Brexit leaves uncertainties in world economy

Global Business

The U.K. rocked the world by voting to leave the European Union on June 23rd. The impact is huge and will be lasting for years.

In the run up to the summertime vote, world leaders trooped into the then U.K. Prime Minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street with dire warnings.

But for many in Britain, Brexit wasn’t about economics.

CCTV’s Richard Bestic reports. Follow Richard Bestic on Twitter @bestic_richard

Brexit leaves uncertainties in world economy

The U.K. rocked the world by voting to leave the European Union on June 23rd. The impact is huge and will be lasting for years. In the run up to the summertime vote, world leaders trooped into the then U.K. Prime Minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street with dire warnings. But for many in Britain, Brexit wasn’t about economics. CCTV’s Richard Bestic reports.

It was about immigration; control of the country’s borders and according to leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage, the little guy taking on the Establishment.

On Referendum day, it proved to be a message that hit home and Britain voted to leave the world’s wealthiest trading bloc by a margin of 4 percent.

Reaction to the vote was swift. Cameron quit and Theresa May took his place, suggesting the failures of globalization had played a part in the populism of Brexit.

The Pound plummeted and is yet to recover to its pre-referendum levels. Shares in the City were in free-fall, only to rise again to record levels. Market volatility is under Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s watchword, while coming down the track inflation.

However, rising inflation, according to Carney, is a non-issue for just over half British business. Indeed, retail sales post-Brexit surged in early autumn to their highest level in 14 years.

The low Pound gave shopping tourism a huge boost.

And exports from Britain’s important manufacturing sector also showed signs of benefiting from a fall in the value of Sterling, according to a December survey by the EEF manufacturers organization.

The government hailed $650 billion in transport and home-building projects.

But still, nagging doubts over economic growth remained, according to a British Chambers of Commerce report.

Many companies, like this Spanish food importer, hurting as their costs rise: It’s the same for wine importers and for restaurants there’s the worry of getting workers once Britain’s out of the EU.

Those fears shared on the land, where tens of thousands of East Europeans are employed.

Manufacturing will ultimately need to buy raw materials from overseas.

At the Bank of England, it’s suggested it’ll be at least two years before Britain has enough hard evidence to speak of the benefits of Brexit or otherwise.

The question is whether in the meantime belief will ultimately protect the U.K. from the ravages of a volatile world economy.


Brian Beary on Brexit fallout

How has the U.K. handled the challenges posed by Brexit since the June vote? To learn more about its world impact, CCTV America’s Susan Roberts spoke with Brian Beary, EU expert and contributing editor to “European Affairs.”