilience and innovation and I expect these factors to come to the fore.”